High cholesterol also called hypercholesterolemia is one of the main reasons for heart disease. However, the symptoms of this condition are not obvious until you get yourself tested or have a stroke or heart disease. Hence, before you have to cope with the complications, try to use natural home remedies that can lower cholesterol levels. Continue reading this article on Effective Remedies to discover the best natural doctor-approved home remedies for high cholesterol levels.
There is no science-based evidence for the following homemade recipes. The recipes we've focused on are traditional home remedies, so always consult your doctor and check out your health condition regularly to know if a remedy is working for you.
Top 11 Doctor-Approved Natural Home Remedies For High Cholesterol Levels
I. What Is High Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is made by the liver and has important functions for the body such as generating vitamin D, producing hormones and digesting foods. Plus, the nervous system and brain depend on cholesterol to create neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Our bodies make the cholesterol we need, but cholesterol comes from the foods we consume too. If the level of cholesterol is too high, it will build up in the arteries and cause atherosclerosis. Eventually, high cholesterol levels lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Cholesterol travels through the bloodstream in small packages called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are made of proteins on the outside and fat on the inside. Since fats are not water-soluble, this connection with proteins helps move them through your bloodstream. It is vital to have healthy levels of two lipoproteins carrying cholesterol throughout the body: high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). These lipoproteins transport cholesterol in and out of cells.
LDLs transport 75 percent of the cholesterol in the body and play the most important role in the repair and protection of cells and tissues. HDLs just do 25 percent of the work. People call LDL ‘bad” cholesterol as when the levels of LDL are high, it can result in the build-up of cholesterol in the arteries. You have a higher risk of suffering from heart disease when you have high levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood. Conversely, HDL cholesterol is considered as “good” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from other parts of the body back to the liver, where it is broken down and removed from the body. You have less chance of developing heart disease when you have higher levels of HDL cholesterol. Additionally, since cholesterol does not dissolve in the blood, HDL cholesterol helps remove the excess cholesterol that may be oxidized and cause inflammation, consequently coronary heart disease and many other health conditions.
II. What Causes High Cholesterol?
Diet and lifestyle are the primary causes leading to high cholesterol. They have a dramatic effect on the amount of fat in the blood and below are the reasons that increase your cholesterol level:
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- Consuming a high saturated fat diet
- Being overweight or obese
- Not being physically active
Besides, if anyone in your family has high cholesterol, you might too.
III. Home Remedies For High Cholesterol
1. Lemon Juice And Salt
Lemon is enriched with vitamin C that is also known as ascorbic acid. The presence of this vitamin in the metabolism of the human body will influence the quantity of cholesterol and lipid in the blood. Vitamin C helps lower the LDL level (bad cholesterol), but it does not increase the level of HDL (good cholesterol). The regular consumption of fresh 8 ounces of lemon juice will provide 94 milligrams of vitamin C, leading to the exceeding of the recommended daily intake for adults.
Besides, the flavonoids in lemon also have significant effects on human metabolism. The flavonoids such as eriocitrin and limonin make lemons have a bitter taste. However, the regular intake of eriocitrin can decrease the LDL level, phospholipids, and triglycerides in the blood. At the same time, limonin eases the production of apolipoprotein B that is associated with higher cholesterol levels.
Lemon also contains another substance that can reduce this condition. It is dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber like pectin. Consuming citrus pectin daily within 16 weeks can reduce the 7.6 percent of total cholesterol and 11 percent of the LDL.
Many people believe that reducing the consumption of salt will lower the risk of heart attack or stroke because of the lower blood pressure, but recent studies have shown that the reduction of the salt consumption will increase the cholesterol level. Hence, we need to consume the daily quantity of salt properly to get the balance between the blood pressure and the cholesterol level. The mixture of lemon juice and a pinch of salt for the daily consumption will make the health benefits balanced. This combination may offer benefits to weight reduction as well.
Note: When you use lemon, it is essential to remember that flavonoids and vitamin C are very sensitive to oxygen and heat. Hence, you should not add lemon to the tea or leave the peeled lemon juice since vitamin C and the flavonoids will be destroyed. You can also add lemon juice to fresh beverages or salads to get the best benefits from this fruit.
Nuts are one of the excellent home remedies for high cholesterol levels. The researches have indicated that walnuts, pecans, almonds, and other nuts can lower cholesterol. They have also substantiated the fact that although nuts contain fats, most nuts have high levels of healthy unsaturated fats. Plus, nuts also contain minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and other nutrients. All these substances make nuts ideal snack food. However, some types of nuts are better than the other types. They include pecans, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds, and peanuts. Apart from these nuts, nuts such as cashews, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts, although they have some health benefits, contain the relatively high content of unhealthy saturated fats. Additionally, plain nuts are often more beneficial than any nuts that are candied, salted, or covered in chocolate or sugar.
Consuming too many nuts can add an enormous quantity of calories to your diet. Besides eating them raw as a snack, you can sprinkle them in pasta dishes or on the salad. When nuts replace foods that are high in saturated fats like red meat, the cholesterol impact is even greater.
3. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is one of the best foods that have been proven to reduce cholesterol in clinical trials . Any kind of chocolate is also good for health as they contain the properties of cocoa that bring health benefits. But, dark chocolate contains more cocoa than other chocolate products, has a higher amount of flavonoids and hence is more likely to fight heart disease. Researchers have shown that dark chocolate may significantly reduce serum LDL and total cholesterol, but not triglycerides or HDL. Chocolate has over 300 natural properties within it. The most famous include cocoa, caffeine, and sugar. Nevertheless, chocolate also contains flavonoids, the lesser-known chemical in chocolate. Flavonoids can lower LDL cholesterol levels and help against coronary heart disease. Furthermore, one-third of the fat content in chocolate is stearic acid. Though stearic acid is a saturated fat, it exerts a neutral impact on cholesterol levels. This means it neither raises cholesterol levels nor lowers them.
You should not miss garlic if you are looking for the best natural home remedies for high cholesterol levels. Besides being a spice to add to foods, garlic contains allicin that can kill fungi and bacteria and alleviate some digestive disorders. This compound is also known to lower your cholesterol naturally .
Some studies have indicated that the more garlic you consume, the lower the cholesterol drop . But there are also studies contending that garlic is not effective in lowering cholesterol, although there are many studies concluding garlic is useful to lower cholesterol levels. Hence, you should combine garlic with other remedies to get desired results. Besides, one thing you need to pay attention to is the dose of garlic. The recommended amount is 1 to 2 cloves of raw garlic a day or 300 milligrams of dried garlic powder.
Recently, studies have indicated that lycopene in tomatoes may help reduce the presence of oxidized LDL . The oxidized cholesterol is considered as the main initial step resulting in the build-up of plaque in the arteries and hence, cause heart attacks. It can also lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood. Lycopene is the red pigment that is found in fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, pink grapefruit, rosehips, red chilies, and guavas. But it mainly comes from fresh tomatoes and tomato products.
Moreover, tomatoes have a high content of folic acid, fiber, phytosterols, and vitamins A and C. All these substances help you have better health. However, there are some ways to increase the intake of tomatoes, especially lycopene, the substance lowering the cholesterol levels.
- Process the tomatoes with heat. You can make tomato sauce and tomato soup
- Consume fresh tomatoes with fats like olive oil
- Make salads including fresh tomatoes
Now that you realize how important it is to include tomatoes in your diet and below are the ways you can apply to include them in the daily meals:
- Always have tomatoes at home
- Always include tomatoes in the salads
- Add some slices of tomato to your sandwiches
- Eat pasta with tomato sauce
Foods containing soy such as tofu, soy burgers, and soy beverages are derived from the soybean plant. Besides offering protein to your healthy diet, soy can also lower cholesterol levels  . Scientists have found that soy has two primary components that can reduce cholesterol, including protein and isoflavones. However, consuming soy foods may only lower LDL cholesterol by 3%. That's very little, but if you try to combine soy with other remedies, it's worth considering. Plus, soy is a good source of heart-healthy omega-3s and fiber and is also low in saturated fat.
The best way to get the health benefits is to swap the products of soy for foods you usually consume that have a high content of animal fats.
- Instead of chicken, try tofu
- Instead of cow’s milk, enjoy soy milk
- Instead of high-fat cheese, use soy cheese
- Instead of butter, choose a soy nut butter
Before using soy, you should note three things below:
- Soybean oil and soy sauce don’t contain soy protein
- Check the label to make sure the products of soy you buy have a low content of cholesterol, saturated fat, added sugar, and salt
- The word “soya” on packaged foods is another word of soy
Indian gooseberry or amla is one of the best home remedies for high cholesterol levels you should consider trying. Besides having the high content of vitamin C, amla is a storehouse of minerals and antioxidants. However, clinical studies show that it interferes with the absorption of cholesterol from food and stops the activity of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase that helps form cholesterol. Indian gooseberry may reduce total cholesterol level, LDL, and triglyceride level . More importantly, it can increase the HDL level. Apart from controlling the levels of blood cholesterol, amla also helps controls hypertension and has an anti-diabetic effect.
The easiest and safest way to use amla for lowering high cholesterol is to consume a cup of fresh amla juice every day. You can make the juice follow this procedure:
- Cut two amlas into small pieces and remove seeds
- Grind the amlas with a cup of water
- Strain it using a fine strainer or a muslin cloth
- Add a teaspoon of honey or a pinch of black salt before drinking
Studies showed that eating two kiwis a day within ten weeks may significantly reduce the level of LDL and raise the level of HDL. Saturated fat is the main factor influencing the amounts of LDL in the body. Therefore, eating foods that have a low content of saturated fat leads to lowered cholesterol. A 5-centimeter diameter measured kiwi contains 0.36 gram of fat, but just 0.02 gram of saturated fat. This number is less than 1% of the recommended limit for an adult on a 2,000-calorie diet. On the other hand, dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can also lower the cholesterol level. Soluble fiber helps to absorb water in your digestive system and form a viscous gel. This substance stops the intestines from absorbing cholesterol. One kiwi has 1.7 grams of overall fiber and 0.7 gram of soluble fiber. This amount equals that in 3 tablespoons of wheat germ, one cup of raw celery, or half a cup of cooked kale.
You can add kiwi to your diet by following these ways:
- Cut it into small pieces and mix with low- or non-fat yogurt
- Combine kiwi with other veggies to make your favorite salad
- Or just simply enjoy this nutrient fruit as a healthy dessert
People with high cholesterol level are recommended to consume one avocado per day to get the desired overall cholesterol level. Avocado is the type of fruit containing monounsaturated fats and can improve the level of high cholesterol in a week of consumption. These monounsaturated fats help destroy both excessive cholesterol in the bloodstream and the plaques on the artery walls, hence maintaining the cholesterol level under control. Plus, avocados contain high fiber, polyphenols, and phytosterols. All are beneficial in reducing cholesterol level. Avocados are also loaded with natural sugar that helps control blood sugar levels.
Below are some proper methods of consuming avocados:
- Though containing various substances important for health, avocados have a high content of calories. Therefore, you should eat this food source in moderation.
- Combine avocado with exercises. It is useful for both losing weight and maintaining the heart rates.
- Avoid using cheese, butter, and other high-fat foods when you consume avocados. This will keep the calories intake minimal.
10. Green Tea
Similar to other tea, green tea is derived from the camellia sinensis plant. But, it is made from unfermented leaves and has the highest content of antioxidants called polyphenols. Green tea has been proven to have the capacity to decrease LDL cholesterol levels and promote HDL cholesterol levels . However, if you take high doses of green tea in a long period, it can cause symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, heart palpitations, and dizziness. Besides, it may also interact with other drugs, so consult your doctor before you consume green tea to get the best results.
Numerous research has indicated that eating an apple per day keeps the doctor away. Apple is affordable and beneficial for the entire health. Not only that, many people find that apple has an important role in reducing cholesterol level. Some roles of apple in improving your cholesterol level, including:
- Apples are loaded with a soluble fiber called pectin. This substance makes you feel fuller faster, so the consumption of apple gives a great contribution to weight loss since it cuts down other food consumptions that you might crave for. Controlling the weight also contributes to cholesterol-lowering.
- Because apples are loaded with fiber, they help perform the digestion properly, as a result, keep constipation away.
- The consumption of one to two apples per day in at least 6 months reduce 23% of the LDL level.
- Eating apples on a daily basis also increases the level of HDL.
- Polyphenols, the antioxidant compounds in apples help inhibit the oxidation of LDL. This inhibition lowers the risk of cholesterol accumulation in the arteries that reduces the possibility of narrowed arteries.
Below are the methods you can apply to get the highest benefits from this terrific fruit:
- An apple a day is enough for controlling your weight. Two apples are beneficial in lowering the cholesterol level.
- Consuming apples without peeling the skin is the best because the apple skin contains most of the important nutrients, including the polyphenols. However, make sure you wash the apple thoroughly before enjoying it to prevent harmful pesticides leftover.
- To have the best results, you should eat apples one hour before each meal. This will promote proper metabolism in the intestines and stomach. Therefore, you can absorb the beneficial substances from the meals more effectively.
- You can also juice it. Consuming one apple as the early breakfast is recommended.
Once you begin following the above home remedies for high cholesterol levels, you will notice a change in your condition in several weeks. Try them regularly without fail and let us know how they worked in fighting your cholesterol issues.
All content provided are for informational & educational purposes. We recommend you consult a healthcare professional to determine which method is appropriate for you.