Lowering one’s cholesterol is usually associated with a restricted diet. This may be true in the sense that for regulating the cholesterol one has to make slight dietary changes, for example to avoid greasy foods. However, this does not at all mean that the food should be dull and bland. There is an array of flavors, spices, herbs and condiments that can be used safely and that not only do not raise further the cholesterol levels, but in fact contribute to their lowering.
Healthy seasoning for lower cholesterol
Garlic is one of the most used seasonings in many international cuisines, and in some it is virtually indispensable. It is also one of the healthiest. Natural garlic is widely used for lowering cholesterol levels, and there are also garlic supplements designed for that purpose. Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which has many health-promoting properties. Fresh garlic boosts the immune system, fights infections, regulates blood pressure and cholesterol and protects the heart.
Ginger is a plant usually used for nausea in morning sickness or motion sickness, and it also has benefits for people who suffer from colitis and arthritis. However, recent studies have shown that ginger may lower cholesterol and prevent blood clotting.
Pumpkin seeds are among the healthiest natural snacks. They contain phytosterols, natural compounds that, consumed in large quantities, are believed to be able to lower cholesterol levels. In fact, it is estimated that two grams of phytosterols per day can lower LDL, the so called “bad cholesterol” by 10 to 14 percent. Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, taste equally great raw and roasted, but it is recommended, for health’s sake, not to put too much salt on them.
Cinnamon is a spice mostly used during wintertime. However, it is so healthy that it should be used all year round, because it can regulate triglicerides, LDL cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It has anti-inflammatory properties and prevents the clumping of blood platelets. Just one half of a teaspoon of cinnamon per day is a sufficient quantity for its benefits to start showing.
Flax seeds are another excellent condiment that offers many positive effects on the overall health. They contain omega-3 essential fatty acid, which is important for normal blood pressure. It is estimated that just 20 grams of flax seeds per day equals the effects of cholesterol medication use over the course of two months.
Garlic Ginger Broccoli with Pumpkin Seeds Recipe
In this recipe, one medium sized bunch of broccoli is boiled in some water for three minutes and then rinsed with cold water. In a skillet, two minced garlic cloves are briefly sautéed on some olive oil before adding the broccoli. After they have sautéed together for a while, two tablespoons of tamari soy sauce, one tablespoon of fresh grated ginger and one clove of uncooked garlic are added to the skillet, which is then removed from heat. The dish is then seasoned with one quarter cup of lightly roasted pumpkin seeds and served.