Natural Home Remedies to Treat High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a wax like substance. It is fat made by the liver. Some cholesterol is needed for good health (it is essential for formation of cell membranes, hormones and vitamin D). Too much cholesterol in the blood leads to problems. The extra cholesterol in the blood may be stored in the arteries and cause them to narrow. Large deposits block an artery. When an artery that supplies blood to the heart is blocked it causes a heart attack and when an artery that supplies blood to the brain is blocked it causes a stroke.
Cholesterol travels in blood through carrier proteins called the lippoproteins, that help it dissolve in blood and be transported to all parts of the body. Low-density lippoprotein or LDL deliver cholesterol to the body and hence is called the bad cholesterol and high-density lippoprotein HDL, removes cholesterol from the blood stream and hence is called the good cholesterol. Fortunately, the build up of cholesterol and triglycerides can be slowed, stopped and sometimes even reversed.
Natural Food to Treat Build up of Cholesterol
Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are actually said to lower cholesterol. Salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines are great sources of Omega-3s. Fish oil supplements also contain two types of omega-3s. Flaxseed is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating 2 tbsp of flaxseed daily can cut LDL cholesterol by as much as 18%.
Oats are rich in soluble fibre. Fibre works in the intestines by binding of cholesterol so that it cannot be absorbed and helps the ingested food to move through the tract more quickly, so that there is simply less time for the cholesterol to be absorbed. Eating around one cup of oats daily could lower the LDL cholesterol quite substantially. The most valuable sources of fibre for reducing high levels of blood fat seems to be oats bran, beans, barley, apples, soya bean and alfalfa. Fruits and vegetables are rich in dietary fibre, which can help lower cholesterol.
Herbs and Spices
Several herbs and spices like fenugreek seeds and leaves, holy basil, ginger, turmeric and garlic help lower cholesterol. Nuts like almonds and walnuts, that are high in fibre should replace foods high in saturated fat. To control and maintain cholesterol levels, minimize consumption of animal products including dairy products as animal foods (other than fish) are high in saturated fatty acids and dietary cholesterol. Eat a lot of anti-oxidant foods such as strawberries, apples, nuts, carrots, broccoli and spinach.
Home Remedies to fight Cholesterol
Boil water with 2 tsp coriander seed. Strain and drink this water twice daily. It helps reduce cholesterol, flushes out toxins, and improves digestion.
Guggulu (Commiphora mukul) is effective in lowering cholesterol. Studies investigating the hypolipidemic benefits of gum guggul show that it can reduce cholesterol levels by 14-27% and lower triglycerides by 22-30%. It is also said to increase the good cholesterol (HDL). There is a difference in the outcomes of Indian and Western studies. While Indian studies have found strong evidence to support this fact, western studies have not found it to be so. This difference is being attributed to the difference in diet followed.
Green tea is said to have hypocholesterolemic properties. Researchers have found that consumption of green tea reduces both LDL and total cholesterol. Polyphenols in green tea are said to block the intestinal absorption of cholesterol and promote its excretion from the body. It also inhibits the abnormal formation of blood clots.
Garlic also lowers cholesterol in the blood by singling out the especially harmful LDL fraction. Crush a couple of garlic and let it stand for a few minutes, then have it early in the morning on an empty stomach. It helps to breaks up cholesterol in the blood vessels and helps prevent the hardening of arteries.
Arjuna is said to have the ability to contain the blood’s absorption of lipids and thus regulates cholesterol. It possesses hypolipidemic properties. Arjuna is rich in co-enzyme Q-10 (CoQ10) that helps lower LDL cholesterol and enhances HDL recovery. Take 1 to 2 capsules per day of Arjun (Terminalia arjuna) extract available in a capsule form.
Artichoke is an old traditional home remedy. It has been established that artichokes have cholesterol-lowering ability. A German study on a group of volunteers, in which they were given artichoke extract for 6 weeks showed that it lowered total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by 18.5% and 22.9% respectively. The effect on HDL and triglycerides however were minimal.
Apart from having the right kind of food, some other measures one can take is to maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, eat a low-fat, low-salt diet that includes many fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Exercise or walk everyday at least 30 minutes and avoid alcohol if you can.
Know more about natural ways to prevent and treat high cholesterol