What Beets, Bananas and Grapefuit Have in Common May Save Your Heart
Cholesterol has gotten a bad wrap in the media.
It is not bad, in fact, it is VITAL to our health! Sex (steroid) hormones are built from it, it is used in cell membranes, and it insulates nervous tissue so that our nerve responses are quick and precise.
The liver manufactures cholesterol from the protein, carbohydrates, and fats that we eat, but ONLY if we eat meat or dairy. No cholesterol is found in vegetables.
Too much of it, however, can be detrimental to our systems and especially the heart. It can accumulate in the bloodstream and clog arteries. This, in turn, causes disruption of the blood flow and an increase in blood pressure (blood, or any substance for that matter, moving through a small opening (capillary/artery) will exert high pressure on the walls of the opening).
Cholesterol molecules are often combined with triglycerides and phospholipids, which create a complex called a lipoprotein. There are 5 different lipoproteins:
- Ultra-low density lipoproteins (clymicron)
- Very-low-density lipoproteins
- Intermediate-density lipoproteins
- Low-density lipoproteins
- High-density lipoproteins
Just remember...the lower the density, the more saturated the fat, and the harder it is to break down in your body. The lower the density, the more fats are in the complex, in general.
Herbs that can Help
Citrus fruits (especially grapefruit), apples, beets, bananas, potatoes and green beans contain high amounts of pectin. This water-soluble fiber decreases cholesterol, fat absorption, and can reduce a rise in blood sugar. However, it works best in people who are consuming animal and dairy products where much of the LDL cholesterol comes from.
These berries are useful to reduce build up of cholesterol and thereby reducing blood pressure. Furthermore, it happens to have a vasodilatory action, which also reduced blood pressure.
Fenugreek contains soluble fiber like pectin and acts in a similar fashion to reduce circulating cholesterol levels. It also helps to alter cholesterol into a more useful chemical form so that it is not stored as fat.
Plantain seeds can help control cholesterol levels, fight obesity, and reduce appetite.
What foods do you eat that are high in pectin?
Jennifer Hutchison Taylor is a herbal therapist, physiologist, author, doula, and reiki practitioner who helps women rediscover their feminine beauty and find the complete path to healing. As the founder of Beauty in Bloom, her mission is to promote generational wellness by providing natural, sustainable, and holistic health solutions for women. Beauty in Bloom exists to create a world where women are happy, healthy, and are taken back to their roots for healing. While herbs are the main tools that she uses, she combines this modality with superfood nutrition, spiritual guidance, and her rich biological sciences background to teach a powerful and revolutionary approach to holistic health.