MyMT™ Blog

The MyMT™ Kitchen: Calm your cholesterol with this heart healthy smoothie.

Many women find that they have an increase in their total cholesterol levels during their menopause transition and I experienced that myself. This is known as hypercholesterolemia – high blood levels of cholesterol and it does warrant monitoring as you move through menopause, because it can lead to changing arterial health. 

Whilst not all cholesterol is ‘bad’, we must remember that it’s the health of the internal lining of the blood vessels, which contributes to changes in our cardiac health too, because any additional inflammatory changes inside the blood vessels, can contribute to cholesterol deposits ‘sticking’ to the walls of the arteries. 

Low density lipoproteins (LDL) and very-low density lipoproteins (VLDL) are usually the problem inside inflamed arteries. This is because they more buoyant because they contain more cholesterol in relation to protein. 

When there is a lot of inflammation in the epithelial lining of the blood vessels, larger lower-density cholesterol deposits (LDL-Cholesterol) can adhere to the walls of the arteries, causing problems with blood flow. Many older women end up with a condition called arteriosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) because of this condition, which can accelerate during the menopause transition. 

Cholesterol is an essential molecule for healthy functioning of the human body and it’s made in the liver. So, women must also look at liver health if they find that their cholesterol is creeping up during their menopause transition.

This is why the beta-glucans derived from oats (and mushrooms) are an important nutrient for improving high levels of the unhealthy LDL-cholesterol in midlife women. 

Combining oats and berries is a great nutritional strategy for women to do and whilst ordinary oats can be substituted in the following Berry Bonanza Smoothie recipe, this particular recipe uses a porduct called ‘Betaglucare’.

This is a powdered product made from Scandinavian oats, which are high in beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are sugars that are found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae, lichens, and plants, such as oats and barley. They are often suggested to help to reduce cholesterol and to improve heart health. 

The anthocyanins in berries also improve heart health. Anthocyanins are water-soluble flavonoids and are responsible for the orange or red-blue color in flowers, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. That’s why the combination of oats and berries in this smoothie, makes it a berry-bonanza for your ageing heart. 

Berry-Bonanza Heart Healthy Smoothie
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 5 cups frozen berries
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 1 packet Betaglucare oat powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground
  • Flaxseeds
  • 5 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 small diced green apple
  • 1/2 cup water

Add ingredients to blender. Blend until smooth.

Recipe created by Shivaun Conn, Accredited Health Coaching Australia/ Sourced from: Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine (ASLM), 2020

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