Cholesterol can be a tricky subject. Generally, whenever you hear about it, it’s portrayed as a bad thing, something to avoid in order to live a healthy lifestyle. There is some truth to this; high levels of Low-Density Lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, can pave the way for harmful health effects, such as heart disease, because the cholesterol can form clots in the blood vessels, putting strain on the heart. However, not all forms of cholesterol are bad for the body. There is another type of cholesterol, known as High-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol, that can actually help the body maintain good health.
Unlike LDL Cholesterol, which puts your body at risk of heart disease by clogging the arteries, HDL cholesterol works to clear the arteries. Because of this, it is necessary to consume an adequate level of HDL cholesterol, particularly if there is a high intake of LDL cholesterol. In the end, cholesterol itself isn’t bad; it’s useful to the body in the right places and amounts and is actually produced by the body. However, if you’re looking for foods that will lower your bad cholesterol and otherwise keep you healthy, here are a few options to consider adding to your diet.
If you’re looking to cut down on your LDL cholesterol and improve overall heart health, pomegranate can help with that in a number of ways. For example, the fiber content can contribute to reduced body cholesterol overall. Additionally, pomegranates contain potassium, a mineral that reduces blood pressure (which, along with cholesterol, is intimately linked to heart health). Some of the antioxidants found in pomegranate are thought to reduce cholesterol as well, and generally slow cellular aging. If you don’t care for the fruit itself, pomegranate juice is an option that will provide most of the same benefits.
When it comes to lowering bad cholesterol, the effectiveness of chickpeas is a topic of rigorous study. However, there is a lot more to these legumes than their (lack of) cholesterol content. For example, chickpeas are a significant source of protein. Additionally, they provide a number of B vitamins for the body, most notably folate, but also riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine. Furthermore, chickpeas supply the body with iron and phosphorus, and even a little bit of potassium. This ultimately makes them a solid source of nutrition, leading to various body benefits that improve one’s health in a number of ways.