health

High cholesterol: The nutrient-dense superfood that 'significantly' lowers bad cholesterol


High cholesterol refers to fatty molecules in the blood that gradually collect on the walls of the arteries – forming plaque. It is widely known that foods rich in fibre can undo the damage of high cholesterol. One superfood, however, is often overlooked as an antidote for the condition, despite studies showing it “significantly” lowers levels of harmful lipids.

Spirulina is a photosynthetic powerhouse that produces its own food through the action of sunlight, as do most plants.

The protein-dense algae contain a host of key amino acids, as well as magnesium, iron, and potassium.

According to the personalised nutrition system Inside Tracker: “Taking spirulina at a moderate dose significantly lowers levels of triglycerides.

“Additionally, it also lowers total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and blood pressure to a reasonable extent while slightly increasing heart-healthy HDL-cholesterol.”

READ MORE: High cholesterol: The sign in your nails warning that levels are dangerously high

This health claim is supported by a 2016 meta-analysis that suggested taking spirulina supplements may have a lowering effect on blood lipids – the fat molecules found in the blood.

In 2013, researchers found that taking one gram of spirulina every day reduced participants’ total cholesterol after three months.

Other studies have found spirulina to be “beneficial in preventing atherosclerosis and reducing risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.”

The NHS says: “To reduce your cholesterol, try to cut down on fatty food, especially food that contains a type of called saturated fat.”

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Saturated is the type of fat found in cheese, certain types of meat and butter.

“You can still have foods that contain a healthier type of fat called unsaturated fat,” adds the health body.

Following a Mediterranean-style diet is a promising way of getting good amounts of unsaturated fat into your body.

The diet emphasises fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, grains, fish, unsaturated fats such as olive oil.





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