Cholesterol, by definition, is a kind of fat that is transported and found in blood in the human body. This fat is essential for various bio-synthetic pathways, and its production is made possible by specific cells in the body. The challenge, however, comes in from the fact that cholesterol is also obtained from one’s diet. When there is an excessive accumulation of cholesterol n the body, it begins accumulating in the arteries. Arteries are the blood vessels that transport blood from the heart to the different parts of the body.
This accumulation causes the arteries to narrow due to hardening, a condition referred to as atherosclerosis. In many instances, this marks the beginning of different conditions that affect the heart and hamper proper blood circulation. The most common effects of atherosclerosis include blood clots, strokes and heart attacks. In order to reduce the likelihood of these conditions, it is important to take measures to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood.
To understand how these home remedies will work, you need to know that there are different categories of cholesterol – good and bad cholesterol. Good cholesterol, also referred to as HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) is linked to lower chances of heart disease. Bad cholesterol on the other hand, is known as LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) and is associated with increased risk of heart disease.
The difference between the two is that HDL is transported to the liver where it is metabolized while LDL tend to line the walls of the blood vessels. Some of the risk factors associated with high levels of cholesterol include obesity, smoking, excessive drinking and different conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and kidney disease. Listed below are home remedies that you can use to treat high cholesterol levels at home.
1. Coconut Oil:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: 2 Tablespoons of organic coconut oil.
Coconut oil may seem to have the opposite effect of lowering cholesterol levels in the body, but you will be amazed to learn that this remedy has excellent benefits for the body. Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but one that has high concentrations of lauric acid. Lauric acid is the active ingredient that helps manage cholesterol levels as it increases the amounts of HDL (‘good’ cholesterol), in effect lowering the concentration of LDL. Overall, this improves the ratio of the two types of cholesterol and this is always a positive indicator for better health. The most important thing when choosing this remedy is to look for organic coconut oil; avoid processed coconut oil at all costs.
- Simply add the organic coconut oil to your daily diet 2 tablespoons daily will work wonders and help you reduce the high levels of cholesterol in the body.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Cup of pure flaked oats, 1 cup of cold water and 1/2 cup of milk of desired. Dried fruits or nuts (optional).
Oats are an excellent and healthy option as far as managing cholesterol levels is concerned. Not only are oats laden with soluble fiber that helps improve digestion, they are also rich in beta-glucans. Beta-glucans have been shown to decrease the rate of cholesterol uptake by the body, effectively reducing its concentration. Regular intake of oats goes a long way in reducing the levels of cholesterol present in the body. You may add dried fruits to your oatmeal to reduce its otherwise bland taste.
- Take 1/2 a cup of the oats and place in a pan.
- Pour in the cold water and stir.
- Turn the heat on and bring the mixture to boil for 2 minutes, all the while stirring to prevent the oats from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Turn off the heat and cover.
- Allow the cooked oats to stand for 5 minutes.
- You may add some milk for a creamier bowl of oats.
- Sprinkle dried fruits or nuts such as walnuts for a refreshing meal.
- Take oatmeal at least once daily for lower cholesterol levels.
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Your preferred nuts.
One of the simplest ways to reduce high cholesterol levels in the body is to go nuts, literally. Nuts are recommended as a healthy choice in maintaining an ideal cholesterol profile as they are packed with rich plant-based sterols and good fiber. The sterols work by lowering the overall levels of cholesterol in the blood, while the fiber helps get ‘things moving’ in the digestive tract.
This is yet another reason to enjoy a handful of your favorite nuts. Some of these include pistachios, roasted groundnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashewnuts almonds and pecans among other nuts. The results of this remedy are best seen alongside increasing one’s intake of whole grains.
- Enjoy a handful of your preferred nuts on a daily basis – the best way to do this is in between meals for a healthy and filling snack.
4. Fish Oil:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Fish oil supplements and flaxseeds (optional).
Fish oil is one of the most popular home remedies for the natural reduction of high cholesterol levels in the blood. This oil is usually obtained from fatty fish that include, but are not limited to Tuna, trout, sardines, mackerel and salmon among others. This oil is extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids which go a long way in reducing the amount of fat in circulation. This in turn lowers cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease. For those who have taken up a vegetarian lifestyle, the addition of flaxseeds goes a long way in increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in dietary intake.
- Fish oil is available in capsule form as a supplement, which you can get at your nearest chemist.
- Take the supplements twice daily, and incorporate flaxseeds in your daily diet for best results.
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of raw organic honey, 1 cup of hot water and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional).
Raw organic honey is one of the greatest cholesterol busters available. This is because the honey is loaded with vitamins and minerals that help lower levels of cholesterol in circulation. Additionally, honey also contains antioxidants which prevent the cholesterol from accumulating along the lining of the blood vessels, effectively lowering the risk associated with high cholesterol levels. When shopping for honey, look out for that which is raw and organic; avoid refined honey.
- Place 1 tablespoon of honey in the glass and add the hot water.
- Pour in the lemon juice and stir well.
- Drink this solution twice daily, and make sure one of those times is in the morning before taking anything else.
6. Indian Gooseberry:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of Indian gooseberry powder and 1 glass of warm water.
Indian gooseberry has long been used as a natural remedy for varying conditions, among them, the reduction of high cholesterol levels. The remedy is effective because it is packed with powerful antioxidants that help strengthen the muscles of the heart. The reason for this is that the active ingredients present in the herbal remedy prevent the excessive accumulation of cholesterol in the blood vessels. Indian Gooseberry is also rich in Vitamin C which boosts the body’s immune response.
- Place 1 teaspoon of the Indian Gooseberry powder in a glass and pour in the hot water.
- Stir the mixture and drink it every morning, preferably on an empty stomach.
7. Eggplant and Raw Garlic:
Time Required: 2 Min
What You Need: 1 Raw eggplant and 3 cloves of fresh garlic.
Eggplant is one of the most common vegetables across the world. Its great benefits in reducing cholesterol levels in the body make it an ideal choice for natural treatment options. This vegetable is recommended because it is rich n essential nutrients that ensure cholesterol levels are not increased. These nutrients include Manganese, Potassium, Niacin and Copper. Eggplant, sometimes referred to as Brinjal, is also rich in a compound known as nasunin. Nasunin binds to free radicals, and this helps maintain the integrity of the blood vessels by preventing cholesterol deposits.
Raw garlic on the other hand works by reducing the total cholesterol levels in the body. Its healing properties (anti-viral and anti-fungal) also add to the health of the heart, and have been linked to lower blood pressure. To get the most of garlic, it is advisable to consume the garlic raw as opposed to cooking it.
NOTE: Eggplant is not recommended for those with kidney diseases, conditions affecting the gallbladder as well as those who suffer acidity.
- The best thing about using eggplant is that it may be prepared in a myriad of ways. These range from roasting to grilling to frying.
- Simply choose a recipe that you love and enjoy this wonder vegetable.
- When it comes to the use of garlic, the best results are obtained when it is consumed raw.
- Crush the garlic and take it in its raw form to reduce cholesterol levels in the body.
8. Avocado Fruit:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Ripe avocado.
Avocados are a delicious fruit loved the world over, thanks to their rich creamy texture. This fruit is recommended for the treatment of high cholesterol levels as it contains oleic acid. Oleic acid is a healthy fat that effectively lowers the amount of LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) while increasing the levels of HDL (‘good’ cholesterol). Avocado may be consumed in different ways: prepared as spread, used in guacamole, added to salad or simply eaten raw.
- Take an avocado at least once daily in your preferred form.
9. Olive Oil:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Olive oil
Olive oil, just like avocado, is packed with heart-friendly healthy monosaturated fats that help reduce the concentration of LDL in the blood. The advantage of using this oil is that it does not affect the levels of HDL in the body. You may ingest the olive oil or opt to use it in your cooking.
- Take at least 2 tablespoons of olive oil daily.
- You may also drizzle the olive oil on your salad, or use it to saute your vegetables.
10. Regular Exercise:
Time Required: Varies depending on select exercises.
What You Need: Appropriate exercise gear and consistency.
Regular exercise has been promoted as one of the most effective natural ways to treat an array of conditions. When it comes to reducing high cholesterol levels in the body, exercise is best combined with one or more of the aforementioned home remedies. This is because exercise lowers the overall level of triglycerrides while increasing the amount of ‘good’ cholesterol in the body. The overall result of regular exercise also aids in weight loss, thus cutting off obesity, one of the greatest risk factors for increased cholesterol levels.
There are many different exercise routines that one can take up. For this reason, it is best to consult your doctor, especially if you already have pre-existing conditions. The choice of exercise determines the preferred gear. Regardless of the choice of exercise routine, consistency is key if any positive changes are to be made. Exercising at least thrice weekly is recommended. Start out slowly and increase the level of activity steadily for best results.
- Choose an exercise routine that you love and work at it as best as you can.
Other home remedies that you may use to reduce cholesterol levels include turmeric which prevents the accumulation of cholesterol on the walls of the blood vessels, brown rice (in place of white rice) which has a high concentration of saturated oils that reduce the ‘bad’ cholesterol as well as Fenugreek seeds.The latter works by reducing the rate of cholesterol absorption following a fat-rich diet. Research shows that daily intake of fenugreek seeds also lowers the risk of a heart attack, making it an ideal home remedy. It also helps to avoid processed junk food as this has a tendency to increase the levels of LDL in the body.