Maintaining a healthy cholesterol balance is crucial for overall well-being and plays a vital role in preventing various health complications. Cholesterol, a waxy substance in our bodies, is essential for multiple bodily functions, including hormone production and cell membrane integrity. However, an imbalance in cholesterol levels, specifically elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, commonly known as “bad” cholesterol, can lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. In this article, we will share with you five food combinations that can help reduce bad cholesterol. And the best thing is that these foods can also be included in the daily diet. Here’s the list of all those foods. (Images courtesy: iStock)
Garlic and Onion
Garlic and onions are prominent in cooking, and both have cholesterol-lowering properties. Garlic contains allicin, which has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, while onions contain quercetin, which may help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. When combined, these two taste delicious and add health to curries, soups, and gravies.
Almonds and Curd
Almonds are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and protein, which can help lower LDL cholesterol levels. One study found that yogurt can lower total cholesterol by up to 4%. Yogurt contains probiotics, which may help improve digestion and reduce inflammation. Both these foods can be taken together as a nutritious breakfast. Also, you can eat it at any time of the day.
Green Tea with Lemon
Green tea is a popular beverage consumed around the world, which is rich in antioxidants. It can help in reducing the level of LDL cholesterol. On the other hand, lemon contains flavonoids, which have cholesterol-lowering properties. Consuming these two together is a fresh and healthy option. You can drink it hot or cold as you like. One study found that consuming flavonoids found in lemons may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Lentils and Brown Rice
Lentils are a staple food on the Indian plate, rich in fiber and protein. It helps in reducing LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). Brown rice is an excellent source of whole grains, which can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 20%.
Turmeric and Black Pepper
Turmeric is a spice that has been used in Indian cooking for centuries. It has anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties. One study found that taking a supplement made of turmeric and black pepper for 12 weeks significantly reduced LDL cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol. Black pepper contains piperine, which helps absorb curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric. The combination of these two spices is delicious and nutritious and can be added to curries, soups, and gravies.