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Five ways to help reduce cholesterol levels naturally

11 February 2017  |  Admin

It is a well known fact that heart disease claims more lives than almost any other known medical condition but there are studies indicating that lowering cholesterol can reduce the risk of serious heart disease.

Get Your Cholesterol Level Checked Regularly
Cholesterol levels can be influenced by many factors including age, weight, diet choices, stress and lack of physical activity. It therefore follows that a healthy lifestyle will help to lower those levels. That lifestyle will include maintaining a healthy weight, eating foods with low saturated fats and trans-fats, exercising regularly, avoiding excess alcohol and not smoking at all.
Middle aged and senior adults are advised to have their cholesterol levels professionally checked regularly. In the UK a basic test can be done at many pharmacies. The full test will require a fasting blood test done by your local doctor’s surgery.
Including these plants and plant extracts in you regular diet can help to lower your cholesterol in conjunction with positive lifestyle choices.

Image of Alfalfa from a list of 5 foods to help naturally lower cholesterol

1. Alfalfa
Studies indicate that alfalfa and its seeds may help to maintain a healthy balance of cholesterol by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) without having any apparent affect on HDL (good cholesterol). The mechanism of action is not yet fully understood but it appears that specific constituents of alfalfa bind to the cholesterol, which is then expelled as waste and thus is not retained in the blood.

Image of Garlic from a list of 5 foods to help naturally lower cholesterol

2. Garlic
This herb is very commonly used in cooking all over the world but its health benefits are not always appreciated. Studies have indicated that it can reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and actually increase HDL (good cholesterol). It is also believed to help lower blood pressure and help protect against infections.

Image of Policosanol from a list of 5 foods to help naturally lower cholesterol

3. Policosanol
This lesser known natural extract is obtained primarily from sugar cane and has been shown to be effective in reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) and helping to maintain steady blood sugar levels. Recent research also suggests that policosanol can be of particular benefit to menopausal women with elevated cholesterol levels. Suggested levels of intake are 5 to 10mg per day and experts advise no more than 20mg per day.

Image of Green Tea from a list of 5 foods to help naturally lower cholesterol

4. Green Tea
This well appreciated plant extract is known to be high in antioxidants which help to cleanse the system of toxins. It also appears to help prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract, which makes it a useful addition to natural cholesterol management. A recent US study found a positive decrease in LDL (bad cholesterol) in those who regularly drank green tea measured against subjects that didn't drink it. They also found that HDL (good cholesterol) was not adversely affected.

Image of Organic Spirulina from a list of 5 foods to help naturally lower cholesterol

5. Organic Spirulina
Spirulina is a blue/green freshwater algae extract and recent cholesterol related research has indicated that the organic variety may contribute to a noticeable reduction in LDL (“bad cholesterol”) whilst showing an ability to increase HDL (“good cholesterol”). This research is promising but it is not yet considered definitive enough to fully recommend organic Spirulina as an official cholesterol lowering agent. Whilst this may be the case, it is worthy of consideration for those with cholesterol issues as part of their dietary intake intended to naturally lower LDL and raise or stabilise HDL levels.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices To Help Reduce Your Cholesterol Levels
l Limit or eliminate all high cholesterol foods
l Eat healthy vegetables and fruits every day - their fibre will also contribute to a lowering of the risk of heart disease
l Decrease intake of foods which are naturally high in fat
l Take some form of regular exercise
l Make sure you have your cholesterol levels checked at least once a year.
l Relax! Stress doesn’t help any body functions, including your cholesterol count.

Some source material and thanks to Alex Jordon