High cholesterol signifies the presence of higher levels of bad cholesterol i.e. LDL (low-density lipoproteins) and lower levels of good cholesterol i.e. HDL (high-density lipoproteins). Generally, it is necessary for proper organ functioning, hormones production, vitamin D production, and digestive fluids production. But too much cholesterol, especially the bad one, leads to serious diseases that can prove fatal.
The entire cholesterol comprises of LDL+HDL+Triglycerides(20%). The reason HDL is good because of its anti-atherogenic nature. It prevents building up of plaques on arteries, avoiding sticking of platelets from each other. In the case of LDL, it makes your platelets stick to each other and pose a risk of developing plaque on the arteries.
Your body is well equipped to generate the required amount of cholesterol. Still, the problem arises when our certain unhealthy food habits (highly saturated and trans fats) add up the unnecessary cholesterol. Some other causes of the high level of cholesterol are genetics, diabetes, lack of exercise, smoking, age, etc.
How it affects your body?
Apart from plaque buildup on your arteries, it also has other effects on your body too. It assists your digestive system in bile production. The excess amount leads to the production of stones in your gall bladder. Along with this, the plaque build-up on arteries leads to irregular flow of fresh oxygenated blood supply to your brain, which can lead to brain stroke.
How to reduce cholesterol?
Regular exercising and making specific lifestyle changes helps in reducing cholesterol levels drastically. But along with these, your regular diet plays a crucial role in keeping your cholesterol levels in control.
Let’s discuss which foods you must regularly consume to avoid such dangerous diseases from happening in the first place.
Among the different varieties of nuts, walnuts are the only ones that are rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. They are also rich sources of polyunsaturated fats. As per the studies, consuming walnuts helps in a drastic drop in cholesterol levels.
Among the whole grain family, steel-cut oats have the highest amount of soluble fiber. Some studies have shown that 5-10 grams of these grains are enough to lower the levels of LDL. Another best thing about it is that they possess the lowest glycemic index due to less processing.
Among the legume’s family, black beans pose the richest source of the soluble fiber. In each cup of black beans, you get 5 grams. It is also one of the most soluble fiber among any plants.
The antioxidant compounds and polyphenols present in the apples halt the oxidation process of LDL’s. The oxidative process leads to plaque formation in your arteries. As compared to whole grains, apples also consist of soluble fibers and pose the same ability to lower down the levels of LDL.
A small apple consists of one gram of soluble fiber.
Salmon fish consists of high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to improve your level of HDL. Studies conducted by the western human nutrition research center showed that 20 days of regular consumption spiked the HDL levels by 10% among the people with normal lipid levels.
You can also eat other omega-3 fatty acid rich fish such as sardines, albacore tuna, and mackerel.
Another one from the whole grain family, which also contains soluble fibers, the most common variety of barley that you can find in supermarkets is pearled barley. These are also minimally processed. You can also go for hulled and hulless barley.
Olive oil consists of a powerful mix of antioxidants that helps in lowering LDL levels. Make sure you use extra-virgin olive oil. As this oil is manufactured with minimal processing, the majority of its antioxidants remain intact.
Flaxseeds are rich in plant-based omega-3 fats. Both the seeds as well as oil are responsible for lowering LDL levels. Some studies have shown that this seed has a good effect on men as compared to women. Make sure you consume it in grounded form for proper digestion.
Avocados are highly nutritious fruits. They are rich in fibers and monounsaturated fats, which are essential in lowering LDL levels and spike the HDL levels.
Cocoa also helps in reducing LDL levels in the blood, and along with that, people consuming it also lowered their blood pressure. It also helps in halting the oxidation process of LDL in the blood.
You can consume cocoa directly or can eat dark chocolate that consists of cocoa as the main ingredient.
Clove essential oil
Not only foods, but there are also certain effective essential oils for high cholesterol levels. One of them is clove essential oil. Eugenol, which is present in this oil, prevents platelets from sticking to each other. In other words, it prevents blood clots. This drastically reduces the levels of LDL in the blood.
Garlic consists of a beneficial compound called allicin, which helps in lowering the blood pressure and LDL levels in your body. Since large amounts are required for efficiency, take age-related supplements that are available in the market.
White tea, black tea, and green tea help in maintaining healthy blood pressure and prevents blood clots. All three of them have similar properties.
Apart from taking these foods, it is important that you limit the foods that spike your cholesterol levels. Avoid foods derived from animals that are rich in saturated fats (ice cream, whole milk, fatty red meats), processed foods that contain trans fats (chips, donuts, bacon, dried fruits, etc.).
By doing all this, you balance your bad as well as good cholesterol levels in your body naturally, which is essential for your healthy being.
Jennifer is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, Ayurvedic, yoga and fitness through her writing. She currently writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies.