We are often told to be aware of high cholesterol, but what contributes to levels being higher than they should be in the first place and what can be done to lower it?
Fortunately, when it comes to lowering cholesterol, there is a number of natural things you can do to help lower it over time. High cholesterol, a condition that affects more than 102 million American adults, seems to be a constant topic of thought and discussion for people over 40 trying to improve their health. This is due to the fact that chronic conditions in the body can occur when too much cholesterol buildups in the arteries. Cholesterol is a naturally waxy and fat-like substance, which can narrow the arteries and put people at higher risk of a stroke or even heart disease.
This is why getting cholesterol levels checked by your primary care physician regularly is such an important part of balancing the body’s overall health, especially for people over the age of 40. The good news is, if you do have high cholesterol, there are quite a few dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to get your levels in check. Here are seven of the best natural ways to manage LDL cholesterol (not to be confused with HDL cholesterol, which is actually good).
Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol
#1 Add More Nuts to Your Diet
Yup, believe it or not, despite the fact that nuts are high in fat, they may actually be able to help you lower your cholesterol levels, naturally. Nuts are rich in healthy fats, and studies have suggested that regular nut consumption may be linked to lower LDL cholesterol levels in addition to lower triglyceride levels.
So, try snacking on a handful of walnuts, or replacing your wheat-based flour with almond flour. It may just be what your body needs to help get those cholesterol levels lowered.
#2 Sprinkle Turmeric on Your Food
There are countless reasons to add turmeric to your diet, and here’s just one more excuse to sprinkle some on your favorite dishes. Turmeric holds powerful inflammation-fighting properties, and curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has been found to reduce LDL cholesterol in studies.
However, it’s important to note that there is very little curcumin inside turmeric, and it’s very difficult for the body to absorb, so it’s also a good idea to add a powerful curcumin supplement, like Smarter Curcumin, to your daily routine in addition to spicing up your food with turmeric. This way you get more of this great healing substance into your body.
#3 Boost Your Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in things like fatty fish, flaxseeds, avocados, olive oil, and walnuts have long been known to help reduce inflammation in the body. However, they have also been found to hold some impressive cardiovascular health benefits, so upping your omega-3’s may help reduce your cholesterol levels. Try adding wild-caught salmon or sardines to your diet a couple of nights per week, add some flaxseed to your smoothies, and snack on some walnuts and avocados each day. It will do wonders for supporting cardiovascular health, while also reducing inflammation. To really boost your omega-3 levels beyond what you can get from your diet, try a natural omega-3 supplement like Smarter Omega 3.
#4 Ditch Coffee & Sip on Green Tea Instead
If you are used to waking up and brewing a pot of coffee each morning, try swapping it out with some green tea instead to support healthy cholesterol levels. Not only does green tea possess some anti-inflammatory and even fat burning properties, it may also help decrease your LDL cholesterol levels. Plus, limiting your caffeine intake by choosing a beverage that’s lower in caffeine like green tea, may also have a positive effect on your cholesterol levels.
#5 Eat More Garlic
Garlic can be great for reducing cholesterol levels, which is great news because it’s also delicious and makes food taste great. A garlic supplement may even be beneficial when it comes to reducing your cholesterol levels. Aged garlic extract has been shown to help helps lower cholesterol, according to animal studies. Plus, garlic may also help stabilize blood pressure levels in those who may also suffer from hypertension.
#6 Add Some Resistance Training to Your Workouts
Whether you are a cardio junkie, or do a ton of yoga, there is one type of exercise that has been found to help reduce cholesterol levels — resistance training. Resistance training may be especially beneficial not only for lowering cholesterol, but also lowering body fat percentage. So, don’t be afraid to add some weight lifting to your exercise routine, and if you don’t like lifting weights, you can try resistance bands instead!
#7 Reduce Stress
Stress reduction is going to benefit your overall health in many ways, including having a positive impact on your cardiovascular health, which can result in lower cholesterol levels. Try adding some stress reduction into your daily life in combination with these other tips to supercharge your ability to naturally reduce cholesterol levels.
Try moving your body more, or simply winding down your day with a good book to help calm the mind and add some more Zen to your life.
The Bottom Line
High cholesterol is something that affects millions of people and can put you at risk for other cardiovascular health issues. One of the problems with high cholesterol is that so many doctors are writing prescriptions for statin drugs to lower LDL cholesterol, but if the dietary and lifestyle causes of high cholesterol are not changed, your cholesterol levels may still suffer.
So, take the steps necessary to help naturally control your cholesterol. Not only will your cardiovascular health benefit, but your overall physical and mental health will as well.