Lowering Cholesterol Naturally
While cholesterol does have many functions in the body, having high cholesterol levels poses a serious risk to your health. LDL cholesterol is what clogs the veins and arties in your body, which restricts blood flow and slows the transportation of nutrients to your organs.
There are numerous cholesterol lowering drugs on the market that can reduce your cholesterol levels. However, as with many drugs, the cholesterol drugs on the market possess powerful side effects that can negatively impact your life in other ways. Plus, as many medical experts have pointed out - cholesterol medications do work in lowering cholesterol, but they do not necessarily improve your overall heart health.
Due to these two negatives of cholesterol medications, the best way to lower your cholesterol is through natural means. Despite what you may have heard about lowering cholesterol levels naturally, it is possible. In fact, it's actually quite simple. Here are some things you can do to lower your cholesterol levels and improve your overall heart health:
Get some sleep: During sleep, your body naturally removes more cholesterol in your blood than when you are awake. Plus, sleep maintains and balances your blood sugar level and reduces the amount of cholesterol your body produces. Therefore, aim for 8 quality hours of sleep per day. More sleep is associated with lower stress and lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels, which can affect the body's ability to process and eliminate cholesterol.
Start exercising: To lower your cholesterol, you don't necessarily have to run on a treadmill for hours. Studies have shown that even walking at a brisk to moderate pace for 30 minutes can make a noticeable impact on cholesterol levels. Exercise helps get your blood flowing and reduces the amount of LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream.
If that isn't enough, exercise is an effective way to manage your weight, which is directly related to cholesterol levels. A Duke University study found that intense exercise for 20 minutes had a more dramatic impact on cholesterol than 30 minutes of moderate exercise, but both groups of people saw positive effects on cholesterol. This affirms the belief that just making any change in your activity levels can benefit your cholesterol levels.
Fix your diet: A cholesterol-friendly diet consists mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables with a low glycemic load, high in fiber, and loaded with healthy protein sources. Beans, nuts, and seeds are three food groups to consider adding that contain healthy fats, which help reduce your cholesterol. Animal protein sources are okay provided they are lean and ideally they should be grass fed.
Fish and other types of seafood are also ideal to lower cholesterol because they contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are directly involved in removal of cholesterol. Walnuts and flax seeds are two other excellent alternatives of omega-3 fatty acids.
Drink green tea: Green tea is one of the most widely known health drinks and possesses hundreds of benefits. Research in both animals and humans has shown that green tea helps the body absorb and remove LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Stop smoking: Research has shown that smokers generally have much higher cholesterol levels because smoking lowers HDL cholesterol levels in the body and reduces the ability of the remaining HDL cholesterol to remove LDL cholesterol. Therefore, quit the cigarettes and you'll improve your lungs and your cholesterol levels.
These are just a few of the many ways you can lower your cholesterol naturally. You do not have to put harmful drugs into your body to lower your cholesterol - these ways are proven to work. Making some of these small changes in your life can dramatically improve your overall health and reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Read Next: Lowering Cholesterol Levels