If your cholesterol levels are elevated, adding a daily green smoothie (as part of a sensible, healthy diet) may help lower your bad cholesterol while raising your good cholesterol.

While vegan diets have been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,1 you don’t have to become vegan in order to gain some of the cholesterol-lowering benefits of plant-based foods.

Eating a whole foods, mostly plant-based diet that is low in saturated fat and “trans-fat”, high in fiber, and rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and lean proteins have also been shown to provide cholesterol lowering benefits.

Use Strawberries
As for specific fruits and vegetables that may provide some cholesterol-lowering benefit, some studies have shown that strawberries may be effective at lowering cholesterol levels. 2

Use Avocado
A small study in Mexico published in the winter 1996 edition of The Archives of Medical Research showed that an avocado-enriched diet lowered LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels while increasing HDL cholesterol (the good kind of cholesterol) in both healthy and hypocholesterolemic patients. 3

Use Apples
Apples, as well as other fruits and vegetables in the diet were found to lower cholesterol levels in a large study involving 42,972 men and women from 1993 to 1997 and published in the Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology. 4

Green Smoothie Foods For Lowering Cholesterol

Green smoothies, as well as fruits and vegetables, do not contain saturated or trans fats, so they can be used to replace foods that are high in unhealthy types of fats. Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet in the form of green smoothies might be effective in helping to lower cholesterol levels.

All fruits and vegetables should provide some benefit, and the research specifically points to apples, strawberries and avocados.

5 Green Smoothie Recipes For Lowering Cholesterol

To make the recipes on this page, add the ingredients to the blender in the order listed. Then blend on high for 30-60 seconds until smooth.

1) Apple Avocado Smoothie

  • 8 ounces (236 ml) unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 apple, cored
  • 1/4 avocado, peeled
  • 2 cups baby spinach

2) Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie

  • 8 ounces unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 10 medium strawberries
  • 1/4 lemon, peeled and deseeded
  • 2-3 large kale leaves, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds, soaked for 5 minutes

3) Zesty-Tropical Smoothie

  • 4 to 6 ounces of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 pear, cored
  • 1 cup pineapple, cubed
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh, grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds, soaked for 5 minutes

4) Tropical-Ginger Smoothie

  • 6 ounces of filtered water
  • 1 cup pineapple, peeled
  • 1 mango, peeled
  • 2 cups kale, chopped or torn into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fresh, grated ginger

5) Apple Green Smoothie

  • 4 to 6 ounces of filtered water
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 large apple, cored
  • 1/2 cucumber, with peel
  • 1/4 avocado, peeled
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach

Sources:

1 – Craig, W. (2009, March). Health effects of vegan diets. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89(5), 1627516335. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.26736N.

2 – Jenkins, D., Nguyen, T., Kendall, C., Faulkner, D., Bashyam, B., Kim, I., & et al. (2008, December). The effect of strawberries in a cholesterol-lowering dietary portfolio. Metabolism, 57(12), 1636-1644. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2008.07.018.

3 – Lopez, L., Frati, M., Hernandez, D., Cervantes, M., Hernandez, L., Juarez, C., & et al. (1996, Winter). Monounsaturated fatty acid (avocado) rich diet for mild hypercholesterolemia. Archives of Medical Research, 27(4), 519-523. PMID:8987188.

4 – Hansen, L., Vehof, H., Dragsted, O., Olsen, A., Christensen, J., Overvad, K., & et al. (2009). Fruit and vegetable intake and serum cholesterol levels: a crosssectional study in the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort. Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology, Special Issue, 42-46.

Source: davyandtracy.com

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