Healthy Fats - The Benefits of Plant Sterols

Did you know that walnuts significantly reduce your blood cholesterol? Rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and plant sterols, walnuts help keep the blood vessels healthy and elastic. Almonds also have a similar effect, resulting in a marked health improvement within weeks. A cholesterol-lowering diet where 20% of your calories come from walnuts can reduce your LDL cholesterol by as much as 12%. Now that's food-for-thought.

After more than ten years of clinical trials and double-blind studies, foods containing plant sterols have been proven to be effective at dealing with the chronic pain of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Sterols are fats from plants found in all plant-based foods. Sterolins are glucosides, which are molecular structures fixed to the sterol. Sterolins must be eaten straight from their source because they are easily destroyed, and without them, the plant sterols don't have the same immune-enhancing affects. This is the primary reason plant sterolins and sterols should be in the proper ratio of 100:1, which balances and improves immune system function.

The right combination of plant sterolins and sterols plays an important role in maximizing the body's immune functions. Within a short time of eating plant sterols, those plagued by autoimmune disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis, have reported a major decrease in their symptoms, especially a reduction in inflammation and chronic joint pain.

These important plant fats (sterolins and sterols) occur in all plant life, but some more than others. Kelp and other seaweeds are rich in sterols and sterolins, which is one of the many reasons people in Asian countries have less degenerative diseases than those in North America and in the highly industrialized nations.

Raw foods provide plant sterols and sterolins along with the essential enzymes, vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. All vegetables contain from five to 40 milligrams of plant sterols and sterolins. This concentration increases when they are dried, because vegetables contain about 80% water. Fruit contains two to 30 milligrams plant sterols, and all seeds are rich in plant sterols when they mature, including nuts, cereals, beans and seed-derived spices. Slicing, grating, and juicing fresh plant material does not affect sterols, but the refining process does. Link to my 75/25 Eating Plan and pH pamphlet for a list of raw foods rich in plant sterols.

Even though many people fear nuts because they are high in calories, a mere handful will suffice in cleansing your liver and your blood. As with any food, eating too much can cause weight gain and adverse health reactions. To avoid gaining weight, replace foods high in saturated fat with foods rich in sterols and sterolins, such as organic nuts. Instead of using cheese on a meat sandwich, add extra vegetables between those two slices of whole grain bread, and add a handful of walnuts or almonds and fresh seeds to a salad instead of cheese and croutons.

When eaten, plant sterols can inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine. This means that dietary cholesterol - dietary cholesterol from junk foods and saturated fats to be specific - has a harder time getting into your body system. Plant sterols are almost identical in chemical structure to cholesterol so the body uses them in the same way; hence, they cleanse the liver and the blood by blocking the absorption of "bad" cholesterol during digestion, and by stopping the re-absorption of LDL cholesterol in the liver.

Plant sterols can prevent the absorption of cholesterol if consumed on a regular basis, which I recommend for at least two meals a day. A healthy diet of daily fruits, vegetables and grains, nuts, beans and seeds can provide the body with a healthy amount of plant sterols, sterolins, and other beneficial enzymes and nutrients needed to cleanse the blood and boost the immune system.

The following are common foods naturally rich in plant sterols and sterolins:

Avocado
Walnuts
Almonds
Soybeans
Cold-pressed olive oil
Peanuts
Sunflower seeds
Wheat germ oil
Sesame seeds

Professor Patrick Bouic and his South African research group have proven that sterols and sterolins effectively modulate cortisol and regulate Interleukin-6, and naturally increase DHEA, all an effective treatment for arthritis pain relief and adrenal burnout.

Go to http://www.moducare.com for more information on Dr. Bouic's work and his recommended formula (ModucareĀ®) combining plant sterolins for arthritis pain relief, lowering cholesterol, and for prostate health.


Posted September 2007 | Permanent Link

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