Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spice Up to Lower Cholesterol

Your body brilliantly manufactures cholesterol, that waxy
fat found in every one of your cells. Cholesterol is essential
for making hormones and vitamin D and also plays a role in
abetting fat digestion. But when blood levels of "bad" LDL
cholesterol are too high, your risk of heart disease rachets
up. Exercising regularly, avoiding trans fats, and eating more
"good" mono- and polyunsaturated fats such as those found
in fish, nuts, and olive oil are smart ways to keep cholesterol
in balance- as is dialing down your sugar and refined carb intake.
Here's another strategy: Add a little spice to your diet- it's a
delectable way to edge cholesterol levels downward. Turns out,
many herbs and spices are loaded with antioxidant and anti-
inflammatory activity, which your heart simply loves. In
particular, garlic, onion, ginger, and turmeric are all proven
heart-friendly culinary herbs and spices. And fiber-rich
fenugreek seeds- used in Indian curries, baked in Egyptian
bread, and enjoyed as a drink in northern Africa- can also
lower blood sugar as well as cholesterol.
Fenugreek Garlic Dip
2 Tbsp fenugreek powder, 1/2 c chopped onion, 1 Tbsp minced
garlic, 1/4 c olive oil, 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped, 1 small
chile pepper, seeded and chopped, 1/4 tsp cumin,  1/4 c chopped
cilantro, 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Put fenugreek and 2 cups of water in bowl. Cover. Let stand 12
hours. Pour off water. Cook onion and garlic in oil in skillet over medium
heat, stirring, 4 minutes. Add tomato, pepper, cumin, and soaked fenugreek.
Cook on low, stirring, 8 minutes. Puree in blender with cilantro, juice,
and salt to taste. Add a bit of water if needed.
-Prevention Magazine, June 2013