Keeping ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in check cuts the risk of heart disease, stroke and memory loss by 50 percent, plus helps immune cells circulate easily, reducing the risk of COVID-19 complications. And spring is the perfect time to tackle LDLs that tend to creep up over winter. To supercharge your ability to rein in these blood fats…
Finally! It’s the ideal time of year to clean up perennial beds and start spring planting. Whether you’re gardening or going for a walk, simply moving your muscles for 15 minutes daily reduces LDLs by 14 points, suggests a study in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. That’s because muscles burn LDLs for fuel, and outdoor motion gives the biggest benefits since sun exposure energizes the muscle enzymes that do this important job!
Snack on dates.
Great news from Italian scientists: Nibbling on 3 to 4 dried dates daily can trim 8 points off your LDL level. Says Maria Rondanelli, M.D., dates are rich in fiber and carotenoids that block cholesterol absorption in the intestines. A tasty on-the-go option: Sweet, nutrient-rich MAGICdATES (MagicDatesBites.com).
Try this vitamin E.
There are eight natural forms of vitamin E, and four of them (called tocotrienols) switch off liver enzymes that make LDLs. Take 50 to 100 mg. of tocotrienols daily, and your LDLs could drop by 25 percent. Cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, M.D., adds that taking them with food can double absorption. Try: Doctor’s Best Tocotrienols Vitamin E (Buy at Amazon, $14).
Enjoy a citrus treat.
Eating one red grapefruit a day could lower your LDLs by 20 percent in one month. This diet tweak is so powerful, it works even when statins don’t, University of Arizona scientists say. The fruit’s limonoids and lycopene tamp down LDL formation in the liver.
Hurray for R&R!
Relaxing for 30 minutes daily cuts your risk of high LDLs by 50 percent, say Utah State University scientists. Daily breaks tamp down the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that soaks into your liver and disrupts its cholesterol control.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.