Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by the liver and found in some foods. It plays a vital role in how every cell works, is essential in a process of Vitamin D synthesis and takes part in the production of some hormones and bile for digestion. Cholesterol is present in two types – HDL, known as “good cholesterol” and LDL known as “bad cholesterol”. While HDL cholesterol helps to reduce the risk of heart disease by maintaining the health of blood vessels, when the level of LDL cholesterol gets too high, it will slowly clog your arteries, inhibiting proper circulation and increasing your risk of heart attacks, blood clots, and strokes. Although your doctor might advise you to take certain medications (statins) you can fight high cholesterol yourself by following these 10 simple remedies.
Cut Back on Trans Fats
Trans fats are the worst kind of fats that will make your LDL cholesterol rise to abnormally high levels. They will potentially make you more prone to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver disorders. Trans fats are present in most ready-made products, fried foods, and baked goods. You will find them mostly in margarine, fries, doughnuts, and cakes, but you should be checking all labels to make sure that there are no trans fats included. Replace margarine with spread based on plant sterols and stanols, which can cut LDL cholesterol by close to 15%.
Eat Oatmeal for Breakfast
Oats are packed with soluble fiber, which helps to reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs. Studies suggest that people who consume at least 1 cup of oatmeal per day can lower their LDL cholesterol levels by up to 24%. Oats help to stabilize blood sugar levels and improve immune system function.
There is no doubt about this one! No matter what kind of exercise you choose – it can be a jog through the park, a quick swim, or going for a hike – they will all benefit your health and help to lower LDL cholesterol. In addition, the lowered blood pressure and enhanced heart muscle strength that result from exercise will improve blood vessel condition and help you stay in shape. Meanwhile, if you’re overweight then you’re likely to have much higher blood levels of LDL cholesterol.
Have a Glass of Orange Juice
Orange juice is packed with vitamin C and has a positive influence on everything from your digestive system to the health of your skin. It also turns out that it has a beneficial impact on cholesterol levels. Research shows people who drink three glasses of orange juice per day have over 20% higher HDL (i.e. ‘good’) cholesterol levels and a 16% lower ratio of LDL to HDL.
Reducing frying food is always a good idea no matter if you are struggling with high cholesterol levels or not. Instead try steaming or boiling, eat fresh fruits and vegetables or try sautéing with a minimal amount of olive oil. Be careful when shopping for meat – choose pieces with the lowest fat content and reduce the consumption of red meat.
Drink Coriander Seed Tea
Coriander seeds can effectively lower your total cholesterol levels. They also have hypoglycemic properties and prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar. Make a coriander tea by adding 2tsp of powdered seed to the cup of boiling water. Strain the liquid to get rid of the stray powder, and add some milk or honey to improve the taste.
Snack on Nuts
Most nuts (but especially walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds) are very effective in lowering high cholesterol levels. It is proposed that this health benefit comes from the fact that nuts are rich in fiber and plant sterols. Since walnuts also contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, they are a particularly good option. Opt for a natural, not salted version and watch out for your intake – nuts are very healthy but also very calorie dense. A few should be enough.
Try Indian gooseberries
Indian gooseberries are proven to reduce total cholesterol levels and arterial hardening without having an adverse influence on HDL cholesterol. You can try fresh fruits, but their distinctive, bitter taste is not for everyone – the easiest way to include them in your diet is to mix 1tsp of powdered berries with warm water. This daily dose is more than sufficient to improve your cholesterol.
Increase Your Omega-3-Fatty Acids Intake
The best way to increase your omega-3-fatty acids intake is to include more oily fish such as tuna and salmon in your diet. If you are a vegetarian or simply don’t like fish, another option is to add some ground flaxseed to your morning porridge or your lunch salad. Just 2tsbp of flaxseed per day can quickly lower cholesterol by approximately 18%. Alternatively, you can just get more omega-3s from your diet by simply taking a 1,000mg fish oil supplement twice a day.
Try Red Yeast Rice
Red yeast rice is a popular Chinese remedy. This type of rice is fermented in monascus purpureus which stops cholesterol from synthesizing. A wide range of early studies has shown that participants benefit from as much as a 26% drop in LDL cholesterol in just two months. You can buy red yeast rice at some pharmacies, and it is typically available at health stores. However, people who have been prescribed statins, certain antidepressants, and antifungal medications should consume red yeast rice. The average dose is a daily supplement of up to 2400mg.