If your cholesterol and blood pressure have recently been reflecting a high value, there are good chances that your doctor would have advised you to workout and control your diet to check your cholesterol levels.
There could be simple physical activities like walking and jogging or complex workouts like HIIT depending on your health conditions and fitness levels. But when it comes to diet and dos and don’ts of what to consume and what to avoid, the rule practically applies to everyone unless they have allergies to some food product that needs to be consumed.
Here is a list of some foods that lower cholesterol naturally.
Avocados are rich in fibers, oleic acids, and healthy monosaturated fats that increase good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease bad cholesterol (LDL). You can consume them in a salad or just cut them and eat them raw.
- Brown rice:
If rice is your staple, then switch to brown rice for health benefits. They have more nutrients than white polished rice and include vitamin B, magnesium, phytonutrients, and selenium. You can consume a cup of brown rice daily to get 14% of daily recommended value of fiber in your diet.
Cinnamon is known to reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels, thus helping you to keep cholesterol levels balanced. Half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day does the trick; you can add it to your tea for an enhanced flavor and health benefits.
Allicin found in garlic is known to reduce LDL levels of cholesterol and is generally recommended by doctors to patients with high cholesterol levels. Take one or two raw cloves of garlic a day to reduce your cholesterol levels. Many studies have proved that taking raw cloves reduces cholesterol by 9-12%. Garlic is one of the foods that lower cholesterol naturally.
- Green tea:
Green tea is one magical potion known to mankind, whether u need to reduce your weight or your cholesterol levels, green tea is your go to magical drink. When taken without sugar, it helps in reducing weight and cholesterol levels. It reduces LDL levels without affecting HDL levels and has zero calories hence, does not increase weight.
Researchers have found that broccoli is one of the foods that lower cholesterol naturally. You can consume broccoli in a salad or in cooked form and you can sauté it too, either way, broccoli is a healthy food that can lower your blood cholesterol level. Broccoli is rich in fiber that binds the bile acid in the digestive tracts and excretes it out of your body.
- Fenugreek seeds:
Regular use of fenugreek seeds not only lowers blood sugar level but also reduces LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels in the blood. You need to consume them on a regular basis by making it a part of your diet for health benefits.
The old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is not far from being true. Include one fruit a day in your diet whether apples, pears, oranges, pomegranates or any other fruit you like. As fruits are rich in fiber, they help reduce cholesterol levels.
- Nuts and seeds:
Flaxseed, almond, and walnut are all known to have rich fiber, protein, and omega-3 content. Include them as a part of your daily diet to reap the benefits. These nuts and seeds reduce LDL levels or bad cholesterol levels in your blood, thus reducing the overall cholesterol and any risk of heart-related diseases. However, stay away from fried, salty or sugar coated nuts as they are unhealthy choices and will have adverse effects.
Tomatoes are the most important source of lycopene, a plant compound which has LDL reducing properties. Take at least one raw tomato a day in your diet to reduce your cholesterol levels. You can also have tomatoes in form of juice or soup but make sure to keep them healthy and not mix butter or sugar in them. In fact, your body absorbs lycopene more effectively if the tomatoes are cooked.
- Colorful foods:
Eat as many colorful fruits and vegetable as possible from different varieties of capsicum to bell peppers to spinach to okra to eggplant etc. Vegetables are a great source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, and iron. Include green leafy vegetables in your diet but do not cook them in heavy oils or deep fry them
Eating fishes that are rich in omega-3 like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines reduce triglyceride levels by 25-30% and increase the levels of HDL, thus reducing any risks of heart diseases. You can grill, steam, broil, or bake them and can have one to two servings of these fish in a week.
If you have recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol, then engaging in some physical activity on a regular basis and eating healthy foods that lower cholesterol naturally can bring your cholesterol levels to normal in a few weeks. You just need to be patient and follow a strict diet pattern with regular exercise to stay healthy and ward off any other cholesterol or heart-related disease.