If you have high cholesterol or are at high risk of developing the condition, what you eat may not always help improve your heart health. Too often people focus on what they eat to lower their cholesterol levels, but what you drink can also affect cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
Here are four drinking habits you should follow if you have high cholesterol in your family. Read on, and for more on how to eat right, don’t miss The #1 Best Juice to Drink Every Day, Science Says.
Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water. Green (unfermented), black (fully fermented), and oolong (semi-fermented) come from the same tea bush a plant that provides cholesterol lowering and other heart health benefits.
The heart health benefits of tea are attributed to its abundant flavonoids, including flavan-3-ols, natural plant compounds that help lower cholesterol levels and improve blood vessel health. A study published in Advances in Nutrition evaluated the results of 37 previously published studies and reported that study participants who drank 2-3 cups (16 ounces) of tea per day reduced their risk of heart disease by about 8-12 percent compared to those who did not drink tea.
The bright crimson color of pomegranates is due to the presence of polyphenolic pigments in the fruits. In addition to polyphenols, pomegranates are rich in flavonoids, lignans, and triterpenes. Many of these compounds are antioxidants that help lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels. There are numerous published studies that show how 100% pomegranate juice improves heart health. Pomegranate juice can help reduce oxidized cholesterol to slow down the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
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It has long been known that red wine in moderation (one glass a day for women and two glasses a day for men) is good for the heart. One of the ways red wine improves heart health is by increasing healthy HDL cholesterol levels and decreasing bad LDL cholesterol levels. Research has linked several bioactive compounds in red wine to its cholesterol-lowering properties, including resveratrol, catechin, epicatechin, quercetin, and anthocyanin. Always keep in mind that if you don’t drink, it’s not recommended to start improving your cholesterol levels. And when it comes to alcohol, more is not better.
Decades of research have proven that oats are effective in lowering cholesterol levels. Oats are rich in a unique type of soluble fiber, beta-glucan, which helps trap cholesterol and help flush it out of the body. Oat milk is a concentrated source of beta-glucans and is thought to be responsible for lowering total and LDL cholesterol. Several studies show that when subjects drank oat milk, compared to other plant-based drinks, cholesterol levels could drop by about 6 percent. For the healthiest oat drink, look for one with no added sugar, like any of these best and worst oat milk brands to buy, nutritionists say.