Hot drink ‘exceptionally high’ in cholesterol-busting flavonoids

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced inside the level. The body must maintain a delicate balance of cholesterol – too much of the “bad” type can clog up your arteries, causing a host of serious health problems. Fortunately, a hot drink is on hand to help you lower high cholesterol levels: green tea.

Green tea originates from China, where the leaves are processed with heat using a pan-firing or roasting method and Japan, where the leaves are more commonly steamed.

“Green tea is exceptionally high in flavonoids that can help boost your heart health by lowering bad cholesterol and reducing blood clotting,” explains health body Penn Medicine.

Flavonoids are plant compounds that have been shown to have a positive effect on cholesterol.

Multiple studies have demonstrated the cholesterol-busting effect of green tea.

A meta-analysis from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that green tea significantly reduces total cholesterol, including LDL or “bad” cholesterol, in the blood.

However, green tea didn’t affect HDL, or “good” cholesterol – the type that counters the harmful effects of LDL cholesterol.

Another meta-analysis examined the effect of green tea consumption on blood pressure.

Researchers compared the findings of 13 studies from multiple databases.

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Changes in cholesterol, blood glucose and body mass index were also assessed in the meta-analysis.

What did the researchers learn?

A significant reduction was found in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

A further analysis suggested a greater reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure following green tea intake.

The researchers attributed the cholesterol reduction to catechins found in green tea.

Catechins are compounds found in green which are proven to have positive health effects.

Can you overdo green tea?

When consumed in moderation (around eight cups a day) green tea is reportedly safe for healthy adults to drink.

“However, drinking large amounts of green tea may cause side effects due to the fact it contains caffeine,” warns Holland and Barrett.

“Possible green tea side effects include: headaches and sleep problems.”

General tips to lower high cholesterol

You can lower your cholesterol by eating healthily and getting more exercise.

According to the NHS, you should try to cut down on fatty food, especially food that contains a type of fat called saturated fat.

“You can still have foods that contain a healthier type of fat called unsaturated fat,” notes the health body.

Try to eat more:

  • Oily fish, like mackerel and salmon
  • Brown rice, bread and pasta
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits and vegetables.

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