This is a guest post by Patrick Rafferty, a consultant for Pure Water Technology. Thanks Patrick!
It’s no secret that certain foods are better than others, especially when it comes to heart health.
You’re obviously going to be better off if you eat an apple instead of a donut, or a piece of toast instead of a hamburger, but what about foods that are not as apparent?
Some foods you think are healthy might not be as good for your heart as you think. On the other hand, some seemingly normal food can actually act as a “super food” for your heart. They can lower cholesterol, keep you full and curve that craving for less healthy snacks.
Here are five super foods that you should eat if you are trying to lower your cholesterol:
Blueberries contain a powerful antioxidant called pterostilebene. This can lower a type of cholesterol called LDL cholesterol, or the bad type of cholesterol. LDL cholesterol builds up in the walls of the blood vessels, which causes blockages and can lead to a heart attack.
Blueberries can make a fantastic snack, especially when frozen and sprinkled on cereal or with some vanilla-flavored yogurt. You can also just eat them in handfuls. Whatever works best.
Beans and Lentils
Like blueberries, beans and lentils have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol. In a recent study from the Annals of Internal Medicine, participants who changed their diet to incorporate more beans and lentils saw their LDL cholesterol almost cut in half.
The best part is that there are no restrictions as to what type of beans are best. In this case, the bean you prefer most is the best. Enjoy them however you want, just make sure you get a solid dose as often as possible.
Like the first two super foods, avocados lower LDL cholesterol, but unlike the other ones, they also raise “good” cholesterol, or HDLs. HDL cholesterol travels through blood vessels removing LDLs from where they shouldn’t be, like on the lining of walls and other areas. In other words, this type of cholesterol reduces the likelihood of heart disease.
Enjoy avocados chopped up in a salad, sliced on a sandwich or mixed with some red onions and tomatoes to make a healthy guacamole.
Water is the most precious resource our body can ingest. Without water, nothing in our body operates efficiently, including our muscles and organs. Furthermore, water keeps food moving through our bloodstream, which reduces the risk of LDLs bogging down these crucial traffic networks in your system.
Drink water throughout the day, especially before and after meals. It will fill you up and keep your metabolism from slowing down. Bottled water is preferable, as it can reduce the amount of harmful chemicals found in everyday drinking water, but anything is preferable to no water consumption, as long as it is relatively clean.
Drinking alcohol in moderation has been show to reduce LDLs in your body while raising HDLs. In this case, though, moderation is the essential word. Excessive drinking, or over a glass or two a night, has been show to raise cholesterol dramatically, as well as lead to other heart problems.
Though red wine works best, your favorite alcoholic beverage will work fine. Stay away from the sugary ones, though, as they are more conducive to weight gain, which negatively affects heart health.