Elevated cholesterol level is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. When the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or the bad cholesterol builds-up in the artery, it hardens and forms plaque that obstructs blood flow. However, not all types of cholesterol are harmful for health. The high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or the good cholesterol helps in driving away the bad cholesterol from the body. Hence, to avert the harmful effect of cholesterol on our health, the LDL and total cholesterol levels should not rise beyond a certain limit.
There Are A Number Of Surprisingly Easy Ways To Lower The Cholesterol Level:
Notwithstanding the unpleasant garlic breath, people with high cholesterol are encouraged to increase their garlic consumption. A large number of studies have shown that garlic helps in lowering the LDL cholesterol level. The bioactive compounds in garlic help in blocking cholesterol synthesis in the liver. Furthermore, garlic seems to help in breaking down cholesterol and facilitates their excretion.
2. Psyllium Husk
Although psyllium husk is better known for its role in easing bowel movement, the higher fiber content of the seed husk helps in lowering the high cholesterol level. According to studies, psyllium husk seems to be as effective as the lipid lowering statin drugs. Furthermore, psyllium husk is well-tolerated. Compared with statins there are fewer side effects of consuming psyllium husk.
3. Oat Bran
Just as psyllium husk, oat bran too is an excellent source of soluble fibers that help in lowering cholesterol. Soluble fibers inhibit absorption of cholesterol from food. The fats present in the food bind with the fibers and are eliminated through stool. Inclusion of oat bran in your diet seems to help in reducing dietary cholesterol absorption by 15%.
Red grapefruit is known for its cholesterol lowering property. Although it is a good source of fibers that help in reducing cholesterol absorption from the intestine, scientists believe that a bioactive constituent of the fruit is primarily responsible for the lipid lowering activity of grapefruit. However, grapefruit tends to interact with a number of medications including statins. Therefore, do not take grapefruit without consulting your doctor.
5. Green Tea
The catechins present in green tea help in blocking cholesterol absorption from the intestine. Furthermore, studies suggest that catechins help in inhibiting synthesis of LDL cholesterol in the liver, which further helps in reducing the cholesterol level in the blood. Furthermore, the antioxidant activity of the green tea catechins helps in obstructing oxidation of lipids, thereby reducing plague formation in the arteries.
6. Olive Oil
Olive oil helps in lowering the high cholesterol level. The healthy fats in olive oil help in maintaining the healthy HDL and LDL balance. Olive oil contains sitosterol that helps in inhibiting absorption of cholesterol from food.
Exercise helps in lowering the cholesterol level. Studies suggest that through various mechanisms exercise helps in reducing the harmful lipid level in the blood. It induces production of enzymes that helps in moving the LDL cholesterol from the arteries to the liver, from where they are expelled from the body. Furthermore, exercise helps in stimulating production of large protein molecules for transporting cholesterol that help in reducing the elevated level of harmful cholesterol in the blood.
8. Stress Management
Studies have shown that stress elevates the cholesterol level in the blood. The rise in the cholesterol level is a part of the body’s reaction to stress. Given the close association between stress and high cholesterol level, practicing stress management through meditation, deep breathing exercise or behavioral therapies helps in reducing the cholesterol level naturally.