Whether you eat your fruit on top of oatmeal, mixed into a salad or on its own as a satisfying snack, the fiber-filled goodies will help keep your cholesterol in check. Eating adequate fiber (at least 25 grams per day) decreases LDL levels and supports healthy digestion. Raspberries have 8 grams per cup. Strawberries are full of polyphenols, plant-based compounds that naturally help to regulate your cardiovascular system. Some studies have connected eating blueberries regularly with decreased blood pressure. That’s thanks to their circulation-boosting effect on blood vessels (otherwise known as “vasodilation”), which slows the rate of atherosclerosis.
Evidence has shown that frequent apple consumption may reduce total cholesterol. That’s thanks to the phenolic compounds found in apple skins — a.k.a. the antioxidant compounds that promote healthy cellular function and proper blood flow.
And don’t forget about bananas! They lower cholesterol by removing it from your digestive system, preventing it from moving into your bloodstream and clogging your arteries. Slice bananas on top of morning oats with a tablespoon of chia seeds for an extra healthy boost.
2. Eggplant and Okra
Both eggplant and okra are high in soluble fiber, which helps you feel fuller for longer and aids in digestion. A study from 2011 found that this type of fiber can reduce total cholesterol by 3-7% in humans.
And you know that liquid-like gel that oozes out when you cook okra? In addition to making gumbo naturally creamy and delicious, that liquid, called mucilage, is particularly good at helping cholesterol to leave the body through stool.