Today’s post is a special request for an old family friend, who’s watched me grow from the little tomboy that could into the big tomboy that could, with a side of stubborn, an extra large pinch of city hippy and dash of vanilla gorilla. I’m really quite the mutt, minus the dog part because I wouldn’t want to insult my felines; they might harm me while I sleep. I put nothing past them.
Sadly today’s focus is not on my canine abilities. Instead, we’re going to talk about my other favorite topic: the healing power of food. I know it sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus, or at least it did to me five years ago. It’s not though and before you go raising a sketchy eyebrow or two, get those things manicured. Just kidding, although I would urge you to think about it. Case in point: we’ve used ginger for centuries to help fight nausea and vomiting and people chug cranberry juice like it’s going out of style when UTI’s are involved. There’s a reason for it.
A brief word: I am not against modern medicine. We have advanced as a society for a reason and considering the Hubby is a budding young pharmacist, I happen to believe in the power of legal drugs and perhaps even some non-legal ones, depending on which state you live in. Popping pills, when used appropriately, can be life saving and the only known option for some. That being said, if there’s something we can do, independent of, or in addition to, taking medications with laundry lists of side effects larger than my own To Do Lists, we should give it a shot.
Back to the purpose of this post. A near and dear family friend asked me to write about Natural Ways To Reduce Your Cholesterol and since I have no medical degree and therefore no qualifications to talk about this, I thought I’d do it anyway. Side note: if you have high cholesterol, consult your physician.
If it helps, I, once upon a time, had high cholesterol. The doctor’s advice was to switch to low-fat cheese and skim milk. I got a different doctor.
Mary Clair, this one’s for you.
Natural Ways To Reduce Your Cholesterol 1
- Exercise, exercise, exercise. you don’t have to go out and complete a Tough Mudder; a brisk and daily walk can do wonders. Don’t rule out monkey loving either. Provided your partner has enough stamina to last longer than thirty seconds, it’s a win for all involved.
- Stop smoking. That shit will ruin you and age you faster than you can say Abracadabra. Take it from me, I have a boatload of lines around my mouth which scream regret.
- Get your fill of Omega 3 Fatty Acids or better yet Get Fishy With It. The benefits of fish are astronomical, although if it’s not in your wheelhouse, you can up your intake of Flax Seeds. I add a heaping scoop of flax powder to my near daily smoothies.
- Go Nuts. Oh how I’ve longer to hear that phrase. Just kidding; sort of. Consumption of almonds and walnuts can bring moderate reductions in your cholesterol.
Did you know all of my Granola Recipes are chock full of nuts, oats, the benefits of which will be explained a wee bit later, and flax powder. Henceforth from this moment forward, I deem my granola a bowl of cholesterol reducing prowess. Me-Yow.
- Pick unsaturated fats more often than its counterpart. Some examples of foods rich in unsaturated fats are avocados, olives, nut butters, seeds, and oils. While butter will always have a role in my life, I do the vast majority of my cooking with olive oil.
- Eat fiber filled foods. Not only do these help make you feel fuller longer, they keep your colon clean, and if you want to get all scientific about it, once consumed, soluble fiber attracts water and forms a gel-like consistency in your stomach, which helps block the absorption of cholesterol. 2
Let’s talk a little bit more about foods high in soluble fiber, because they’re my specialty. In all seriousness, I bet you could eat off my colon it’s so damn clean. Five second rule.
High Soluble Fiber Filled Foods 3
- Legumes and Beans, Beans, Beans. I’d prefer to sing an immature song to express my ever-loving beany delight (it’s a thing), but I shall save your eardrums. Instead, I will simply suggest a bowl of sassy and spicy Three Bean Chili, a Bean Medley Salad, or my absolute favorite Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers.
- Fruit Does a Body Good: as if we need a reason to ingest more whole fruits. It’s sweet and lovely, like nectar from the gods. Pears, in particular, are full of fibery goodness and just about ready to pop, so get your pear on this Fall. Make a Pear Salad, toss them into some Pasta or use them to top your Pizza. I bet you’ll never look at pears the same again.
- Oats: have you heard my granola is a bowl of cholesterol reducing prowess? You need to get on that.
- Eat. Yo. Veggies. For real, these gems are packed with fiber, especially artichokes, although you really can’t go wrong with any veggies.
Side note: do not fear the ‘choke. In fact, when done properly, they’re orbs of magical, flavor-filled, delight and one of my favorites. Need some examples?
How about a bowl of Stuffed Artichoke Soup with Brown Rice and Asiago?
Or maybe I could interest you in a Greek Quiche, packed with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives and feta cheese.
Or a straight up pictorial on Whole Artichokes?
Or a layered Fattoush Dip, complete with artichokes, olives, tomatoes, feta and hummus.
- Whole Wheat and Whole Grains. Yes, I am offering you bread and pasta. It really doesn’t get much better.
I serve my Ratatouille atop a bed of whole wheat penne, which makes it a cholesterol reducing machine. It also tastes like pure heaven or else I wouldn’t eat it.
Another one of my favorite pasta dishes is this spaghetti, with a boatload of sautéed garlic and feta cheese. Did I mention it’s incredible easy to make and a great use for your last lingering tomatoes?
The point of all this is really quite simple. Instead of focusing on eliminating things from your diet, there are foods you can incorporate to improve your health. They also happen to be edibles I happily ingest, by choice, on a daily basis. That’s winning in my book.
By the way, my cholesterol is better than ever, and my love affair with cheese is still going strong.
Tell me about your favorite cholesterol reducing foods. Was this post helpful for you, or was it information you already knew? If it’s the latter, please let me know. I recognize a portion of my audience is the HLB community, so I may be preaching to the choir and since I’m thinking about making this a series of sorts (Homeopathic Foods), your feedback is appreciated. Heck, your feedback is always appreciated.