May 25, 2011

The tastiest way to lower dangerous cholesterol by 14%

If your doctor is telling you to lower your cholesterol and starts pushing statins, tell him you have a better idea. Simply eating this ancient superfood could drop your cholesterol by 5% or more.

In a small study, researchers followed 16 females with symptoms of metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes). They gave each of the women two cups a day of freeze-dried strawberry powder for four weeks. Each cup had 25 grams of powder.

Here’s what they found. Their overall cholesterol levels dropped 5%. Their LDL cholesterol dropped 6%. The all-important lipid peroxidation product (those lipids that are responsible for injuring your arteries) dropped a remarkable 14%. It also lowered their oxidized LDL levels. This is the truly damaging form of cholesterol.

They also found that their blood levels of the strawberry flavonoid ellagic acid were higher. This flavonoid fights cancer and acts as an antioxidant.

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I’ve also called berries superfoods. The fresh berry fruit is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. And they’re lower in sugar than melons and some other fruits. That means diabetics can typically eat them. It doesn’t have to be strawberries. All berries will have similar benefits due to their incredible colorful flavonoids.

Of course, strawberries must be organic, as conventional strawberry growers heavily poison their crops with agricultural chemicals. While I believe in eating what grows around you when in season, I depart from that ideal when it comes to berries. My wife and I buy or grow hundreds of pounds of berries each summer and freeze them for munching or eating in smoothies in the cold months. You can buy organic berries at Costco!

Ref: Nutr J, 2009; 8(1): 43.

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