Home Remedies for High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is majorly caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices such as eating foods high in saturated fats as well as lack of adequate physical activities. Obesity, aging, excessive drinking and smoking are some of the factors that increase the risk of developing the condition. Additionally, genetics and other underlying diseases like diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure and liver disease, contribute significantly to high levels of cholesterol. However, there are several home remedies for high cholesterol that can help reduce the levels. Before we take a look some of these remedies, here is a look at what cholesterol is, some of its functions, the different types and symptoms of high levels in the body.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is an organic chemical substance that falls under the waxy steroid fat group. It is a lipid produced by the liver and is very important for the normal functioning of the body. It is an essential structural component of the mammalian cell membrane and is important for proper membrane fluidity and permeability. The lipid is found in the outer layer of all cells of the body with a wide range of functions. Not only is important within cells, but also a crucial component in the body’s hormonal system to manufacture bile acids, vitamin D and steroid hormones.
It is formed in the liver in vertebrates. However important and essential it is for human health, high levels of cholesterol in the blood stream can lead to arterial damage, resulting in cardiovascular disease.
- Cholesterol builds and maintains cell membranes and also prevent crystallization of hydrocarbons in membranes
- It is important in determining cell membrane permeability
- Essential in production of estrogens and androgens
- Helps in the production of bile juice
- Insulates the nerve fibers
- Aids in production of vitamin D
- Necessary for metabolism of fat soluble vitamins including vitamins A, D, E and K.
Types of cholesterol
Broadly, there are three types of cholesterol- low density lipoproteins (LDL), high density lipoproteins (HDL) and triglycerides. LDL is commonly known as the bad cholesterol as it leads to blockage of arteries, blocking the flow of blood to and from the heart, resulting in failure of organs like the brain, genitals, liver and kidneys. High LDL can also lead to heart disorders. HDL however, is known as the good cholesterol as it carries unused cholesterol to the lover.
Top Home Remedies for High Cholesterol
Fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel, salmon, trout, sardines, herring, and bluefish are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty acids help in lowering triglycerides and prevent heart diseases. Consume at least one to four grams of fish oil every day. If you are a vegetarian, then you can include flaxseeds that contain Omega-3 fatty acids.
Fish oil capsules are another excellent alternative. They contain the essential Omega-3 which promotes HDL production in the body. 1 to 2 capsules daily before bedtime can reduce LDL levels significantly.
Even though this is counterintuitive, the oil is considered to be more beneficial for high cholesterol, though a saturated fat. It contains lauric acid, which is essential in increasing HDL (good cholesterol) and improves LDL to HDL ratio. Use organic coconut oil in your diet more often, one or two tablespoons, but avoid using processed or refined coconut oil.
List of Top Home Remedies for High Cholesterol
Three cups of fresh orange juice everyday can help reduce high blood cholesterol levels naturally because oranges are rich in Vitamin C, flavonoids and folate. Studies show that drinking 750 ml of pure orange juice every day can increase HDL cholesterol and triglycerides while reducing LDL to HDL ratio in hyper-cholesterolemic patients. Even better is orange juice fortified with sterols as studies have shown that even 3 grams of phytosterols in a day can lower cholesterol by 11% and LDL by 15%.
Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and pistachios, among other nuts and seeds, are very effective in controlling high cholesterol as they contain fiber and plant sterols. Walnuts have in particular, been found to help reduce cholesterol and triglycerides. In addition to these, increase your consumption of whole grains among other high fiber foods.
Red Yeast Rice
This contains the compounds monacolins that hinder cholesterol synthesis, lowering cholesterol levels. It is rice that has been fermented by red yeast. For years, it has been used in Asia for medicinal reasons. Research shows that it can decreases the bad cholesterol significantly. If you are using the dietary supplement, be cautious as these can come with long-term side effects.
Onion and garlic
These have compounds that promote HDL cholesterol production and prevent production of LDL. They have been used for ages to improve heart health. Additionally, they help keep triglycerides levels in check. Other health benefits include blood purification and circulation.
All leguminous beans have properties that can reduce LDL cholesterol. Regular consumption of beans enhance the good HDL cholesterol, leading to a healthy heart and body. Studies have in fact, showed that two cups of beans can help decrease LDL levels by about 22%.
This contains several medicinal properties. It has been found that the tea has compounds that keep LDL cholesterol away. Intake of cinnamon tea on a regular basis can help maintain a balance in cholesterol.
Adding a teaspoon of honey to a cup of hot water in the morning can help get rid of excess fat and cholesterol in the body system according to specialists. Even more effective is adding lime juice of drops of cider vinegar to the drink.
Added to eggplant, you can enjoy a cholesterol-fighting remedy at home with turmeric. Mix turmeric with cooked, mashed eggplant and boiling and spread it on wheat bread and have it after a meal.
These can reduce LDL by up to 20% when you have 25 to 50 grams of soy protein daily for a month or so. Additionally, soy improve the ability of arteries to dilate- expanding better for unimpeded passage of fats.
Check out other home remedies here.