Cholesterol is a wax-like, fatty substance that is found in all cells of the body. Our bodies need some cholesterol to help in the production of hormones, vitamin D, and numerous substances that help in the digestion of food.
Our bodies can make all the cholesterol it needs.
Cholesterol is also common in numerous animal food sources such as; cheese, meat, and egg yolk.
Excess cholesterol in our blood could combine with other substances and congeal to plaques which then stick to the inner walls of our arteries to form a plaque buildup called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis could be the harbinger of numerous cardiovascular diseases as the major characteristic of atherosclerosis is blockage of the arteries.
There are two main types of cholesterol;
High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL): HDL is considered as the “good” cholesterol because it takes cholesterol from various parts of the body to the liver. The liver eventually expunges the cholesterol from our bodies.
Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL): LDL is considered as the “bad” cholesterol since it leads to a buildup of cholesterol in our arteries.
The four major causes of high cholesterol are;
- Unhealthy eating habits: Such as eating processed foods and deep-fried foods.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Which includes sitting down a lot and lack of exercising.
- Smoking: Smoking tends to lower our body’s good cholesterol levels while increasing our bad cholesterol levels.
- Obesity: Being obese tends to increase cholesterol levels. Obesity is also a risk factor for numerous heart diseases.
Factors that can increase the likelihood of having high cholesterol levels include; obesity, hereditary, old age, and being of a certain race (for example African-Americans tend to have higher HDL and LDL cholesterol levels than Caucasians).
High cholesterol levels could lead to plaque buildup in our arteries which could lead to various cardiovascular diseases. These ailments or diseases include; carotid artery disease, peripheral arterial disease, angina (chest pain), stroke, and heart attack.
Here are tips and good practices, to consider, if you are dealing with high cholesterol;
- Drop the bad habit of smoking.
- Avoid the consumption of foods that are rich in high saturated fats.
- Include exercise in your weekly routine.
- Endeavor to maintain an optimal body weight. If you are overweight or obese, strive to lose the excess fat.
- Stick to a heart-healthy well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Below are home remedies and natural treatments to treat high cholesterol levels;
1. Sweet Potatoes
You can never go wrong with this delicious, nutritious and a fiber-rich food. Sweet potatoes contain water soluble fiber which is a perfect remedy for high cholesterol. Whether featured as a side dish or the main course when cooked with their skin, sweet potatoes contain saturated fats that are low in LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Furthermore, the fiber in potatoes binds to help in the production of acids that aid the body to diminish cholesterol. You should consider boiling them with their skin to increase its fiber contents but if you don’t like the smell of the skin you can peel it off.
Onions contain flavonoids that are capable of reducing high cholesterol levels. Make onion juice and mix one teaspoon of it with one teaspoon of honey. Alternatively, you could use a cup of buttermilk to mix with a finely sliced onion. Add a quarter teaspoon of pepper to them. Drink this once on a daily basis for effective results.
3. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds have the capability to lower the risk of developing heart diseases. Take one cup of water and add two teaspoons of coriander seed powder. Boil this mixture for a considerable amount of time and then strain it. Drink the resultant coriander tea twice a day to help lower your cholesterol levels. You can make it a part of your regular tea by adding milk, sugar, and cardamom.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a great home remedy if you seek to have a healthy heart and keep your cholesterol levels low. For this remedy, mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Drink this 3 times a day for about a month. If the taste of apple cider vinegar is not appealing to you, mix it with any of your favorite fruit juices.
Honey is not only sweet but it is also a healthy way of lowering total cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels could lead to clogging of the blood vessels connected to vital organs such as the heart. Honey contains antioxidants that protect these vessels by helping keep your cholesterol levels in check. Furthermore, substituting honey for sugar would help reduce your BMI which, in turn, would help keep your cholesterol level in check.
To a cup of hot water, add one teaspoon of honey. You can add lemon juice too or ten drops of apple cider vinegar. Drink it in the morning. Alternatively, add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to a cup of boiling water. Leave the solution to simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the solution and add one teaspoon of honey to it. Drink it half an hour before your breakfast for effective result.
In most households, garlic is an ingredient that is used to add flavor to food due to its alluring taste and smell. However, garlic is more than just an additive for food due to its variety of useful purposes. Garlic lowers clotting properties of the blood preventing the formation of blood clots in the blood vessels. This helps prevent heart strokes. Use of garlic also helps to lower cholesterol levels in the body.
Consume two to four cloves of garlic with water daily or simply grate peeled raw garlic onto salad dressings, pizza or even soups.
If you are seeking to lower your cholesterol levels, turmeric, which is rich in curcumin, is the spice to consider in your next meals. You can use it in your cooking by adding some turmeric powder to vegetables and curries. Alternatively, boil one and a half tablespoons of water. Mix the water with three quarter teaspoons turmeric and two tablespoons of cooked mashed eggplant spread the paste on whole wheat bread and eat after meals.
8. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains lauric acid that is important in keeping cholesterol levels balanced. Use it as a home remedy by incorporating moderate amounts of organic coconut oil in your daily diet. You can also consume one to two tablespoons of it daily. Avoid the use of processed or refined coconut oil.
Despite the fact that avocados are fleshy and overwhelmingly tasty, they are also packed with healthy fats that are good for the heart. They contain oleic acid which is vital in keeping the LDL cholesterol low. This eventually will lower your risk of getting heart-related diseases. Avocado can be used to top a sandwich, sliced into a salad, or even mix it into guacamole.
Apples contain pectin and natural oxidants called flavonoids. These substances can effectively help to lower high cholesterol levels and keep you in a healthy state. Develop a habit of taking one or even two apples on a daily basis. Apparently, the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is literal after all.
Celery contains components, such as folate, potassium, dietary fiber, manganese and pantothenic acid, that is important in balancing cholesterol levels. Furthermore, it has antioxidant properties that are helpful in lowering cholesterol levels. Use it as a home remedy for high cholesterol by including it in your dishes, salads, and soups. Alternatively, you can make celery juice out of celery leaves.
12. Orange Juice
Orange juice is packed with vitamin c, folate, and flavonoids, all of which are essential in keeping a balance in cholesterol levels. Drink three cups of fresh orange juice daily to help naturally fight heart diseases.
Oatmeal is an effective remedy for high cholesterol as it contains soluble fiber that aids in reducing absorption of cholesterol by our system. Eating one and a half cups of oatmeal each day will lower your cholesterol levels and sustain your health.
14. Fish Oil
Fish oil and fatty fish contain omega-3 fatty acid that has the ability to lower triglycerides. To keep your heart out of harm’s way, take at least two servings of fish once a week most preferably tuna, mackerel, trout, sardines, salmon, and herring. It also recommended you consume at least 1 to 4 grams of fish oil per day.
Alternatively, for those on a vegetarian or vegan diet, flaxseeds are most suitable to include in your diets as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids too.
15. Red Yeast Rice
Red yeast rice contains bioactive compounds known as monacolins that have the potential to lower cholesterol levels in the body. To lower high cholesterol levels, take 1200 to 2400 milligrams of its supplement once or twice a day.
You can never go wrong with sweet and crunchy nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and pecans. Not only are they tasty but also are packed with plant fibers and sterols that can lower down cholesterol levels. Include a handful of your favorite roasted nuts in your diet regularly. Consumption of nuts should be done moderately as they are rich in calories.
Eating foods made from soy is one of the healthy and natural ways to keep your cholesterol levels in check. Soy inhibits the absorption of cholesterol and they are also rich in phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, protein and B complex vitamins. Consume 25 grams of soy protein a day to lower high cholesterol levels.
18. Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry is one of the best natural remedies you can put to use in controlling cholesterol levels. Besides being rich in vitamin c, it also contains powerful antioxidants and minerals. Indian gooseberry controls absorption of cholesterol from food and prevents it from being deposited on the walls of blood vessels. Add one teaspoon of Indian gooseberry powder to a glass of warm water. Drink it on an empty stomach in the morning.
19. Brown Rice
When it comes to health benefits and nutrient content, brown rice, especially germinated brown rice (GBR) is constantly mentioned. It contains bran, fiber, and bioactive compounds that have the ability to lower unhealthy cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of developing heart-related ailments. Make brown rice a part of your diet and watch your health improve.
20. Eggplant (Brinjal)
Eggplant is well known for its nutritional benefits and unique taste. It contains a component, nasunin, that is vital as it improves blood flow to the organs by keeping the walls of blood vessels relaxed. Nutrients present in eggplant also play a role in cutting down blood cholesterol. Make this delicious vegetable a part of your diet in any form appealing to you either stuffed, marinated, grilled, roasted or fried.
Alternatively, for juice drinkers place sliced eggplant in half a gallon of water with lemon slices. Keep in the refrigerator for a week and drink three glasses of the eggplant juice per day.
21. Fenugreek Seeds
Including fenugreek in the diet is not just important because of its great taste and flavor in food. It is more critical because of the components found in it that efficiently regulates blood cholesterol by restricting its absorption by the body from foods rich in fat. Dry roast fenugreek seeds, let them cool and grind them into smooth, fine powder.
Prepare a mixture by adding one teaspoon of fenugreek seed powder to a glass of water. Drink this mixture at least twice a day for effective result. Alternatively, fenugreek leaves can be used, as a herb, in cooking or incorporate them into your salad preparations.
Beans are a cheap and easy way to keep your heart healthy. Beans are rich in soluble fiber that is useful in maintaining your cholesterol balance. Furthermore, beans contain potassium and magnesium that are good for the heart. Eat one cup of numerous kinds of beans regularly be it black beans, chickpeas or navy beans for about six weeks. You can try beans in smoothies, salads, soups or with rice.
23. Olive Oil
Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats which help reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the body. Olive oil also prevents cholesterol from building up and damaging your arteries especially the arteries supplying blood to vital organs. Take at least two tablespoons of olive oil in a day. You can use olive oil to marinate chicken and fish or mix it into salad dressing. Replace margarine or butter with olive oil as a healthy dip for bread. The use of olive oil should be moderate as it has a high-calorie value.
24. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are one of the most nutritious foods you can come across. They are a good source of vitamin k which has anti-inflammatory properties and maintains cardiovascular health. The dietary fiber, in mustard greens, reduces cholesterol levels in the body lowering the risk of developing heart diseases. It is recommended to consume half a cup of mustard greens in a day to help lower down cholesterol.
25. Licorice Root
This plant is a natural solution for high cholesterol. The herb has pancreatic lipase inhibitory properties which help decrease dietary fat absorption, hence, normalizing the heart rhythm. You should consume the recommended amount of licorice which is 5 to 10 grams three times a day which would help reduce cholesterol levels in your body. You could also add 1 teaspoon of licorice root powder to 150 ml of boiling water or milk in a pan and allow it to boil for about 5 minutes. Filter it in a cup that you can take when it is still warm and you are good to go.
Broccoli contains a soluble fiber that binds to cholesterol in the blood making it easier to excrete cholesterol out of the body. Thus, making broccoli a useful means to lower high cholesterol levels in the body. Additionally, broccoli helps to keep blood vessels strong, thus, reducing the risk of heart diseases. Include broccoli in soups and salads as part of your diet. To retain its nutrients, broccoli should not be overcooked.
Tomatoes are not just that juicy vegetable but are an important source of lycopene. This is a powerful antioxidant that has the ability to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood. You can increase your tomato intake by dicing them and adding to your morning egg scramble. Alternatively, you can simply munch on a raw tomato or make tomato juice.
Spinach is one of those leafy vegetables. It is rich in lutein, a component found in vegetables that protects the walls of the arteries from cholesterol accumulation. Consume at least half a cup of spinach daily to lower your cholesterol levels.
29. Yogurt (Probiotics)
Yogurt has numerous health benefits among them is its potential to lower LDL cholesterol levels in the body. Yogurt is also a great source of protein, vitamins, and healthy probiotics. Consume one cup of yogurt, with active cultures, on a regular basis.
Barley contains the same type of soluble fiber found in oats that aids in lowering high cholesterol levels by reducing its absorption into the bloodstream. In addition to this, barley has other nutritional benefits including its high fiber content, minerals, and antioxidants that are vital for a healthy heart. Incorporate barley into your diet by adding it to soups. You can also consume it in the form of chapattis.
31. Red Wine
The antioxidants and electrolytes in red wine can help reduce the risk of heart-related ailments. Drinking red wine, in moderation, is beneficial to your health as the antioxidants in it has the ability to raise the good type cholesterol levels and deplete LDL cholesterol deposits from your arteries. In addition, red wine contains antioxidants that protect artery walls, thus, lowering the risk of getting heart attacks. It is highly recommended to drink red wine, in moderation, as alcohol has its downsides. For women, a 5-ounce glass of wine is enough in a day while men can drink two glasses.
Chocolate is one of the best ways to lower your cholesterol as long as it is done in moderation. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that have been found to lower LDL cholesterol levels and prevent coronary heart diseases. Chocolate also has antioxidant properties that prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. Consume about an ounce of chocolate in a day to keep your heart healthy.
Flaxseeds have a rich content of oil and fiber components known as lignans that lower LDL cholesterol levels in the body. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids that are good for a healthy heart and regulation of the absorption of cholesterol. You can sprinkle ground flaxseeds on your cooked vegetables or onto your cereals.
Daily exercise is a very good practice that can help reduce cholesterol levels in the human body. Although exercise is highly recommended for several other reasons, am still convinced that the top reason is to help burn fats and open blood vessels hence reducing the risk of heart-related diseases. You should combine daily exercise with the proper diets to achieve good results.
Beets have a range of health benefits as they contain a variety of essential nutrients such as fiber, potassium, and vitamins. The fiber component, in beets, is vital as it helps to lower cholesterol levels. Beets also contain flavonoids that prevent accumulation of LDL cholesterol in the blood. Consume beet juice regularly to keep your cholesterol at bay. You can also use beets in soups or even in sandwiches.
The leaf extracts of artichoke contain a compound called cynarine that has the potential to dissipate cholesterol from our body. Furthermore, artichoke contains antioxidants that inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterols that contribute to cardiovascular diseases. Include artichokes in your diet to help lower cholesterol. You can choose to roast, grill or consume them raw.
Margarine is made from plant oils and this means it does not contain any cholesterol. Margarine is also enriched with plant sterols that reduce blood levels of LDL cholesterol. Margarine can reduce cholesterol levels by about 10 percent if taken on a regular basis for about three weeks. You can use margarine in sandwiches, spread it on toast or use it in cooking and baking. The margarine we recommend here is soft (tub) margarine as opposed to hard margarine.
38. Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
Lifestyle is important when someone wants to reduce their cholesterol levels. You are to live a healthy-oriented life and avoid behaviors that can detrimentally affect your health. When you are choosing fats, you should consider less processed alternatives which would have less ill-health implications in your body. Smoking damages the lining of your arteries leading to hardening of the arteries which eventually narrows the arteries. Stop smoking and you increase the chances of living a healthy life free of cardiovascular diseases.
39. Chicory Root
Chicory is packed with plant phenols that have antioxidant properties. These antioxidant properties reduce the chances of cardiovascular diseases by maintaining a balance in cholesterol levels. You can use powdered chicory root as a coffee additive. Chicory leaves and buds can be used in salads when taking them with the aim of lowering your cholesterol levels.
Ginger is commonly used as a spice but can also be a remedy for high cholesterol. Ginger lowers cholesterol levels by activating enzymes that increase the body’s use of cholesterols. Prepare ginger tea by boiling sliced ginger root in a cup of water for about twenty minutes. Strain the ginger and drink the solution. You can also use ginger in soups or as a spice in cooking and baking.
41. Green Tea
Green tea is well known for heart-healthy benefits. It helps to lower LDL cholesterol levels as it contains antioxidants. Green tea also prevents the cholesterol from being deposited in the arteries as this could clog the arteries leading to heart attacks or strokes. Furthermore, green tea prevents the formation of blood clots in the blood that could clog the vessels. Prepare green tea by adding half tablespoon green tea powder or one teaspoon green tea leaves to a cup of boiling water. Strain the tea into a cup. Consume at least three cups of green tea on daily basis.
42. Hawthorn Berry
Hawthorn berry has a high ability to break down fats and reducing fat deposits in the human body. The berries, flowers and the leaves of Hawthorn plant have been used since ancient times to treat several heart and blood vessel related diseases. The plant contains a wide range of flavonoids such as hyperroside, vitexin, and catexin which increase the secretion of bile and reduce the formation of cholesterol. You can chew fresh or dried hawthorn berry. You can also take hawthorn berry in capsules or tinctures daily.
Rhubarb speeds up the metabolic process of cholesterol and also has a high fiber content that helps relieve several issues caused by high levels of cholesterol. You should cook it and add a little honey, as a sweetener, since the herb has a bitter taste. You can also add cardamom or vanilla and take it after a heavy fat-laden meal to ensure the speed up of your body’s metabolism of the recently consumed fats.
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