Cholesterol plays a vital role in the development of cell membranes, vitamin D and certain hormones. It helps the body in building healthy cells and keeping the cell walls flexible.
However, like anything in the body, too much cholesterol can lead to severe health consequences.
High cholesterol, also called as hypercholesterolemia or hyperlipidemia, does not cause symptoms but can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
According to the WHO, globally, one-third of ischemic heart disease is attributable to high cholesterol.
Elevated total cholesterol is a prime cause of disease burden in both the developed and developing countries as a risk factor for ischemic heart disease and stroke.
Over 55% of the US adult population is suffering from high cholesterol.
Unhealthful lifestyle choices, including food habits, overweight and inactivity, are the leading causes of high cholesterol. Meanwhile, genetics, certain health conditions, and medications can also contribute to high cholesterol.
Doctors can prescribe statins to lower your cholesterol levels, but these medications can cause side effects such as headaches, muscle cramps and nausea.
At this juncture, we bring you some natural ways to lower cholesterol levels in your body.
10 Natural Remedies to Reduce Cholesterol
1) Essential Oils
Essential oils such as lemongrass oil and holy basil oil can help lower your cholesterol levels and enlarge blood vessels for uninterrupted blood flow.
Lemongrass essential oil is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects and holy basil oil for the high presence of eugenol.
Add two drops of essential oil to a glass of water and drink the solution. You must drink this solution twice daily for better results.
Vitamins such as B3, E and C are known to reduce the serum cholesterol levels. Vitamins B3 and E help in reducing the build-up of cholesterol in arteries and help prevent atherosclerosis. Whereas, vitamin C helps in reducing Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL), the bad cholesterol.
Regularly consume foods rich in these vitamins, such as green leafy vegetables, chicken, citrus fruits, tuna, mushrooms, almonds, and sweet potatoes.
3) Garlic Cloves
Garlic is rich in a compound called allicin that helps in reducing cholesterol naturally. However, the compound is released only when garlic is crushed.
Consume minced garlic cloves daily. You can add the minced garlic cloves to salads or other dishes or directly chew peeled garlic cloves.
4) Green Tea
Green tea is rich a source of Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that shows antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative effects. This helps reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) levels.
[Also Read: 7 Drinks for Healthy Weight Loss]
Consume green tea thrice a day.
Probiotic yogurt contains good bacteria that provide specific health benefits such as supporting gut health and maintaining balanced gut microbiota. This, in turn, plays a significant role in lowering cholesterol levels.
Consume a bowl of probiotic yogurt daily for the best results.
6) Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are one of the best natural sources for omega-3 fatty acids, which help increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels and decrease bad cholesterol (LDL).
Consume one tablespoon of chia seeds daily to reduce your cholesterol levels. You can add chia seeds to your favorite smoothie or fruit juice.
7) Apple Cider Vinegar
Consumption of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) can significantly raise the HDL levels and decrease the LDL levels.
It is rich in acetic acid and pectin fiber. While pectin helps eliminate the bad cholesterol (LDL) from the body, the acetic acid helps in losing the unwanted body weight associated with high cholesterol.
Flaxseeds contain Secoisolariciresinol Diglucoside (SDG) lignan that helps lower the blood cholesterol in the body.
A recent study revealed that consuming three tablespoons (30 grams) of flaxseed powder daily for three months lowered total cholesterol by 17% and LDL cholesterol by almost 20%.
Add a tablespoon of flaxseeds powder to a glass of warm water or milk. And consume the mixture daily.
9) Fruit Juice
Fruits such as orange, pomegranate, grapefruit, and lemon are rich in proteins, nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that help lower the bad cholesterol levels and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
[Also Read: 5 Health Fruit Juices To Relieve Constipation]
Consume 1 -2 glasses of freshly squeezed fruit juice daily for best results.
10) Fish Oil
Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which effectively reduces your cholesterol levels.
Consume 1 gram of fish oil supplements daily. You can prefer fish like sardines, salmon, mackerel, and tuna.
Other Foods to Lower Cholesterol
- Barley and other whole grains
- Eggplant and Okra
In addition to healthy food habits, you can also manage your cholesterol levels by exercising regularly, quitting cigarette smoking, avoiding alcohol consumption, and shedding excess weight.
Fitness Applications can help you adopt more healthful eating habits and stay active to lower your cholesterol. With fitness apps, you can track all nutrients in your diets, such as cholesterol, fat, fiber, calories, protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins.
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