Five plants that could reduce your cholesterol levels, according to nutritionist

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

Cholesterol isn’t all bad. For example, the waxy substance helps to build the structure of cell membranes and make hormones. 

However, having high levels of LDL cholesterol, also known as the “bad” type, presents a grave health problem because it clogs up the arteries. 

Fortunately, simple lifestyle changes can go a long way when you’re trying to tame high levels.

According to nutritionist Dr Pamela Mason, from the Health and Food Supplements Information Service, five botanicals could help reduce your levels of the fatty substance with gusto.

She said: “Botanicals, alongside micronutrients are all good news for our dietary health needs and this in part has been reviewed in a new report that myself and colleagues at HSIS – Menopause Nutrition: Challenges and Opportunities – have just published.”

READ MORE Three warning signs that could be the ‘first’ symptom of cholesterol build-up

Looking at various research including the area of cholesterol, the nutritionist recommended reaching for ginger, bilberry, cranberry, garlic and ginseng.

For example, garlic was found to cut cholesterol and other fats in the blood, while garlic supplements reduced total cholesterol by as much as 29.8mg/dL. 

Furthermore, a study among 70 people with diabetes found that ginger may help reduce cholesterol when taken at 1600mg daily for 12 weeks, Dr Mason explained.

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She added: “A randomised controlled trial in 30 people with diabetes revealed that cranberry could also improve lipid profiles, while another trial showed that cranberry fruit (9 grams daily) could reduce bad cholesterol.”

When it comes to ginseng, research, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, found that the botanical could reduce both total and bad cholesterol levels.

Based on all of these findings, the nutritionist recommended incorporating these five plants into a healthy diet either as food or supplements.

Dr Mason said: “‘Eating a rainbow’ type diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, which can include bilberry, cranberry, garlic and ginseng is likely to contribute to good health if consumed regularly.

“There are shortages of vitamins and minerals across the board in the UK. 

“For this reason, I’d generally recommend an all-round multivitamin and multimineral supplement containing the NRV (nutrient reference value) of as many as nutrients as possible.”

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