The food that lowers cholesterol and helps improve cardiovascular function

Cholesterol is a substance present in the blood and necessary at adequate levels for some vital functions of the body; The body needs this lipid to form healthy cells, but when the levels of this component are high, fat deposits can form in the blood vessels, which can clog the arteries and prevent the free circulation of blood.

The body needs certain amounts of cholesterol to function properly. according to the Spanish Heart Foundation. This waxy substance is mostly produced in the liver, although it can also be obtained from certain foods.

Cholesterol is present in the skin, muscles, heart, nervous system, liver, and intestines. In addition, it is divided into two categories that allow us to identify whether it is bad cholesterol (LDL) or good cholesterol (HDL). As the Mayo Clinic explains, Good cholesterol helps remove other types of this substance from the bloodstream. When HDL levels increase, there is a lower risk of developing heart disease.

Some research mentions that certain foods can help lower blood cholesterol levels naturally as long as they are accompanied by a healthy and balanced diet, rich in proteins, carbohydrates in their natural state, many fruits and vegetables.

High cholesterol can clog the arteries. – Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A new clinical trial of King’s College of London (United Kingdom) has discovered that the daily consumption of cranberries for a month improves cardiovascular function in healthy men. In the research, published in the scientific journal Food & Function and picked up by Europe Press45 healthy men who consumed whole blueberry powder equivalent to 100 grams of fresh blueberries per day (9 grams of powder) or a placebo for one month.

Those patients who consumed blueberries had a significant improvement in flow-mediated dilation (FMD), indicating an improvement in the function of the heart and blood vessels. FMD is considered a sensitive biomarker of cardiovascular disease risk and measures how blood vessels widen when blood flow is increased.

“The increases in polyphenols and metabolites in the bloodstream and improvements related to flow-mediated dilation following consumption of blueberries underscore the important role that blueberries may play in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases”, explains Ana Rodríguez-Mateos, Full Professor of Nutrition in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at King’s College London and lead author of the study.

“The fact that these improvements in cardiovascular health have been observed with an amount of blueberries that can reasonably be consumed on a daily basis makes the blueberry an important fruit in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases for the general public”.

blueberries
Blueberries can help lower high cholesterol levels. – Photo: Getty Images

“Our results provide strong evidence that cranberries can significantly affect vascular health even in people at low risk. This study further indicates that specific metabolites present in the blood after blueberry consumption are associated with beneficial effects,” said Christian Heiss, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Surrey and co-author of the study.

Mayo Clinic explains that high cholesterol can be inherited, as well as the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, in the latter case it can be prevented by performing physical activity on a regular basis and eating a healthy and balanced diet; In addition, experts recommend avoiding tobacco consumption and reducing alcohol intake to its maximum expression. The treatment of this disease varies according to the case.

The media mentions that the first test to detect this disease should be done between the ages of nine and 11; younger adults should be tested every five years; and men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every one to two years.