These common kitchen staples can play a role in lowering your cholesterol. Give these home remedies a try as part of the cholesterol plan you've discussed with your doctor.
Home Remedies from the Counter
Garlic. Studies show that garlic may not only reduce LDL but raise HDL and decrease the amount of fat in your blood. Add some fresh garlic regularly to your cooking to keep your heart healthy.
Home Remedies from the Cupboard
Almonds. Studies indicate that snacking on almonds regularly for as little as three weeks may decrease LDL by up to ten percent.
Honey. Add 1 teaspoon honey to 1 cup hot water in the morning, and you may rid your system of excess fat and cholesterol, according to Ayurvedic medicine. Add 1 teaspoon lime juice or 10 drops cider vinegar to give that drink a more powerful cholesterol-fighting punch.
Oats. In any pure form, oats are a traditional cholesterol buster. Eating only 1/2 cup oatmeal a day, along with a low fat diet, may reduce cholesterol levels by nine percent.
Rice. The oil that comes from the bran of rice is known to lower cholesterol. And brown rice is particularly high in fiber, which is essential in a cholesterol-lowering diet. One cup provides 11 percent of the daily fiber requirement.
Soybeans. These beauties may reduce LDL by as much as 20 percent when 25 to 50 grams of soy protein are eaten daily for as short a time as a month. Besides that obvious benefit, soy may fend off a rise in LDL in people with normal levels and also improve the ability of arteries to dilate. This means they expand better to allow the unimpeded passage of fats and other substances that otherwise might cause a blockage.
Walnuts. A cholesterol-lowering diet that includes walnuts eaten at least four times a week may lower LDL by as much as 16 percent. And studies indicate that those who munch on these nuts regularly cut their risk of death by heart attack in half when compared to non-walnut munchers.
Home Remedies from the Drawer
Calculator. Add up those cholesterol milligrams daily to see how you're doing.
Notebook. Chart your daily diet.
Nutrition & food guide. Use it to gauge the cholesterol content of the foods you eat. Record the results.
Home Remedies from the Refrigerator
Alfalfa sprouts. These may improve or normalize cholesterol levels.
Warning! Sprouts are not clean or washed when you buy them in the store, and they may be a source of E.coli bacteria. Wash thoroughly before you consume or use a veggie-cleaning product available in most grocery stores.
Apples. Apples are high in pectin, which can lower cholesterol levels.
Artichokes. This veggie can actually lower cholesterol levels. Early studies pointed to their beneficial cholesterol-busting properties, but recent studies have shown that artichokes may be even more effective than they were first thought to be.
Beets. Full of carotenoids and flavonoids, beets help lower -- and may even prevent -- the formation of LDL, the bad cholesterol.
Carrots. Full of pectin, they're as good as apples in lowering cholesterol levels.
Olive oil. It protects your heart by lowering LDL, raising HDL, and preventing your blood from forming clots.
Pears. These are high in soluble fiber, which helps regulate cholesterol levels.
Rhubarb. Yep, this is a cholesterol-buster. Consume it after a meal that's heavy in fats. You can cook it in a double boiler, with a little honey or maple syrup for added sweetness, until done. Add cardamom or vanilla if you like.
Yogurt. Eating 1 cup plain yogurt with active cultures a day may reduce LDL by four percent or more and total cholesterol by at least three percent. Some scientists believe that eating yogurt regularly may even reduce the overall risk of heart disease by as much as ten percent.
Home Remedies from the Spice Rack
Turmeric. This may lower blood cholesterol. Added to eggplant, you may reap twice the cholesterol-fighting benefit. Mix 3/4 teaspoon turmeric with 2 tablespoons cooked, mashed eggplant and 1 1/2 tablespoons boiling water. Spread it on whole wheat bread and eat after a meal heavy in fats.
It's important to watch your diet, exercise, talk to your doctor, and keep our heart-healthy home remedies in mind when you want to lower your high blood cholesterol.
To learn more about heart disease and home remedies to treat heart problems, visit these links:
- To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
- Learn about cures you can use at home to improve the health of your ticker in Home Remedies for Heart Disease.
- Read Home Remedies for High Blood Pressure to learn about steps you can take at home to ease hypertension.
- To learn more about the science behind heart attacks, read How Heart Disease Works.
David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.