Cholesterol is a component of the metabolism that circulates in the blood and is used by the body to maintain the integrity of the cells, synthesize the bile, to metabolize carbohydrates, to produce hormones, acids and vitamin D and help the immune system fight cancer. Also, cholesterol is a component of all membranes in the body and is essential for our health. Generally, when we hear “cholesterol”, automatically we think about something bad, but things are not so simple.

Cholesterol comes from two sources: it is produced by the liver by making various nutrients and directly from using animal products (which is absorbed by the body and added first).

As you may see, cholesterol is not only about diseases, but it also an important component in the proper functioning of the body. What you need to know is that there are two types of cholesterol: “good” and “bad”.

High cholesterol is a growing problem and is caused by having an unhealthy diet and being subject to the day to day stress. If some foods can cause high cholesterol, there are others who treat it. Here are some foods that are guaranteed to lower cholesterol.

1. Oats

If you want to lower your cholesterol, the main key is to have breakfast every day. Eat oats and in six weeks the LDL cholesterole (bad cholesterol) will decrease by 5.3 percent. This is due to the beta-glucan, a substance contained in oats that absorbs harmful substances and helps the body eliminate them.

2. Red wine

Researchers gives you yet another reason why it is good to drink red wine. It appears that the fibers inside red grapes have significant effects on cholesterol. A study conducted by the department on issues of metabolism and nutrition at the Complutense University in Madrid shows that those who drink wine regularly have lower cholesterol by 9%. Those that had highly increased cholesterol levels saw a staggering decrease by 12 percent.

3. Salmon and oily fish

Omega 3 is one of the miracles of food, the best way to prevent dementia, heart disease and numerous other ailments. It also lowers cholesterol. According to researchers at the Loma Londa University, those who replaced saturated fats with Omega 3 have seen a decrease in cholesterol by 4 percentage. Omega 3 are easier to find than you can imagine: sardines, salmon, herring and generally delicious oily fish. So, you should start including in your diet at least two weekly portions of Omega 3 fish.

4. Walnuts

If you want to lower the level of LDL cholesterol, researchers will encourage you to start eating nuts. American Journal of Nutrition shows that 42 grams of nuts, 6 days a week for a month, will contribute to a decrease in LDL cholesterol levels by 9.3%. Almonds and cashew nuts are also a great alternative. However, remember that nuts are very high in calories, so do not overdo it.

5. Beans

Beans are good for the heart, as shown by researchers at the University of Arizona. A half cup of beans added in your favorite soup will lower total cholesterol by 8%. The key to a healthy heart is a diet rich in fiber.

6. Black and White Tea

Black or white tea is known for its antioxidant effects, protecting against high levels of LDL. Black tea reduces fat by 10% in three weeks. Amazing, right?

7. Dark Chocolate

The antioxidants contained in chocolate increase good cholesterol by 24 percent in the 12 weeks of moderate consumption. Choose a minimum of 70% cocoa chocolate. It’s much healthier and tastier than regular chocolate.

8. Spinach

Popeye’ s favorite veggie. This green vegetable contains lutein, a yellow pigment also seen in egg yolks. Lutein contributes to cell regeneration and prevents aging. A half a cup of lutein-rich foods every day destroy all traces of bad cholesterol, which can cause arterial blockages.

9. Avocado

Avocado is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats that lower bad cholesterol and keeps everything on the right track. These fruits are still high in calories, so use them wisely. They make a great addition to salads.

10. Garlic

Besides the fact that it offers zinc, garlic prevents blood clotting, reduces blood pressure and protects the body from infection. If you’re worried about the smell, chew some parsley after and you will have fresh breath.