As we all know, heart disease is the NO. 1 killer for both man and woman in the world. According to studies, lowering cholesterol can reduce the risk of having a heart attack, so no matter for people with heart disease or without heart disease, it is critical for all adults to have their cholesterol levels tested.
How can you lower your cholesterol levels
Usually, cholesterol is kept in balance. However, the standard western diet which includes a lot of hydrogenated fats and refined carbohydrates leads to an upset in this balance. The imbalance is manifested in elevated LDL (bad cholesterol) and a low HDL (good cholesterol) which increases our risk for heart attack or stroke. Other causes include inactivity, diabetes, stress, and hypothyroidism.
Your cholesterol level is influenced by many factors, including age, weight, stress, foods you eat, physical activity. People can lower the cholesterol level by leading a healthy lifestyle; keeping a healthy weight, eating foods with low saturated fat as well as low trans-fats, doing exercise regularly, avoiding alcohol, smoking, etc.
However, there are some natural herbs you can include in your diet for managing, reducing and improving your cholesterol levels.
Alfalfa is loaded with vitamins, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, iron and other types of minerals which are all essential for the proper functioning of the various organs in the body.
Studies have shown that alfalfa seeds may help people maintain a healthy cholesterol level by reducing the harmful types of cholesterol (LDL) in the blood while the good kind of cholesterol (HDL) seems to be unaffected. The fibers and saponin compounds in alfalfa seem to bound with cholesterol, keeping it from staying in the blood.
You should take alfalfa in moderation (80-120 grams daily is recommended) as it may cause damage to red blood cells because of its saponin content.
Garlic has been used for treating several types of diseases, and studies have shown that garlic can help to keep the cholesterol levels in good balance by reducing the cholesterol levels while increasing the “good” HDL-cholesterol levels.
Plus, garlic can lower your cholesterol levels without any side effects as other drug treatments, in addition to reducing blood pressure, protecting against infections and preventing blood clots. So if you want to keep positive cholesterol levels, try to add garlic to your meals.
Green tea is an amazing antioxidant and has been shown to prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract, making it a good tool for reducing the cholesterol levels.
A research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who drink green tea, have around 2% lower of the “bad” cholesterol levels than those who didn’t have green tea, and at the same time, the good cholesterol was not being affected.
Policosanol is a herb obtained from sugar cane, which has been shown to be effective in reducing cholesterol levels in the body by breaking down the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). Plus, it does not increase the blood sugar levels. Researchers have found that policosanol is particularly beneficial for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol levels.
5-10mg a day of this supplement is suggested by experts for reducing your cholesterol levels and should not take more than 20mg in one day.
Other healthy habits to reduce your cholesterol levels
Cholesterol is something that you can control by using some of the herbal treatments as well as other healthy lifestyle habits too:
- Try to limit the high cholesterol foods
- Make sure to eat enough healthy vegetables and fruits every day, as the fiber they providing may help to lower the risk of heart disease
- Eat heart-healthy foods, including foods rich in soluble fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Choose some form of exercise
- Keep your cholesterol levels tested sometimes every year, for managing and controlling it in a good manner.