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Can collard greens help reduce cholesterol levels?

Intake of collard greens has long been known to have the capacity to lower blood cholesterol levels, including blood levels of LDL cholesterol. But a recent study on cruciferous vegetables has taken our understanding of collards and cholesterol to a new level. In this study, researchers focused on the ability of fiber-like components in vegetables to bind together with bile acids. (When bound together with fiber-like components, bile acids are more readily excreted from our body, and following their excretion, our cells break apart some cholesterol into its component bile acids as a way of replacing the bound bile acids that got excreted. In this study, lab samples were obtained from eight steamed vegetables. These eight vegetables were: collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, green bell pepper, and cabbage. The researchers then measured the ability of all eight vegetable samples to bind bile acids, and the winner of this measurement process was collard greens. In other words, steamed collard greens did a better job of binding together with bile acids than any of the seven other steamed vegetables. In this study, it is also worth noting that both raw collard greens and steamed collard greens showed bile acid binding ability, but steamed collard greens did a better job in this respect.

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