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Cultured Foods for the Cholesterol Conscious

Christmas Kefir

One of my good friends told me her cholesterol had gone up since drinking kefir, and then she said, “That’s my good cholesterol! It went through the roof and my doctor is very pleased.”  I got a few emails this week from people expressing to me that since they’ve been consuming kefir and cultured vegetables their blood cholesterol numbers normalized and other problems improved as well. This is not an unusual occurrence. I’ve heard from friends and family and people who email me, or post on my Facebook page, that cultured foods have helped their cholesterol. Those microbes in our bodies can help us with all manner of problems – and cholesterol is no exception.

I Love All The Things Good Bacteria Do!

How Bacteria Can Help Us With Cholesterol

I do love all the things good bacteria do, and here is some science to explain how bacteria can help us with cholesterol.  A double-blind study with 60 volunteers, aged 18 to 65, looked at the effects of probiotics on cholesterol. Each day for 12 weeks one group received a capsule that contained 120 billion viable Lactobacillus strains, which happen to be abundant in kefir and cultured vegetables. The other group got a placebo. There was a 13.6 percent overall reduction in total cholesterol in the people who took the probiotic, compared with the placebo group. Moreover, the participants with the highest cholesterol at the start of the study reduced their total cholesterol by 17.4 percent. Their LDL cholesterol—the “bad” cholesterol—was lowered by 17.6 percent, compared with the placebo group.1 This is a significant reduction in total cholesterol. Ingesting cultured foods provides not only the Lactobacillus strains that were used in the study but also various others that add to an overall balanced gut.

Another study gave participants live yogurt with Lactobacillus. After six weeks, researchers found significant reductions in LDL cholesterol (8.92 percent) and total cholesterol (4.81 percent). The same group performed a second trial with similar results.2

One reason probiotics help lower cholesterol is because bacteria consume prebiotic (soluble) fiber in the small intestines and create acids, one of which is called proprionic acid. This particular acid reduces production of cholesterol by the liver.

Another way probiotics bring down cholesterol levels is that as bacteria grow in the intestinal tract, they consume some of the cholesterol that is present, incorporating it into their own cells. This means the cholesterol becomes unavailable for absorption from the intestine into the bloodstream, naturally lowering total cholesterol.3

Destroying Viruses And Even Possible Cancer Cells

Our bodies are constantly renewing themselves each and every day. They are destroying viruses and even possible cancer cells all day, every day, while you are going about your day. Everything goes along pretty well until you overburden your body with toxins and foods that pollute your body and overwhelm its ability to keep you well. If we overindulge in all manner of food and drink that bring stress and overwhelm the body it creates disease. So I am going to try to change you by giving you some healthier alternatives to help your body and your taste buds stay healthy and happy and then let the microbes go to work keeping you healthy.

A Powerful Thing - a Kefir Smoothie

It's kind of a powerful thing - a kefir smoothie. It starts your day off by flooding it with lots of healthy bacteria. Then, no matter what you do that day, at least that morning you did the right thing. Your cells were flooded with nutrients. Kefir is anti-inflammatory and loaded with enzymes, probiotics, and vitamins. It's predigested and speeds to the parts of the body that are calling for the nutrients it provides. So go ahead and have your Christmas cookies, alcohol, and treats if you must. You'll probably not feel so good later, but little by little that kefir smoothie will start showing you the power it holds. It starts off my mornings and sends me soaring each day. Being healthy is pretty awesome.

Listen To My Podcast

There is so much misinformation about cholesterol. So many don’t understand how cholesterol works in the body, and how good bacteria helps keep your cholesterol in perfect balance. Gain wisdom and understanding about cholesterol and learn how you can keep it in control.

Here are a few smoothies recipes to choose from.

Blueberry Banana Kefir Smoothie
This will create a two-sided drink. Kids love this!
Blueberry, Coconut, Pecan Kefir
I love this yummy breakfast or afternoon lunch. I like to make it with frozen blueberries and it's really easy to m…
Chimp Mint Smoothie
Green smoothies are such a great way to start your day. How else would you get 1-1/2 cups of spinach for breakfast?…
Chocolate Cherry Kefir Smoothie
Cherries have many benefits and contain powerful antioxidants. They have cancer-preventive compounds, and they redu…
Chocolate Peppermint Almond Kefir Shake
This is a yummy, thick, and creamy drink to serve around the holidays or any time. This smoothie has a special preb…
Gingerbread Kefir Smoothie
Black Strap Molasses is loaded with minerals and gives some of that wonderful classic gingerbread taste to this fes…
Grinchy Kefir Smoothie
Spirulina is optional in this smoothie, but it has many benefits. It's considered a superfood made from all-organic…
Kefir Date Shake!
Dates are packed with vitamins and minerals, but one of the most interesting things about dates is the presence of …
Kefir Green Smoothie
I probably make this smoothie at least once a week for my husband, Ron. It's one of his favorite smoothies. I add a…
Kefir Horchata
This is a delightful drink and you can also make it with other types of kefir if you don't have rice kefir. Horcha…
Kombucha Coconut Smoothie
This smoothie is made with Greek yogurt which is food for bacteria in your gut. It's important to eat different typ…
Macadamia Kefir Raspberry Smoothie Bowl
Macadamia nuts and kefir are a match made in heaven. Macadamia nuts are buttery tasting, and combined with kefir yo…
Peaches and Kefir Smoothie
This is one of the first recipes I made almost every day when I first started with kefir. I used regular cottage ch…
Pina Colada Kefir Smoothie
I love to top this with fresh coconut. Toasting the coconut is even tastier, but it's not necessary but is deliciou…
Plum and Banana Kefir Smoothie
Freeze the banana for a thicker smoothie
Pumpkin Chai Kefir Smoothie
One of my favorite smoothies. It has a secret ingredient (chai tea bag) that gives it loads of flavor. Don't forget…
Raspberry Kefir
Researchers have found that raspberries contain a phytonutrient called rheosmin, or raspberry ketone. This can rai…
Raspberry Peppermint Kefir
Top with goji berries or a crushed organic candy cane for extra color and flavor. Fresh whipped coconut cream is yu…
SCOBY Smoothie!
You can make any of your favorite smoothie recipes and add 1/4 cup of SCOBY purée (or more) to it for a thicker, s…
Three Patriotic Probiotic Smoothies
Sometimes we make things too complicated when it comes to the holidays and tend to rely too heavily on familiar old…