By now we all know that one of the most feared conditions for heart health is high cholesterol, one of the most recurrent diagnoses in medical consultations today. Although there are several factors that trigger it, it is well known that among the main ones is a high consumption of fatty foods and low physical activity. The good news is that the best antidote is to make adjustments in the lifestyle and the quality of the diet, specifically there are some foods that are the best ally. One of the most recommended is a generous and satiating vegetable that has become very fashionable in various nutrition trends and is characterized by its immense nutritional power and versatility: the sweet potato.
Having too many cholesterol particles in the blood makes them accumulate on the walls of the arteries and eventually, deposits called plaques can form. The deposits can narrow or block the arteries and generate various complications that in some cases become fatal.
It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables are a great option for people with high cholesterol levels. Specifically, according to statements by Heart UK, it is known that foods that are characterized by their nutrient density, They have the power to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and even some types of cancer. And the common element that makes fruits and vegetables a fundamental ally for cardiovascular health is fiber. In fact, according to official statements from the Mayo Clinic, soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.
It has been shown that consuming between 5 and 10 grams (or preferably more) of soluble fiber a day is one of the best methods to reduce LDL cholesterol popularly named as “bad.” It receives this title because it causes health problems, including heart disease and various cardiovascular accidents that can be fatal. The reason this type of fiber is particularly beneficial is that it is not absorbed in the intestines and can help remove cholesterol from the body by binding it.
Therefore, for those who are looking for foods that are a good daily supplement to reduce cholesterol levels, The National Lipid Association recommends choosing foods high in soluble fiber. In fact, various organizations that are recognized worldwide such as the United Kingdom Heart Charity Organization list sweet potatoes or sweet potatoes as a good option.
Broadly speaking, we can say that the sweet potato is a plant of the familia Convolvulaceae, cultivated throughout much of the world for its edible tuberous root. It is characterized by being a vegetable full of energy, since it has a high concentration of carbohydrates, as well as being rich in fiber, B vitamins, vitamin A, C and minerals such as potassium and magnesium, that help in the prevention of some diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart attack. Specifically, sweet potatoes are known to contain eight grams of total dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. It is worth mentioning that insoluble fiber describes an indigestible carbohydrate that does not dissolve in warm water.
In addition to its extraordinary fiber content, according to the Harvard School of Public Health TH Chan. sweet potatoes they are also rich in beta-carotene and anthocyanins, a flavonoid with antioxidant effects. And they are a great supplement to help us meet daily potassium needs, since they provide about 12% of the daily requirement. Potassium helps control sodium levels in the body, and is a very important mineral for managing hypertension. Hence a healthy balance between potassium and sodium, is a good strategy to prevent thickening of the blood arteries, which can be a problem caused by high cholesterol levels.
Best of all, the sweet potato It is a very enjoyable, accessible vegetable that is easy to integrate into the daily diet. It is ideal to consume pureed, in salads and ceviches, as a rich garnish: either roasted, steamed, baked or grilled; it is also ideal for preparing soups, creams and sauces. It also goes great with all kinds of vegetables, seeds, nuts and whole grains.
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