Lower Your Blood Pressure with These 5 Foods

 dietWhen you hear the word, ‘cholesterol’, you automatically think of it as a bad thing. However, cholesterol is actually a necessary fat that our bodies need for the proper function of cells. The problem lies in the fact that our bodies naturally produce all the cholesterol we naturally need. Since our bodies don’t need cholesterol from other sources, adding the steroid lipid can actually increase our chances of heart disease and other diseases.

It is difficult to follow a diet that is completely free of added cholesterol, but there are ways to help lower your cholesterol levels to healthy levels. Adding the following foods to at least one meal per day, and getting plenty of exercise can help you to keep your heart healthy, your cholesterol low, and help prolong your life.

 

Here are 5 foods that are not only delicious, but are heart healthy as well:

 

Good Fats

Good and fats don’t seem like they would be words that belong together, but there are good fats out there. Both Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil and avocados can actually help lessen your bad cholesterol. Try replacing your vegetable oil and butter with small amounts of olive oil instead. Pesto and salad dressings can be made with olive oil and used sparingly in sauces or on vegetables.

 

Beans, Lentils and Other Legumes

By adding at least one serving per day of lentils, peas or beans, you can reduce your bad cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease. Chickpeas are great roasted and sprinkled with a little chili powder. Or make a large pot of pinto beans or a chickpea and lentil curry. They will make both your heart and mouth happy.

 

Bran

Oat bran in particular is quite effective in lowering bad cholesterol. Adding bran to things like breads, cereals, and yes, even muffins, can help you to stay proactive about your heart health.

 

Garlic

If you love garlic, you are in luck. Studies have shown that consuming ½ clove of garlic or less per day can help significantly lower cholesterol levels. And since tomatoes are also known for lowering LDL levels, you don’t have to feel guilty about piling that red sauce on your favorite whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash.

 

Flax Seed

Adding flax seed to your cereal, baked goods, and even casseroles is so effective at lowering your LDL levels that studies have shown that it can reduce cholesterol almost 15%.

 

As you can see, there are plenty of delicious ways to add heart healthy fats to your diet. Just be sure to avoid the bad fats as much as possible and you’re heart will thank you!

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