Cholesterol is something that naturally occurs in the body. It is found in lipids (fat) in the blood and the body actually needs it to build cells. High cholesterol is another story. It can increase a person’s risk for heart attack, stroke, or other forms of heart disease. So how do you lower your cholesterol?
Because people with high cholesterol don’t reveal any symptoms, cholesterol levels often go unnoticed. The only way to determine your cholesterol level is by taking routine blood tests. One of the best ways to lower cholesterol is to start by changing your diet, given that unhealthy eating habits are usually the root of the problem. Before you lower your cholesterol, you have to know that there are two types of cholesterol.
There is low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is considered bad cholesterol and HDL is considered to be good cholesterol. High levels of LDL can lead to build-up in the arteries, while HDL helps to carry cholesterol to the liver for elimination from the body. The build-up of cholesterol contributes to narrowing the arteries, which is called arteriosclerosis, and that restricts blood flow.
Here are 7 natural remedies to lower your cholesterol.
#1: Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a great natural remedy for helping to lower your cholesterol because it helps restore a neutral pH balance, while removing toxins from the body. Mix 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of distilled water and drink this regularly, increasing the amount of apple cider vinegar as your body gets used to it (up to 2 tablespoons per glass is ideal).
#2: Healthy Diet
It is ideal to maintain a healthy diet, which is primarily comprised of plant-based foods. Eliminating trans fats, saturated fats, flour, sugars, cigarettes, alcohol, dairy products, and red meat can help keep you on your quest to keep your cholesterol levels down. Plant-based foods provide the essential nutrients that your body needs.
Exercise, especially aerobic exercises, can help increase HDL levels as well as contribute to weight loss. Getting rid of excess weight can help lower cholesterol because it keeps the blood flowing and eliminates extra fat.
Garlic is a great herb that has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Eating raw garlic or adding it to fresh juices and smoothies may help discourage high blood pressure and reduce cholesterol in the blood. If eating raw garlic is too intense, you can cook with it in every meal to reap its benefits. The results will be better if you eat it in its raw form, though.
#5: Decrease Stress
Stress can release fat into the bloodstream, which can raise cholesterol levels. You can decrease your stress by meditating, practicing yoga or Tai Chi, trying hypnotherapy, or even trying guided imagery sessions. You can also try breathing exercises, massage therapy, or acupuncture to help lower stress.
#6: Coconut Oil
Although it may seem counterintuitive, consuming coconut oil can be beneficial for those with high cholesterol. Even though coconut oil has saturated fat, it also contains lauric acid, which helps increase HDL levels. A good amount to consume is one or two tablespoons per day. Make sure it is unfiltered and organic.
Nuts can be helpful in lowering cholesterol levels. Nuts and seeds contain plant sterols and fiber, which help to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Walnuts are particularly beneficial for those with high cholesterol.