Thirty percent of the cholesterol comes from the food that we eat. Naturally, the quality and quantity of food intake plays a vital role in lowering and deciding the optimal cholesterol level in our body.
The normal level of cholesterol varies between 150-200 mg per 100 ml of blood.
High Cholesterol is associated with several atherosclerosis diseases like aneurysm, angina pectoris, nephroangiosclerosis, arteritis obliterans and cardiovascular stroke. Drugs to lower cholesterol are prescribed only in case of severe atherosclerosis.
See: Role of Cholesterol
The following are some simple food based remedies that are known to lower bad cholesterol (Low density lipoproteins or LDL) level in our body.
Coriander seeds: Coriander seeds are very beneficial for curing high cholesterol, as apart from lowering the cholesterol levels in the blood , they also help in functioning of the kidneys. Take about 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds and mix in a glass of boiling water. Cool and strain it and drink this at least twice a day.
Onion juice: Onion juice is a very good food based home remedy to lower blood cholesterol as it regulates the heart ‘s functioning apart from reducing the level of cholesterol and it cures insomnia and is good for digestive system. Raw onion ‘s juice must be extracted for this purpose.
Food rich in Lecithin: Lecithin is a fatty substance and has high amounts of phospholipids , which helps in lowering the cholesterol levels. Lecithin breaks down cholesterol into small particles , so that they can be easily handled by the body system. Egg yolk, wholegrain cereals soyabeans and unpasteurised milk are some sources of lecithin .
Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are very effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels. It contains linoleic acid which dissolves cholesterol, thereby reducing its level in blood. Substituting sunflower seeds for solid fats like butter and cream, is very helpful for healthier living. Add sunflower seeds to milk and drinking this helps in treating high cholesterol.
Water: The simplest and most effective food remedy to lower blood cholesterol is to drink lots of water. A person with high blood cholesterol should drink at least 10-12 glasses of water daily. Spread the water intake over the entire day. Avoid drinking too much water at one go.
Cinnamon and honey: Add about 5-6 sticks of cinnamon in about 5-6 cups of water and boil it. When still hot add about one tablespoon of honey and drink this mixture. This is one of the most effective natural cures for lowering the cholesterol levels.
Fiber rich food: Fiber rich foods help in lowering the LDL levels. It also helps in maintaining a balance between the cholesterol levels. Source of fibre rich foods are whole cereals, unprocessed wheat bran, barley rye, rice ,wheat , potatoes, carrots, beetroots, turnips , green leafy vegetables, fruits such as mangoes, guavas, vegetables like lady’s finger , lettuce and celery.
Basil: Taking one teaspoon of basil oil twice a day is the best home remedy for lowering blood cholesterol. Basil oil contains high levels of linoleic acid which is very helpful in treating high blood cholesterols.
Margosa leaves (Neem): Grind a few leaves of neem with a few leaves of basil and add at least five spoons of water to this mixture. Drink this mixture on empty stomach with one glass of water. This is a very useful home cure for reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood.
Goldenseal root: The golden seal root can be found in drugstores in the form of capsules easily. Take about one gram of the capsule thrice daily. The root can be boiled in water and drink this decoction twice daily.
Honey and onion: Extract juice from fresh onions and mix one spoon of honey and drink this mixture twice daily. If the mixture is not palatable, drink this mixture with a glass of milk or water twice daily.
Papaya: Cut ripe papaya into pieces and eat this on empty stomach for better results. Eat papaya regularly for about one month to lower blood cholesterol. Do not eat or drink anything for about two hours after eating papaya for even better results.
Parsley: Simmer fresh parsley leaves in water for several minutes. Drink this mixture several times a day for better results.Parsley is very effective food to lower blood cholesterol.
Watermelon: Take watermelon seeds and dry them. Roast the dried watermelon seeds. Make a powder of roasted watermelon seeds. The prescribed dose is one tablespoon thrice a day for at least 15 days. The powder can also be drunk by mixing it in a glass of water.
Walnuts and almonds: Walnuts and almonds are very effective food to lower blood cholesterol. They can be eaten in raw form or roasted and ground before mixing it water. Drink this once a day to lower blood cholesterol.
Fenugreek seeds: Take some fenugreek seeds and grind them into powder. Mix it in a glass of water and drink it. It can also be roasted and chewed to lower blood cholesterols.
Garlic: Eating 2-3 cloves of garlic a day helps in reducing or eliminating the harmful cholesterols from the body. Alternatively, simmer a piece of garlic in a glass of milk , and swallow it. Continue this for some days.
Olive oil: Mix a small amount of olive oil in green salads. Olive oil is very good for heart and is extremely helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels.
Guggul (Indian bedelblium): Guggul is very useful natural food for lowering cholesterol and eliminating related heart problems. Guggul contains guggulsterones which help in reducing the cholesterol levels. Take about 25 mg this thrice daily.
Ginger: Ginger is best taken in raw form. Boil the root and drink the water or grind the dry root before adding water to it.
Onion and buttermilk: Cut onion into small pieces and mix in a cup of buttermilk. Add some black pepper to it and take this for effective treatment of high cholesterol.
Gooseberry juice and honey: Take gooseberry juice and add some honey to it. Drink this in the morning on empty stomach. Gooseberry juice is very effective in lowering cholesterol levels.
Yoghurt: Yoghurt has compounds known to lower blood cholesterols. A liberal intake of curd can significantly reduce blood cholesterol.
Apple juice: Take apple juice mix with reasonable amounts of apple cider vinegar. Drink this mixture once daily for better results.
Chicory root: Mix roasted chicory root powder with fenugreek seeds and add lime flowers and ginger rhizome. Mix them well together and boil in water. Cool and strain this mixture. Drink this mixture at least two cups daily for better results.
Other Dietary recommendations to Lower Blood Cholesterol
The average daily intake of cholesterol should not exceed 300 mg. Some recommendations to ensure this are as follows:
- Always take diet low in fat and oil.
- Avoid saturated fat. Instead use polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats.
- Increase the intake of fibrous foods to help the digestion process.
- Drink as much water as possible to cleanse the system of toxic radicals
- Use sunflower oil for cooking instead of other forms of oil.
Foods to Avoid:
- Avoid white flour, sugar, and meat products.
- Avoid oily and spicy foods.
- Avoid excess alcohol and smoking.
Other recommendations to Lower Blood Cholesterol
Exercise and yoga are very important to keep cholesterol density at low levels. Exercise helps in strengthening the immune system. Jogging, brisk walking, cycling, swimming and playing badminton are excellent forms of exercise.
Lead a stress free life as a way of keeping the heart diseases away.
Cold hip baths are very useful to reduce the cholesterol contents.
Take mud packs and apply it over the abdomen it improves digestion and also helps in improving the liver functions and in activating the kidney functions, prompting excretion of wastes.
Food is not the only factor that determines cholesterol levels in our body. Heredity, general stress level and other cardiovascular risk factors like sedentary lifestyle, obesity, hypertension, history of smoking, hormonal imbalance during and after menopause and use of oral contraceptives are also associated with high cholesterol levels in the body.
Further, each individual demonstrates a different level of sensitivity in terms of cholesterol production vis-à-vis the food intake. Some people can eat oily food and still manage to keep cholesterol levels down. Others may take low fat diet but may have high cholesterol