High cholesterol doesn’t come with any symptoms, but that doesn’t mean it’s nothing to worry about. As you probably know, heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the U.S. for both men and women. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes having elevated levels of cholesterol puts you at a significantly higher risk for heart disease.
If you lower your cholesterol, you also lower your risk for heart attacks and surgery later on. And while it’s important to eat a diet full of fruits and veggies, there are also beverages that you’ll want to consider adding to your diet.
Teas have been known for their healing properties for centuries. And if you’re looking for something warm and soothing to drink before you head to bed each night, green tea may be the answer. Healthline explains a meta-analysis from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that this beverage has the ability to lower “bad,” or LDL, cholesterol. The study noted there was no significant impact on “good,” or HDL, cholesterol, however.
So, why is green tea so good? The antioxidants found in this drink are what help cholesterol the most, though it’s important to note not all green tea is equal. How processed the tea is can also effect how good it is for your body. Aside from green tea, hibiscus tea also has incredibly high amounts of antioxidants.
Tart cherry juice
PR Newswire notes a study published in Food & Function found tart cherry juice may help cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health in general. The study tested a group of 34 older adults and divided them into two groups. One group drank tart cherry juice for 12 weeks, and the other group drank a cherry-flavored placebo drink. The researchers found that overall, the test group who drank the cherry juice had significantly lowered levels of LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.
The test group is admittedly small, but even so, we can’t ignore these findings. Just make sure if you’re adding cherry juice to your diet for heart health, it’s not sweetened.
If you like grapefruit, oranges, and lemons, you’re in luck, as the juice of citrus fruits may be helpful in reducing cholesterol levels. WebMD notes studies have found that the juice of red grapefruit contains antioxidants that could be helpful to your heart. And Livestrong.com says additional studies have shown that drinking a glass of water with lemon juice has also shown promising results for those with high cholesterol. Not only that, but the peel of the lemon may also make a difference.
It may not be a miracle cure, but even so, flavoring your water with a little bit of citrus each day may have more benefits than you originally thought.
While you be used to drinking delicious cranberry juice cocktail, you’ll want to switch to the sugar-free version for the heart benefits. WebMD notes a long-term study found drinking two glasses of plain cranberry juice per day was enough to raise levels of good HDL cholesterol. Additionally, the beverage seemed to also lower levels of LDL cholesterol. And you can thank the powerful antioxidants that are in the fruit for that.
If cranberries are just too bitter for your palate, it may also be worth giving blueberries a try. Verywell notes a few studies have found the antioxidants in blueberry juice can help lower LDL cholesterol levels, too.