What are some common foods that directly lower cholesterol?

Antioxidant ingredients such as water-soluble dietary fiber and polyphenols are the key

Apples, which are rich in dietary fiber, contribute to the prevention of vascular diseases by draining bad cholesterol from the blood vessels. [사진=국립농업과학원]

When cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood increase too much, the blood becomes cloudy. It progresses to arteriosclerosis, where blood vessels harden without symptoms, and the risk of heart disease (angina-myocardial infarction) and stroke (cerebral infarction – cerebral hemorrhage) increases. Can’t lower cholesterol? Of course, diet and exercise are important. Let’s look at the foods that directly affect them.

◆ legumes

According to the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, soybean protein contains an antihypertensive peptide (peptide) that helps control blood pressure by lowering cholesterol. It is a substance that inhibits the function of an enzyme that makes angiotensin, a compound that increases blood pressure. The lipid component in soybeans helps prevent cardiovascular disease, and water-soluble dietary fiber (fiber, fiber) directly reduces cholesterol.

◆ apple

Apples are a representative food rich in dietary fiber. It contributes to the prevention of arteriosclerosis by removing bad cholesterol (LDL) from the blood vessels and increasing good cholesterol (HDL). It prevents the development of vascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association published a study which found that people who enjoyed eating apples had a 52% lower risk of having a stroke compared to those who did not.

◆ Cabbage

The element sulforaphane contained in cabbage green leaves activates proteins in the arteries of blood vessels, thereby reducing cholesterol and preventing the formation of blood clots. It helps prevent heart disease (angina-myocardial infarction) and stroke (cerebral infarction – cerebral hemorrhage). Vitamin U, which is good for the gastric mucosa, helps to metabolize protein and fat, and treats fat that accumulates in the liver and causes various diseases, thereby strengthening liver function.

◆ Seaweed

Seaweed is also rich in dietary fibre, which directly lowers cholesterol. In particular, alginic acid is useful in detoxification as it has the ability to absorb and release harmful substances such as heavy metals from the body. Laminin, a basic amino acid, has the effect of lowering blood pressure. All of them are good ingredients to prevent vascular disease. It is also good for diet as it is a low calorie, low fat food that is rich in calcium and strengthens bones.

◆ oats

It is also rich in soluble fibre, which helps lower cholesterol. Antioxidants such as polyphenols, which prevent cardiovascular disease, also act to slow down ageing. In addition, the beta-glucan component has the effect of excreting waste in the intestines, so it is useful for diet. It is low in calories and high in essential amino acids, the core of protein, contributing to muscle maintenance.

◆ millet

Sorghum reduces cholesterol content and strengthens capillaries. It is rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols, contributing to the prevention of heart disease and stroke. Studies have shown that the polyphenol content of sorghum is six times that of red wine. It is rich in vitamins such as policosanol, linoleic acid, oleic acid, and vitamins B1 and B2, fatty acids, and various minerals and trace elements to help health.

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