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Break Free from Medication: Ayurveda's Natural Solution for Managing High Cholesterol

by Life Aveda 29 Jun 2024
Break Free from Medication: Ayurveda's Natural Solution for Managing High Cholesterol

Are you tired of having medications to lower down your high cholesterol levels? Do you search for natural ways to reduce your cholesterol and triglyceride levels to maintain a healthy heart?

But in Ayurveda there is a solution. Ayurveda, which is the ancient Indian system of medicine, offers a different approach to lower cholesterol levels and promote overall heart health. Form centuries, this ancient science has emphasized the importance of balance and harmony in the body. In case of high cholesterol as well, Ayurveda addresses the root causes of this condition, rather than just its symptoms. Also, it provides a natural and effective way to overcome this common condition.

In this blog, we will discuss all the details about high cholesterol levels and promoting heart health.

Understanding Cholesterol: The Essentials, The Good and The Bad

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Cholesterol is an important component of our body cells and  plays a crucial role in various bodily functions. But you might not know that there are different types of cholesterol and some are more beneficial than others.

The Essential:

  • It  is necessary for structure and functioning of cell membrane
  • Cholesterol is used in the production of hormones like estrogen and testosterone
  • Required for the production of bile and is essential for digestion as well
  • Essential for metabolism of vitamins

The Good:

  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is a good form of cholesterol (also known as good cholesterol) that is helpful in removing excess cholesterol from the bloodstream and transporting it to the liver for further disposal.

The Bad:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or "bad" cholesterol, can build up in the walls of the arteries, leading to blockages and increasing the risk of heart disease.
  • Very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol is another type of "bad" cholesterol that can also contribute to artery blockages.

The Complete Picture:

  • Total cholesterol is the amount of LDL & HDL in the blood.
  • On the other hand Triglycerides are a type of fat, found in the blood whose access levels impact heart health badly.

Transform Your Diet and Lifestyle: A Comprehensive Guide to Controlling

The following diet can help you in managing cholesterol levels and improve overall health. Suggesting changes related to lifestyle can help to achieve healthy cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. These are as following:

Dietary Changes:

Dietary Changes
  • Increase Soluble Fiber Intake: Eating food rich in fiber like oatmeal, barley, fruits (especially apples, berries and pears), all type of vegetables especially carrots, brussels sprouts and broccoli along with legumes like beans, lentils and peas can prevent buildup of bad cholesterol in the body. Better to aim for 25-30 grams of soluble fiber per day.
  • Eat More Plant-Based Proteins: A very brilliant way to complete your daily protein intake is having plant based protein sources. Legumes, nuts like almonds and walnuts, seeds like flax and chia and whole grains in your diet.
  • Incorporate Healthy Fats: Adding avocado, olive oil, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel and nuts to your diet. Choose
  • Lean Protein Sources: One can opt for poultry like chicken, eggs and turkey, along with fish and low-fat dairy products. In the case of being overweight, it's best to avoid any animal based food products.
  • Limit Dietary Cholesterol: Restrict egg yolks, organ meats, high-cholesterol foods like milk clarified butter or ghee, butter etc.
  • Reduce Saturated and Trans Fats: It's best to avoid red meat, full-fat dairy products, processed snacks along with fried foods items. Restrict intake of hydrogenated oils (trans fats).
  • Limit Refined Carbohydrates: Restrict products made with white refined flour like white bread, cakes biscuits along with sugary drinks and baked goods.

Lifestyle Changes:

Lifestyle Changes
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Healthy weight doesn't mean a lean body but a body with adequate fat with limited visceral fat. For this one can consider a criteria of BMI or body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9.
  • Exercise Regularly: Engage in at least 35 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise to vigorous-intensity exercise. For this one can opt for weight training and cardio exercises.
  • Quit Smoking: Smoking narrows down the passage of blood flow. So it's better to quit smoking. It is really important to do it instantly or if not then gradually.
  • Limit Alcohol Intake: Restrict alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Stopping it completely is the very best option.
  • Manage Stress: Practice meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises or other stress-reducing techniques.
  • Get Enough Sleep: Sleeping for at least 7-8 hours is mandatory. A disturbed sleep or lack of sleep can make inflammatory changes in the body each night. Sleep helps to reduce stress hormones in the body.
  • Increase Physical Activity: It means increasing your day to day daily activity. Like instead of lift, take the stairs, walk to work or engage in other physical activities throughout the day like playing outdoors.

Nature's Cholesterol Fighters: 8 Herbs to Help Keep Your Heart Healthy

Nature's Cholesterol Fighters: 8 Herbs to Help Keep Your Heart Healthy

There are some natural ways other than diet and lifestyle which can help you manage your cholesterol levels. Certain herbs have been shown to have a positive impact on cholesterol levels and heart health. Here are 8 herbs that can help in lowering down and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels:

  • Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum): Many studies suggest that fenugreek is effective in lowering the blood cholesterol levels by up to 15%. Fenugreek seeds have a  compound called galactomannan, which helps bind to bile acids and reduce cholesterol absorption.
  • Arjun (Terminalia arjuna): Arjun tree bark has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to treat heart conditions. It may help lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while increasing HDL cholesterol.
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Ginger has a cholesterol-lowering effect by reducing the absorption of dietary cholesterol or cholesterol provided to the body through diet. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa): Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound which has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies suggest that curcumin helps to lower LDL and triglycerides levels and also reduces inflammation in the body.
  • Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum): Tulsi also known as holy basil and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to treat various health conditions. Many studies suggest that Tulsi also helps in lowering  LDL cholesterol and triglycerides due to its hot potency. The herb also reduces stress and anxiety.
  • Flaxseeds (Linum usitatissimum): Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, which keep the cholesterol levels in check. They not only maintain cholesterol levels but also lower down high sugar levels.
  • Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum): Cinnamon has been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect by reducing the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Due to its hot potency cinnamon has channel opening effects and clears out the blockages.
  • Triphala (Terminalia chebula, Terminalia belerica and Emblica officinalis): Triphala is a classical combination of three herbs that has been used for centuries to treat various health conditions. Due to the impressive properties of three fruits it helps in lowering down the high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also maintains digestion and helps in weight loss.

Conclusion

High cholesterol can not be managed with just medication or herbs. One needs to introduce behavioral changes in their day to day lifestyle and diet. Ayurveda offers a natural and holistic approach towards high cholesterol levels and helps in promoting heart health as well. One can  incorporate any one herb out of the above mentioned eight herbs in this blog. These are Fenugreek, Arjun, Ginger, Turmeric, Tulsi, Flaxseeds, Cinnamon and Triphala. They can help you control your cholesterol levels and improve your overall well-being. Remember, Ayurveda is not just about treating a specific condition, but about achieving balance and harmony in body, mind and spirit.

 

 

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