In our blood, as we all know by now, there is a good cholesterol high-density lipoprotein named HDL it's a bad cholesterol low density called LDL.
When LDL exceeds and exceeds in quantity it can lead to various problems and can trigger heart disease and predisposition to heart attacks.
Good cholesterol, on the other hand, contrasts bad cholesterol and helps protect our organs, in particular by preserving the functionality of the brain and also slowing down aging.
Good cholesterol: how to increase it
HDL cholesterol is increased when we consume monounsaturated fats; in diet we will therefore have to on the one hand aincrease those foods rich in good quality vegetable oils and fats, and on the other side reduce saturated fats especially of animal origin which increase circulating triglycerides in the blood (LDL).
Foods of vegetable origin contain good fats; among these, the most suitable, both in natural form and as cold-pressed oil, are:
> sunflower seeds
> the olives
> the avocado
> pumpkin seeds
Also try pumpkin seed oil against cholesterol
Sunflower seeds: the first ally to lower bad cholesterol
I ssunflower seeds contain phytosterols, good quality vegetable fats not surprisingly defined as "plant cholesterol" because of the chemical conformation similar to human cholesterol.
The presence of phytoestrogens capable of mimicking the functionality of estrogen in our body allows increase the amounts of good cholesterol in circulation countering the bad one.
According to some studies on phytosterols, just the use of sunflower seeds as snack and with a daily consumption led to a reduction in the amount of bad cholesterol circulating in the blood.
Sufficient presence of phytosterols in the diet would reduce LDL cholesterol levels, significantly lowering the risk of heart disease, incidence of some forms of cancer and it also appears to increase the immune response of individuals.
We naturally remember that thelowering bad cholesterol cannot be delegated only to the consumption of sunflower seeds but it is advisable to have healthy behaviors (do not drink, do not smoke and maintain a weight according to your height), exercise and follow a balanced diet.
Sunflower seeds and their properties
The sunflower plant forms a large flower on stems that can exceed 2 meters in height. Once the flower, or rather the inflorescence, has been pollinated, black-gray fruits are formed which each contain a single light gray, streaked, black or white seed.
This seed is precisely the sunflower seed which can be eaten fresh in its natural state but which we often find toasted and enriched or flavored in packages sold in stores.
Sunflower seeds, in addition to lowering bad cholesterol, have other beneficial properties and contain numerous active ingredients and useful nutritional substances.
Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin D, E and group B and they have minerals including iron (very present in sunflower sprouts), magnesium, selenium, cobalt, manganese, zinc and copper.
Use of sunflower seeds in the kitchen
Obviously the natural form is the best one to take sunflower seeds. They can be eaten like snack and for snack maybe added in yogurt, or they will enrich the mixed salads of fresh vegetables or fruit salads, be chopped and added in the iMeals for bread and biscuits or in cakes with other oleaginous seeds.
If you love roasting it is advisable to do it at home sautéing them on the fire and lightly toasting the outside of the seed without roasting it under penalty of the loss of numerous properties.
The dosage is of 2 tablespoons a day to enjoy all their properties.
Even in the form of sunflower oil it can be added to the diet and the purchase of the type of oil always falls into the mechanical cold pressing thus avoiding the chemicals used for non-mechanical extraction. Also, when possible, choose a product from organic farming, always to be preferred both for the environment and for human health.
Have you ever tried sunflower seed seitan steaks?