How Pistachios and Sunflower Seeds can dramatically lower your cholesterol
For millions of people suffering from heart disease, the current leading cause of death worldwide, numerous studies have revealed another healthy and delicious food option for lowering the possibility of complications related to high cholesterol.
Pistachios and Sunflower seeds have been found to have the highest quantities of cholesterol lowering phytosterols (beta sitosterol) among all commonly eaten nuts and seeds.
Phytosterols, found in plants, are believed to block absorption of cholesterol in the intestine (*NLM). 3.5 ounces (2 handfuls) of pistachios contain approximately 280 milligrams of phytosterols, followed closely by sunflower seeds at 270milligrams. Consumed daily for 4 weeks, this quantity of pistachios caused a reduction in total blood cholesterol levels by 8.4%, and dropped low density lipoprotein by 11.6% (*PSU).
In addition to phytosterols, pistachios also contain the most lutein, beta carotene, gamma tocopherol, and zeaxanthin of all tree nuts. These antioxidants are being explored for their role in reducing bloodstream cholesterol and arterial plaque formation, as oxidized lipoproteins are significant contributors to these problems.
The combination of these factors combined with their impact on magnesium levels (and how it relates to cholesterol) make pistachios and sunflower seeds among the healthiest dietary options available in reducing cholesterol and increasing plant sources of vitamins and minerals.
Healthy recipes with Pistachio nuts:
- Pistachio Crusted Salmon Filet
- Pistachio Muffins
- Pistachio Rum Muffins
- Pistachio Granola
- Lemon Pistachio Pesto
- Couscous and Chickpea Salad with Pistachios
- Pistachio-Strawberry Pie
- Pistachio Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette
Recipes with sunflower seeds: