Red Bell Pepper Controls Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an important element present in the body that has a number of fundamental roles to perform. It is the foundation for the synthesis of bile acids and diverse hormones, and assists in stabilizing cell membranes.

Normal levels of cholesterol are necessary for good health; however, raised levels significantly augment the risk of developing cardiac diseases (atherosclerosis or plaque formation within the arteries, angina and heart attack).

Atherosclerosis is the narrowing and hardening of arteries due to a build up of cholesterol. It is largely responsible for the occurrence of coronary artery disease (CAD) and stroke.

Bell Peppers Reduce Blood Cholesterol Level Significantly

Bell peppers (capsicum) are rich in capsaicin, flavanoids and vitamin C. These prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol), thus staving off the occurrence of a heart attack.

Furthermore, bell peppers prevent platelet aggregation within the arteries, i.e. blood clot formation, and consequently decrease the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Thus, the consumption of bell peppers should be promoted in individuals who demonstrate raised levels of cholesterol.

Other Nutritional benefits of the Bell Pepper

Bell peppers are extremely nutrient-dense foods. They provide liberal amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6 and folic acid.

They also supply phyto-chemicals that act as free radical scavengers and destroyers.

Quick Serve Ideas for Bell Peppers: Add Bell Peppers to the Daily Diet

Bell peppers are available throughout the year. While buying peppers, ensure that they are firm and bright in appearance. Avoid dry, wrinkled ones, and ones that are bruised and show signs of decay.

- Add bell peppers to all pasta, pizza and salad dishes. Experiment with green, yellow and red varieties.
- Adding peppers to soups and vegetable juices is recommended.
- Bell peppers also make a very good addition to stir fries and casseroles.
- Grill bell peppers and marinate them using olive oil, lemon juice, pounded black pepper and garlic.
- Stuffed peppers are always delicious. Core the peppers and steam them. Stuff them with a favorite stuffing – low fat cottage cheese or onions and potatoes. Bake for about 10 minutes.

In conjunction with this, it is imperative to follow a heart-friendly diet. Incorporate loads of fiber-rich foods, they are protective against atherosclerosis, and eliminate fatty and refined foods.

Exercise is a must in the cholesterol-lowering regimen. Likewise, get rid of superfluous fat and attain an ideal body weight; it helps normalize cholesterol levels faster.

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