HOW TO LOWER CHOLESTEROL NATURALLY.
A MINI GUIDE TO THE MOST EFFECTIVE NATURAL REMEDIES AGAINST CHOLESTEROL.
The term cholesterol is so often used in a negative sense that we forget that the presence of this lipid in the body is normal, indeed necessary for the health. This substance, in fact, plays some very important biological functions, but its presence in the blood in excessive amounts may expose you to health problems.
But how to lower cholesterol when it is too high? A healthy lifestyle and a proper diet, as indicated in an article published on the website of Professor Veronesi Foundation, are the critical steps to keep the values in check. However, there are also some natural remedies against cholesterol, which can help in case of hypercholesterolemia.
Let’s discover together what are the most effective steps and how to exploit them to the fullest. In this article we’ll try and explain in a clear and quick way the following topics:
– The difference between good and bad cholesterol. Cholesterol values
– What are the risks of high cholesterol?
– How to fight cholesterol with 5 natural remedies
- Red rice
- Flax seed
- Omega 3
- Chia seeds
– The diet for high cholesterol
– Why use a natural supplement for lowering cholesterol?
– Benefits, counterindications and side effects of the supplements for cholesterol
HDL AND LDL: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD AND BAD CHOLESTEROL
High cholesterol is perhaps the “enemy number one” in industrialized countries, due to the general tendency to intake too much animal fat in the diet. According to data published on the website of the “Heart Project, also in Italy, country of the Mediterranean Diet, in the period 2008-12 the average value of total cholesterol increased compared to 1998-2002. In both sexes, in addition, the incidence of hypercholesterolemia came to 34.3 in men and 36.6 in women.
But we must make a distinction between two different types of cholesterol:
LDL ( Low Density Lipoprotein ), commonly called bad cholesterol;
HDL ( Hight Desnity Lipoprotein ), also known as good cholesterol.
Elevated values of LDL cholesterol can generate concern since they are linked to many ailments and diseases, even serious ones. Let’s remember that are considered normal values up to 100 mg/dL for LDL cholesterol. Considered problematic values, however, are those greater than 129 mg/dl. Above this threshold, it is good to think about how to lower cholesterol to prevent possible health problems.
THE RISKS OF HIGH CHOLESTEROL
High cholesterol is, in general, asymptomatic, or does not cause by itself any characteristic symptoms. To find when there is hypercholesterolemia it is advisable to periodically undergo blood tests. High cholesterol may cause atherosclerosis.
Only in this way, it will be possible to become aware of the problem and tackle it with a diet and appropriate treatments, on the advice of your doctor. Please remember that you should not neglect this issue.
High cholesterol, in fact, may expose us to several health problems. Protracted hypercholesterolemia, is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries), heart problems, stroke and so on.
HOW TO LOWER CHOLESTEROL WITH 5 NATURAL REMEDIES
Help against bad cholesterol can be had from some natural substances often exploited in the formulation of specific supplements. Let’s see together what are the most effective and known natural remedies for cholesterol and how to exploit them to the fullest.
1) RED YEAST RICE
The red yeast rice is rich in a substance, the monacolin k, which when taken in appropriate doses (at least 10 mg per day ), can help maintain normal blood cholesterol levels. To take the amount of monacolin k sufficient to achieve the desired effects, you can make use of specific supplements, often enriched with plants useful to support the well-being of the liver.
The monacolin k is a natural substance and which develops in the common rice ( Oryza sativa ) as a result of a fermentation process operated by a specific yeast, called the Monacus purpureus.
The monacolin k of red rice subjected to this process assumes a reddish color and for this reason,it is called red rice.
The red yeast rice is mainly composed of starch (75%), but its most important components are the purposes herbal monacolins ; inside there are about 10 different types, but the monacolin k is the best known, by virtue of beneficial properties.
Phytosterols, also known as plant sterols, are natural substances characterized by a chemical structure similar to that of cholesterol; they are present in plants and are completely absent in food of animal origin.
Among the foods richer in phytosterols are included the vegetable oils, some buds, the legumes, the grain, the fresh fruit etc.
Several studies have shown that an ‘ adequate intake of plant sterols (at least 0.8 g per day) can help control cholesterol levels; in particular, these substances would be able to “reduce the intestinal absorption of cholesterol” (J. Pizzorno, MT Murray, H. Joiner-Bey, Clinical Guide to natural medicine, Borgomanero 2009).
In addition to preferring foods rich in plant sterols, it is possible to resort to specific natural supplements, able to ensure the daily dosages sufficient to obtain beneficial effects.
3) FLAXEED OIL
Flaxseed can help to lower cholesterol. The flax (Linum usitatissimus) is a fruity plant known to man since 3000 BC. Some studies have confirmed that flaxseed oil, as well as helping to maintain the function of cell membranes, can contribute to the metabolism of lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides). For this reason, linseed has a positive effect on levels of LDL.
It is, therefore, advisable to include the consumption of flaxseed in the diet or, better yet, make use of specific supplements, which make available adequate quantities of active ingredients.
4) OMEGA 3
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 to lower bad cholesterol. Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids belonging to the category of so-called “good fats “. These substances are present in certain plant foods (nuts, flax seeds, cereals, and legumes), but the main food sources are the fish. In particular, the richer in Omega-3are cod, sardines, swordfish, tuna, and salmon
These substances can offer various beneficial effects; in particular two categories of omega3, DHA and EPA, can help us to maintain proper levels of blood triglycerides.
The positive effects, however, are achieved only by assuming at least 2 g of EPA + DHA per day. For this reason, often nutrition alone is not enough, and it is good to make use of specific supplements that guarantee the right intake of Omega-3.
5) CHIA SEEDS
The plan of chia (Salvia hispanica) is native to Mexico and Guatemala and is still widely used in central South America. It produces tiny seeds rich in important nutrients such as fiber, Omega-3 and Omega-6, vitamin C, calcium, potassium and other minerals.
The daily consumption of chia seeds can bring several benefits: in particular, thanks to the presence of α-linolenic acid, it can help maintain normal blood cholesterol levels. The minimum amount of α-linolenic acid to be consumed every day to get the desired effects is at least 2 g: this “quota” can be achieved by consuming 15 grams of chia seeds, which provide well-2,67 g of linoleic acid.
THE DIET FOR HIGH CHOLESTEROL
It is now known that the hypercholesterolemia must be addressed first by following a proper diet.
Some foods, such as animal fats are in fact more loaded than others of cholesterol. But how to lower cholesterol with diet? Let’s see some general rules.
– First, you will need to reduce animal foods and replace them as much as possible with food of plant origin. They are in particular to minimize or limit the fats of animal origin (present in sausages, cheese, eggs).
– To keep cholesterol under control, it is also good to focus on foods with a good amount of fiber and antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables. Cholesterol is in fact contained only in animal foods; the fibers, also, can limit the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.
- Prefer foods rich in polyunsaturated fats, particularly Omega-3 and Omega-6 (oily fish, olive oil, seeds, nuts) and legumes; the latter, in fact, may help to reduce the production of cholesterol by the liver.
– It would be good to pay attention or eliminate as much as possible the foods with an unbalanced LDL / HDL ratio. It is advisable to pay attention, for example, to the packaged bakery products, which often contain saturated vegetable oils (sometimes on the package do not specify which ones). In fact, often they use low-quality tropical oils, such as the now infamous palm oil.
– Minimize alcoholic beverages, coffee, and offal.
FINALLY: WHY USE A NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS TO LOWER CHOLESTEROL?
As previously mentioned, to combat high cholesterol it is above all essential to correct poor eating habits. In addition to following a proper diet, it is also important to practice some form of exercise and eliminate or minimize smoking habit.
Some of the previously mentioned natural remedies against the cholesterol are present in various foods, which can and must be inserted with greater frequency in our diet. But why, then, make use of natural supplements, rather than simply taking these “beneficial” foods?
BENEFITS, CONTRAINDICATIONS AND SIDE EFFECTS OF NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS:
– A natural supplement for cholesterol, when taken in the recommended dosages, usually has no side effects worth mentioning. In some cases, there may be contraindications or special warnings that are always reported on the package.
For example, the monacolin k of red rice, a natural and safe substance, is among the most widespread natural helps to control cholesterol. Its chemical structure is similar to that of the synthesis of statins; therefore, despite being generally well tolerated, in some susceptible individuals can cause side effects such as upset stomach, flatulence or vertigo. Furthermore, the products based on red rice should not be used in pregnancy, lactation, and in the case of treatment with hypolipidemic drugs.
As mentioned earlier, it is essential to choose a product that provides at least 10 mg of monacolin in the daily dose. Lower dosages, in fact, are not sufficient to exploit the beneficial effects against cholesterol.
Some natural supplements on the market, to enhance and complete the action of this substance, also exploit the action of some other plants. In particular, herbal extracts like boldo, artichoke, milk thistle and dandelion, support the proper functioning of the liver and its detoxification. We recall that a liver in good working order is a very important factor to control cholesterol
– The phytosterols or plant sterols are not recommended for those who have not the need to regulate cholesterol, for those who take lipid-lowering drugs, for children under five years, for pregnant women and for breast-feeding. Also, it is good to consume them in the context of a diet that includes a fair amount of fruits and vegetables.
For other natural supplements such as chia seeds or fish oils with DHA + EPA, we must remember to respect the maximum dosage.
– Often the cooking of food reduces the amounts of active principles which they contain. Then you have to consume the amount of natural active ingredient useful to achieve an effect can become very difficult if not impossible. Supplements, if well formulated, let you easily take all the necessary active ingredient.
– People frequently eating away from home, can not control the exact composition or cooking food they consume. Sure priority to a healthy menu it can, and indeed must be given, one full of salads, vegetables, and fruit, but it is not possible to know in detail the composition of a dish and the active ingredients that may contain. Even in this case, a well-formulated supplement allows to “fix” the inconvenience.
-In some cases, even if could personally prepare all our food and we ate it predominantly raw, to reach the proportion of active principles sufficient to obtain beneficial effects, we should consume daily huge amounts of it. In other cases, the amount would be reduced but consumption should still be daily. Notwithstanding the need for a healthy diet, the use of a natural supplement instead it guarantees to take the right amounts of the desired substances every day with ease.
Until next time