Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like compound that belongs to a class of molecules called steroids. It’s found in many foods, in your bloodstream and in all your body’s cells. If you had a handful of cholesterol, it might feel like a soft, melted candle.
Cholesterol performs three main functions:
It helps make the outer coating of cells.
It makes up the bile acids that work to digest food in the intestine.
It allows the body to make Vitamin D and hormones, like estrogen in women and testosterone in men.
In other words, cholesterol is a type of fat that people normally carry in their blood but it can act as an ally or a deadly enemy.
The liver is the organ responsible for producing the cholesterol we need . However, when you consume foods like eggs, organ meats, red meat, seafood and dairy you build extra amount of unwanted cholesterol in the body. Too much cholesterol can cause cardiovascular disease and stroke. When cholesterol builds up in the arteries it causes them to be narrow and hard. This is known as atherosclerosis.
Licensed dietitians and nutritionist advise us to limit our consumption of foods that will increase cholesterol levels. On the other hand, it is necessary to consume high amounts of foods that will not only help control cholesterol but also reduce it.
One food that has been found to lower cholesterol are strawberries. Strawberries have nutritional compounds that are helpful to lowering cholesterol .Not only is this fruit fresh and delicious but it gives you the vitamins and minerals that will help improve your health and prevent cardiovascular problems . The researchers at Universidad Politecnica delle Marche (UNIVPM Italy) along with their colleagues from the Universities of Salamanca, conducted an analysis that reveals how the consumption of 500 grams of strawberries help reduce cholesterol.
They have found that regular consumption of strawberries helped to achieve a decline in the total amount of cholesterol (8.78 percent), bad cholesterol (13.72 percent) and triglycerides – a kind of fat found in blood (20.8 percent) – without affecting the level of good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein or HDL).
Apart from lowering cholesterol, the strawberry diet helped to improve general plasma lipid profile, antioxidants and antihemolytic activities and platelet function, according to a statement from the researchers.
However, researchers could not find out the exact compound in the strawberries that helped this occurrence. Based on previous evidence, they said that anthocyanin, the flavonoid pigments which provide color to strawberry may be playing a major role.