Make your heart tick with joy

By Naini Setalvad | THE HANS INDIA |   Aug 26,2017 , 11:21 PM IST


One of the most widespread diseases is heart disease. The discovery, which was made half-a-century ago shows that high blood cholesterol levels were strongly connected with an increased risk for heart disease.

And sparked off numerous warnings to avoid foods that contain cholesterol. Even though cholesterol is a vital part of our body’s cells but anything in excess is not good and has co-morbidity with other health problems, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and obesity.

Cholesterol is an important fatty substance or lipid, that is essential for our body to function. Created in the liver, and one of the easiest thing to manage via food.

There are a number of simple lifestyle choices that can help lower cholesterol like frequent exercise, not smoking, regular medication and the most straightforward a healthy diet. Your diet should contain natural yellow, orange, green and red colours that are found in the plant kingdom.

These natural occurring colours are the little soldiers that protect us against free radical damage in our body. Free radicals increase cholesterol levels that clog our arteries. Just add many natural occurring colours on your plate and see your arteries get squeaky clean.

Lycopene  in  tomatoes work like a  magic pill to reduce cholesterol it is one of the most versatile vegetables and can be added to a  multiple of foods.

Pumpkins & carrots
They contain beta-carotene a  powerful antioxidant that reduces cholesterol levels one can add pumpkin to sambhar and carrot to vegetable soups and rice preparations beta-carotene is better absorbed when cooked.

The  more  the  merrier  all  of  them  contain  compounds  that  can  reduce  cholesterol  levels  and  clean  up  the  plaque in  your  arteries.

 Oranges, guavas, strawberries, grapefruit, pamello, and pomegranate help lower cholesterol levels due to the vitamin C content. So, don’t shy away from these yummy fruits and eat to your heart’s content. Quite literally!

Herbs, condiments & spices
 Season your plate  and  bowl  irrespective of the season by adding on turmeric, garlic, coriander and cinnamon they have flavonoids that prevent the arteries from clogging.

Natural sugars
Switch to dry fruits instead of munching on chocolates and mithais. Especially prunes since it has the power to decrease cholesterol lowering properties.

Good quality fats
Add on the saturated fats. Don’t be scared of coconut, cow’s ghee or nuts as these are good quality fats. A daily must have is Omega-3 fats that are found in walnuts, flax seeds and oily seeds. Walnuts are easy to carry and can replace snacking so can pistachios, cashew nuts, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.

Your heart will thank you for drinking any of the three – green, black or white tea as all have cholesterol reducing properties.

Not only is this is the oldest grain known to mankind but it also has amazing cholesterol lowering properties.

Consumption of chick peas, kidney beans and switching to fish instead of red meat and chicken will give you multiple positive outcomes when you will see your cholesterol level falling.

Leafy greens
Go green is the mantra of your life around you and within more the greens on your plate the happier your heart is. Add on the spinach, fenugreek, coriander, mustard leaves in your diet regularly.

One can have a chutney on the plate of coriander, spinach in your dal and soup and fenugreek in your vegetables,  rotis, and rice. Soups and salads can have the leafy greens added to  it.

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