6. Dark, Leafy Greens

Green leafy vegetables offer a host of health benefits. Kale and spinach are rich in lutein and other carotenoids that lower the risk of heart disease. Carotenoids are antioxidants that help rid the body of harmful free radicals that can cause atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries. The nutrients in leafy greens bind to bile acid that's released in the liver during digestion. This bile acid binding is related to a food's ability to lower cholesterol. Like carotenoids, lutein lowers levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol to prevent it from accumulating in the arteries.

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