High cholesterol: Aubergine and okra shown to help lower levels by up to ‘30 percent’

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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Cholesterol is needed in the body in order for it to function properly. However, as with most things, too much of it can cause a dire effect on the body. This may include heightening one’s risk of heart attack or strokes. Studies have pinpointed two food types which have been shown to significantly lower cholesterol levels and keep the heart healthy.

Cholesterol-lowering foods typically include plant sterols, nuts, and soy proteins, as they block the body from absorbing cholesterol.

Soluble fibre, which is found in a variety of products, may deliver the most promising results because it binds to cholesterol in the digestive tract and drags it out of the body.

Harvard Health cites aubergine and okra as “two low-calorie vegetables” that are “good sources of soluble fibre.”

In one study published in the National Library of Medicine, the effect of aubergine on plasma lipid levels was further investigated.

In the study, 13 male rabbits were randomly assigned to control (C), hypercholesterolemic (H) and aubergine (A) treated groups.

The H and A rabbits were fed a diet supplemented with cholesterol (0.5 percent) and coconut oil (10 percent) for four weeks.

In addition, group A received 10 mL of the fruit juice/day during the last two weeks.

Total plasma cholesterol, VLDL, LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels were determined using commercial kits.

Research found that after four weeks, the A group rabbits had a significantly lower weight, plasma cholesterol, LDL, triglyceride and aortic cholesterol content than group H.

“In hypercholesterolemic rabbits, egg plant (aubergine) juice significantly reduced weight, plasma cholesterol levels, aortic cholesterol content and the MDA concentrations in native-oxidised LDL and in the arterial wall and increased the endothelium-dependent relaxations,” concluded the study.

In another study, researchers administered okra seed oil to hypercholesterolemic rats.

The research stated: “After inducing hyper-cholesterolemia in rats in the duration of 30 days, dried okra seed powder at a dose of 250 and 500mg/kg body weight of rats, was given to rats for 42 days.

“The results of the respective study showed 30 percent ‘significant reduction of serum LDL cholesterol levels in rats.”

The researchers concluded: “Okra seed oil plays crucial role in the maintenance of lipid profile in the body.

The research concluded that okra possess essential health benefits.

A separate line of evidence has confirmed okra’s ability to bind to cholesterol molecules and drag them out of the body.

The pod contains a gel-like substance known as mucilage which could help the body excrete dangerous LDL cholesterol when passing stool.

The superfood is also a rich source of polyphenols, which are well-known for their ability to reduce the risk of heart disease.

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