Cholesterol is a very topical subject these days, but what exactly is it?
Well firstly it is the most prominent steroid in the human body produced by the liver. Cholesterol helps the body manufacture hormones, vitamin D and substances such as bile which helps with food digestion. The human body makes all the cholesterol it needs but sometimes an excess is manufactured or it gets more from our diet. Cholesterol cannot dissolve which may result in ‘a Cholesterol surplus’ condition.
In an attempt to rid itself of excess cholesterol, the body pushes it up against the artery walls; making the arteries narrower. The consequence of this is that the oxygen rich blood struggles to pass through the body, which can lead to cardiovascular diseases, including high blood pressure, stroke and heart attacks.
The good news is that excess cholesterol can usually be managed with a few well chosen lifestyle changes. The easiest is eating less animal foods, which contain cholesterol. Regular exercise boosts blood circulation, strengthens the heart muscle and can dislodge cholesterol build-up. Cutting out cigarettes and cutting down on alcohol consumption (the two most common causes of cholesterol build-up) also helps.“Adding Chia regularly to your daily diet will help as studies in animals have already shown that Chia significantly reduces blood fat and increases good cholesterol (HDL) levels.”
Furthermore, the alpha-linolenic acid in Chia has been proven to reduce fat build-up in arteries by lowering cholesterol levels. According to the American Heart Association, diets high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), have been associated with a 70% drop in coronary heart disease compared with typical diets that are low in this important omega-3 fatty acid.