Cardiovascular disease continues to be one of the biggest causes of illness-related deaths across the world. In India, one in four deaths is caused by heart diseases including stroke and cardiac arrest, according to the American Heart Association. 

Poor cardiovascular health often stems from blockages caused by high cholesterol in the blood vessels. 

According to US-based nutritionist Joy Bauer, certain fruits and vegetables can boost heart health. 

 “When we eat junk food diets that are high in saturated fats, trans fats and sugar, our livers get prompted to produce way too much cholesterol. This cholesterol then travels throughout the body, collecting all sorts of inflammatory substances and dumps it all on the inner walls of our arteries in the form of plaque,” Bauer told

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Here are five fruits and vegetables to incorporate into your diet to lower LDL cholesterol in the body-

1. Apples

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating two apples daily can reduce blood cholesterol and prevent a stroke or a heart attack. Apple skin contains pectin, a carbohydrate that can latch itself on to LDL cholesterol and can be discarded by the body as unabsorbed fiber. The fiber present in apples can also boost weight loss and mental health. 

2. Okra

Okra, also known as ladyfinger, can lower LDL lipid levels. According to a team of researchers at Iran’s Tabriz University,  “Okra seed oil plays a crucial role in the maintenance of lipid profile in the body”. Ladyfingers contain mucilage, a gel-like substance that can expel LDL cholesterol out of the body through stools. 

3. Beans

Beans are packed with nutrients and soluble fiber that can make an individual feel satiated for a while. Beans take a while to digest, helping an individual lose weight and control calorie intake. 

Also Read: Sitaphal: Try this superfruit for amazing health benefits

4. Eggplant

Eggplant, also known as aubergine and brinjal, can lower cholesterol levels, according to a study conducted by Portugal’s Faculdades de Ciências Médicas. The study was conducted on rabbits who were put on a diet packed with cholesterol and coconut oil. After four weeks, the rabbits that consumed eggplants displayed lower weight and plasma cholesterol. 

5. Avocado

Avocados are packed in nutrients that can improve heart health. According to a 2015 study, consuming one avocado per day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering LDL cholesterol without affecting HDL cholesterol.