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Top 10 Foods To Lower Cholesterol - #1 - Almonds

Monday, April 22, 2013

From www.realage.com/heart-he

If you have unhealthy cholesterol levels (or want to prevent them), one of the first things you should examine is your diet. Are you eating foods that help reduce cholesterol? Or avoiding the ones that cause unhealthy cholesterol levels to creep higher?

This series will cover 10 cholesterol-lowering foods you should consider grabbing the next time you're at the grocery store.

#1 -Almonds

Almonds are pretty hardworking nuts when it comes to lowering your cholesterol. First, they're rich in unsaturated fats that help raise healthy HDL cholesterol while lowering unhealthy LDL. Second, these fats also help make LDL cholesterol less likely to oxidize. Which is a fabulous thing, because when LDL oxidizes, it's more likely to gunk up your arteries and cut blood flow to the heart. Snack away. But do keep an eye on portion size. Almonds are high in calories, and all you need are a couple of ounces a day to reap benefits.

tells us that

- Botanically, they are the fruits from species of tree belonging to the family of Rosaceae, of Genus: Prunus. Scientific name: Prunus dulcis.
- During spring season, the tree bears whitish-pink flowers that ultimately become fruits by autumn. In structure, the fruit is a drupe. A single edible seed (kernel), known as ‘almond nut’, is actually enclosed inside the stony hard shell.
- Almond nuts are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals; the kind of well-balanced food ensuring protection against diseases and cancers.
- These nuts are the complete source of energy as well as nutrients. They are especially, rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and palmitoleic acids that help to lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increase HDL or "good cholesterol." Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet, which is excellent in monounsaturated fatty acids help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
- The nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E; contain about 25 g per100 g (about 170% of RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining cell membrane integrity of mucus membranes and skin by protecting from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
- Almonds are free in gluten and therefore, are one of the popular ingredients in the preparation of gluten-free food formulas. Such formula preparations are, in fact, healthy alternatives in people with wheat food allergy and celiac disease.
- These nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. Together, these vitamins work as co-factors for enzymes during cellular substrate metabolism.
- Further, they are also an incredible source of minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
- Almond oil is extracted from the nuts used as an emollient. Applied regularly, it helps keep skin well protected from dryness. Additionally, the oil is used in cooking in Iran, and Turkey. It is also used as “carrier or base oil” in traditional medicines in aromatherapy, in pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.

shares something a little different. I think it would be great for a BBQ meal with salad and a nice addition to any buffet.

Almond Carrots

Makes 12 servings

2 pounds carrots, sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced (red would be pretty)
1 small green bell pepper (or red or a combination), cut into thin strips
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon dried basil
(Slivered almonds can be added.)

1. In a medium saucepan with enough water to cover, boil carrots until tender but crisp. Remove from heat, drain, and place in a medium bowl with onion and pepper.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, blend oil, sugar, vinegar, almond extract and basil. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved.
3. Pour the oil mixture over the carrot mixture. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight before serving cold.

Nutritional info per serving (1/12 of recipe)
Calories - 145
Total Fat - 9.3g
Saturated Fat - 1.5g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 44mg
Potassium - 200mg
Total Carbohydrates - 15.4g
Dietary Fibre - 2.5g
Protein - 0.7g
Sugars - 11.3g
Vitamin A - 258%
Vitamin C - 14%
Calcium - 3%
Iron - 3%
Thiamin - 3%
Niacin - 5%
Vitamin B6 - 9%
Magnesium - 3%
Folate = 7%

"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food." ~ Hippocrates

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