Naturally lower your cholesterol levels with red yeast rice (recipe included)
02/13/2021 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Naturally lower your cholesterol levels with red yeast rice (recipe included)

Struggling with high cholesterol levels? Say hello to red yeast rice.

Used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine, red yeast rice is the product of the fermentation of white rice by the yeast (Monascus purpureus). It is a dietary staple in Asia and is believed to be one of the best natural medicines for high cholesterol. In fact, red yeast rice is reportedly just as effective as cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins.

Red yeast rice for cholesterol

Research on red yeast rice shows that it contains considerable amounts of monacolin K. This active compound is chemically identical to the active ingredient in the cholesterol-lowering drug, lovastatin.

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Monacolin K is believed to be the agent responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effects of red yeast rice. Many studies have shown that supplementing with red yeast rice daily lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol can clog your arteries and raise your risk of developing heart disease or experiencing a heart attack.

According to one study, consuming 2.4 grams (g) of red yeast rice a day can lower LDL cholesterol by up to 22 percent. Another study also revealed that consuming 1.2 g of red yeast rice per day for eight weeks can reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 26 percent.

Meanwhile, a review of 21 different studies showed that red yeast rice can support healthy heart function by lowering blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Triglyceride is a type of fat found in your blood. High levels of triglyceride and high blood pressure can raise your risk of developing heart disease.

However, take note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only allows red yeast rice to be sold legally if it has gone through a process that removes monacolin K. Expect red yeast rice products on the market to contain very small amounts of the cholesterol-lowering agent or none at all.

Red yeast rice is currently sold in the U.S. as a dietary supplement, but its contents are still not fully regulated. If you’re considering taking red yeast rice supplements, read product labels carefully or, better yet, consult a certified natural health practitioner.

Other benefits of red yeast rice

Red yeast rice is also studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. A recent study involving 50 people with metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes — showed that taking a supplement with red yeast rice and olive extract reduced oxidative stress by up to 20 percent. Oxidative stress is known to cause inflammation that leads to serious diseases if left unchecked.

Red yeast rice has also been reported to show great anti-cancer potential. Cell culture and animal studies show that red yeast rice is more effective at preventing the growth of cancer cells than lovastatin, which also has anti-cancer effects.

Red yeast rice and chicken soup recipe

This recipe introduces a healthy twist to the classic chicken soup dish by throwing red yeast rice into the mix. It’s the perfect dish for chilly days! You can also serve it with bread or a grain bowl for a filling meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chicken, cubed
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups glutinous rice wine
  • 1/2 cup julienned ginger
  • 5 tablespoons red yeast rice
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt or more to taste

Preparation:

  1. Heat sesame oil in a pot. Add ginger, garlic and red yeast rice. Fry until fragrant.
  2. Add chicken cubes and cook until brown. Add salt and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Add glutinous rice wine. Bring to a boil again for about a minute.
  4. Remove from heat. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Red yeast rice can keep your heart in good shape by reducing your blood cholesterol levels and combatting inflammation. To experience these benefits, incorporate red yeast rice into your go-to recipes or take red yeast rice supplements as advised.

Sources:

SteadyHealth.com

Healthline.com

WhatToCookToday.com

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