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High Cholesterol



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What Is High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a naturally occuring, waxy substance found in lipids (fat) in the blood.  The body needs cholesterol to help build cells, but High Cholesterol can increase the person's risk of developing some form of Heart Disease.  High cholesterol can cause fatty deposits to develop in your blood vessels, which can ultimately inhibit proper blood flow and can even clog arteries.  While High Cholesterol can be inherited, it is usually the result of poor lifestyle choices and unhealthy eating habits. 

Signs Of High Cholesterol

People with High Cholesterol do not develop any symptoms, rather, a blood test is the only way to determine a person's cholesterol level.  If High Cholesterol levels go unnoticed, the person can have an increased risk of a getting a heart attack or stroke.  This is why routine blood tests for cholesterol levels are recommended. 

What Causes High Cholesterol

High Cholesterol can have several causes, but it is mostly due to unhealthy life choices or eating habits.  There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein.  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.  Common causes are:

  • Unhealthy diet
  • Obesity (excess weight can increase LDL levels)
  • Physical activity level (lack of physical activity can lower HDL)
  • Some diseases (Hypothyroidism, chronic kidney disease, and some liver diseases)
  • Family history
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Medications (steroids and progestins can decrease HDL)
  • Mental stress
  • Alcoholism

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • Apple cider vinegar is a great natural remedy for helping to lower High 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. 
  • 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.  Eating plant-based foods can deliver you the essential nutrients that your body needs without the processed chemicals or preservatives from other foods. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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.  Don't consume coconut oil in high amounts.  A good amount is one or two tablespoons per day. 
  • 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.  
Things you should eat
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Red Yeast Rice
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Indian Gooseberry
  • Coconut Oil
  • Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
  • Cabbage
  • Blueberries
  • Avocados
  • Grapefruit
  • Sweet Potato
  • Broccoli
  • Apples
  • Prunes
  • Carrots
  • Grapes
  • Soy Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Dark Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, & chard)
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