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 attack. 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 your health condition regularly to know if a remedy is working for you.
Top 10 Doctor-Approved Natural Home Remedies For High Cholesterol Levels
I. What Is High Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is made by the liver and has important functions in the body, such as generating vitamin D, producing hormones, and digesting fats. Plus, the nervous system and brain depend on cholesterol to create synapses that pass neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin back and forth between brain cells. Our bodies make the cholesterol we need, but some cholesterol comes from the foods we consume. If your cholesterol is too high, it will build up in the arteries and affect 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 because when the LDL is 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 LDL cholesterol in the blood. Conversely, HDL cholesterol is considered “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.
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II. What Causes High Cholesterol?
Diet and lifestyle are the primary causes leading to inflammation and therefore 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:
- Consuming a high saturated fat diet
- Being overweight or obese
- Not being physically active
If anyone in your family has high cholesterol, you might too.
III. Home Remedies For High Cholesterol
Nuts are an excellent home remedy for high cholesterol levels. Research indicates 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 other types. They include pecans, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and almonds. Apart from these nuts, nuts such as cashews, macadamia nuts, although they have some health benefits, contain relatively high amounts of unhealthy saturated fats. Additionally, plain nuts are healthier than nuts that are candied, salted, or covered in chocolate or sugar.
Consuming too many nuts can add lots of calories to your diet. Besides eating them raw as a snack, you can sprinkle them in pasta dishes or on salads. When nuts replace foods that are high in saturated fats like red meat, the cholesterol lowering impact is even greater.
2. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is one of the best foods that have been proven to reduce cholesterol in clinical trials . Chocolate that has at least 70% cacao is very good for health. But, dark chocolate contains more cacao 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 and increase HDL. Chocolate has over 300 natural properties within it. The most famous include cacao, caffeine, and sugar. Chocolate also contains flavonoids. Flavonoids can lower LDL cholesterol levels and help prevent coronary heart disease. Furthermore, one-third of the fat content in chocolate is stearic acid. Although stearic acid is a saturated fat, it has 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 enhancing the flavour of food 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 greater the cholesterol drop . There are also studies contending that garlic is not effective in lowering cholesterol, and many studies concluding that garlic is useful forto lowering cholesterol levels. Hence, you should combine garlic with other remedies to get desired results. Also note 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 . Oxidized cholesterol is considered as the main initial step in the build-up of plaque in arteries and hence the cause of heart attacks. Lycopene 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.
Tomatoes have a high content of folic acid, fiber, phytosterols, and vitamins A and C. All these substances help you have better health. Here are some ways to increase the intake of tomatoes, especially lycopene.
- Process the tomatoes with heat. You can make tomato sauce and tomato soup
- Consume fresh tomatoes with fats like olive oil
- Make salads using fresh tomatoes
Now that you realize how important it is to include tomatoes in your diet, below are ways you can include them in daily meals:
- Always have tomatoes at home
- Always include tomatoes in 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 adding protein to your healthy diet, soy can also lower cholesterol levels  . Scientists have found that soy has two primary components that can reduce cholesterol: protein and isoflavones. However, consuming soy foods may only lower LDL cholesterol by 3%. If you try to combine soy with other remedies, it's worth considering. Plus, soy is a good source of fiber and is also low in saturated fat.
The best way to get the health benefits of soy is to swap soy for foods you usually consume that have a high content of animal fats.
Note: Fermented soy is healthier than raw soy. Also, eating too much soy has been linked to thyroid problems.
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. Besides having a high content of vitamin C, amla is a storehouse of minerals and antioxidants. 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. To make the juice, follow this procedure:
- Cut two amlas into small pieces and remove seeds
- Grind the amlas with a cup of water
- Strain 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 for 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 kiwi contains 0.36 grams of fat, but just 0.02 grams of saturated fat. This number is less than 1% of the recommended limit for an adult on a 2,000-calorie diet. 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 grams 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 in 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
- Enjoy this nutrient rich fruit as a healthy dessert
People with high cholesterol levels should consume one avocado per day to get the desired overall cholesterol level. Avocado contains monounsaturated fats and can improve the level of cholesterol in a week. 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:
- Although they contain various substances important for health, avocados are high in calories. Therefore, you should eat this food source in moderation.
- Combine avocado with exercise. It is useful for both losing weight and maintaining heart rate.
9. Green 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 decrease LDL cholesterol levels and promote HDL cholesterol levels . However, if you take high doses of green tea over a long period of time, it can cause symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, heart palpitations, and dizziness. It may also interact with drugs, so consult your doctor before you consume green tea to get the best results.
Numerous studies have indicated that eating an apple per day keeps the doctor away. Apples are affordable and beneficial for one’s entire health. Not only that, many people find that apples have an important role in reducing cholesterol levels. Some effects of apples in improving your cholesterol level include:
- Apples are loaded with a soluble fiber called pectin. This substance makes you feel fuller faster, so the consumption of apples contributes to weight loss because it cuts down on eating other foods you might crave. Controlling weight also contributes to cholesterol lowering.
- Because apples are loaded with fiber, they improve digestion and prevent constipation.
- The consumption of one to two apples per day for at least 6 months reduces LDL levels by 23%.
- 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 and thus 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 cholesterol levels.
- Consuming apples without peeling the skin is the best because the apple skin contains most of the important nutrients, including polyphenols. However, make sure you wash the apple thoroughly before enjoying it to avoid harmful pesticide residues.
- 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 your meals more effectively.
- You can also juice apples. Consuming one apple as an early breakfast is recommended.
Once you begin following the above home remedies for high cholesterol levels, you will notice a change in your condition after several weeks. Try them regularly without fail and let us know how they worked in fighting your cholesterol issues.
All content provided is for information and educational purposes. We recommend you consult a healthcare professional to determine which method is appropriate for you.