What is Cholesterol
Cholesterol, a yellowish fatty substance is one of the essential components of your body. Your body needs cholesterol for many metabolic processes, like the production of hormones, bile, and vitamin D. It is produced by the liver and most of the cells in your body, and you don’t need to consume it in your diet.
Although it is essential to your body, it has a bad reputation, being the main culprit for heart diseases. If your total cholesterol level is 200 or more, you are at higher risk of heart attack and stroke. About 160 to 190 are normal, but a reading of 200 or more is worried some.
There are two types of cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which is the “good” cholesterol, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein), which is the “bad” cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol carries most of the cholesterol that is delivered to cells. When its level in the bloodstream is high, it can clog up your arteries. On the other hand, HDL cholesterol helps remove excess cholesterol out of the cells, including cells in the arteries.
The higher the ratio of LDL to total cholesterol, the greater will be the risk for arterial damage and heart attack.
It is, therefore, very important to monitor your cholesterol levels and to keep them at a healthy level before you have any problems. High cholesterol can be controlled at home using certain home remedies.
In this article we will discuss causes, symptoms and some effective natural home remedies for high cholesterol. Let’s take look.
Causes and Symptoms
The main causes of that can negatively affect your cholesterol levels include:
- Unhealthy diet
- Lack of physical activity
- Genetic factors
- Other medical conditions like diabetes, liver or kidney disease, polycystic ovary syndrome
High cholesterol has no definite symptoms. A blood test is the only way to diagnose if you have it.
Home Remedies for High Cholesterol
- Consume foods that are rich in dietary fibre. LDL cholesterol can be lowered by taking a diet rich in dietary fibre. The richest source of dietary fibre is leafy vegetables, whole cereals, and legumes, fruits such as mango, guava, raspberry, blackberry, and strawberry. Oat bran and corn bran are specifically beneficial in lowering LDL cholesterol.
- Consume a sufficient amount of foods that are rich in lecithin. Research shows that a diet rich in lecithin increases good HDL cholesterol and lowers bad LDL cholesterol. It also increases the production of bile acids made from cholesterol, thereby reducing its amount in your blood. Egg yolk, vegetable oils, wholegrain cereals, soybeans, and unpasteurised milk are a good source of lecithin.
- Drink 1 cup of hot water adding 1 teaspoon of honey early in the morning. This is the best and easiest home remedy for high cholesterol. It will help to scrape fat from your system and reduce cholesterol. You can also add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice which will make the drink more effective.
- Boil 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds in a glass of water. Allow to cool, strain the water and consume it three times a day.
Take 10 pieces of cinnamon sticks and put them in a pot containing 5 cups of water. Boil the water for about 10-15 minutes and then strain. Add a teaspoon of honey to it and drink when it’s warm. Take it twice daily at least for 3 months. Alternately you can use fresh cinnamon powder. Grind a handful of sticks to make powder and store it in an airtight container. Use it to make the decoction. It is one of the best home remedies to lower LDL cholesterol.
- Garlic is helpful in high cholesterol. Boil 1clove of garlic in a glass of milk. Allow it to cool before consuming. Take this decoction for a few days. Instead, you can also mix 1 clove of fresh chopped garlic, ½ teaspoon grated ginger, and ½ teaspoon lemon juice and eat the mixture before each meal.
- Mix half a glass of apple juice and 5-6 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Consume this mixture once a day.
- Another effective home remedy to lower cholesterol levels is Onion. Consume raw onion or onion juice to reduce LDL levels.
- Consume 5-6 nos. of almonds and walnuts daily. These are extremely helpful in lowering cholesterol levels.
- Take a small bowl of curd every day. It is very much beneficial in reducing your cholesterol levels.
- Sunflower seeds are beneficial in lowering cholesterol levels. They contain linoleic acid which helps reducing cholesterol deposits in the arteries. Consume food prepared in sunflower oil rather than butter and saturated oil.
- The herb Ishabgul is beneficial in lowering high cholesterol levels. It contains an adequate amount of linoleic acid which reduces cholesterol. Take 1 teaspoon of Ishabgul twice daily.
Lifestyle Modifications to Lower Cholesterol
Modifying some of your lifestyle habits may also help to reduce your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These include:
- Stop alcohol consumption or reduce it to no more than one or two drinks a day.
- Quit smoking. Smoking increases the ability of LDL cholesterol to get into artery cells and cause damage.
- Exercise regularly. Do a brisk walk for at least 30 minutes daily. Go swimming or participate in some other physical activities at least three times a week. Exercise increases good cholesterol levels while reducing bad and triglyceride levels in the body.
- If you are overweight, lose excess body fat. Being overweight may contribute to raised blood triglyceride and LDL levels.
- If you are diabetic, control your blood sugar levels. High blood sugars increase the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Dietary Tips to Avoid High Cholesterol
You can follow some dietary changes to reduce your cholesterol level to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You should try to:
- Include a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, and wholegrain in your daily diet.
- Prefer low-fat milk, yoghurt and ‘added calcium’ soy drinks.
- Choose lean meat (meat trimmed of fat or labeled as ‘heart smart’).
- Take fish at least twice a week.
- Avoid cheese and ice cream.
Sometimes, home remedies, diet, and lifestyle modifications may not enough to combat high cholesterol. High cholesterol may often be hereditary. If you have a family history of high cholesterol, this cannot usually be treated sufficiently by home remedies, lifestyle changes, or diet. In that case, consult your physician and start taking prescribed medication. Moreover, if you have heart disease or other risk factors, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and your LDL cholesterol level doesn’t drop after careful attention to diet, then too start taking recommended medications by your doctor. A healthy lifestyle along with medications can reduce high cholesterol.
- Mini Encyclopaedia of Home Remedies; Sanjay Khatri
- Natural Home Remedies for Common Ailments; H.K Bakhru
- The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies; Vasant Lad
- Home remedies; Vikas Khatri