Nothing could be healthier for your heart than a plateful of raw veggies, right?

Actually, a little steam treatment could be even better. New research suggests that steaming might improve the cholesterol-lowering capabilities of certain produce.

Lost in Digestion
When researchers tested the digestive effects of both raw and steamed veggies — beets, okra, carrots, eggplant, green beans, asparagus, and cauliflower — something interesting happened. It’s not clear why, but the steamed veggies did a better job of binding to bile acids. And that’s a good thing. It means more bile acids get excreted, which in turn means the liver needs more bad LDL cholesterol to make bile — which means there’s less LDL circulating in your body. Are you sure your cholesterol is under control? Take this quiz to find out.

Veggie Contingency Plan
Raw or steamed, your goal is to eat at least five servings of vegetables every day. But if you don’t always hit that goal, here are some ways to make sure that every bite of vegetables is working hard for you:

  • Find out when frozen veggies are more healthful than fresh — and vice versa.
  • Know when it’s worth it to go organic.
  • Absorb more nutrients from salads and steamed veggies with the healthy fats in these toppings.
  • Sprinkle on extra antioxidants with these herbs and spices.

Source: RealAge.com

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