Cholesterol – Treatment, Prevention and Natural Remedies for Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance found in the blood. The normal levels of cholesterol are needed for building healthy cells, but when the levels in the blood are increased, these fats get accumulated in the arteries, which reduces the blood flow in the arteries. As a result, the heart does not receive enough blood and the heart pumps faster as there is a reduction in the blood supply. When this happens, the risk of heart attack also increases. High cholesterol can be inherited but can be prevented and treated. Regular exercise along with a healthy diet and medications can reduce the cholesterol levels.
Some of the medications that are prescribed by a doctor include:
- Statins: Statins are very effective as they block the substance that the liver needs to make cholesterol. This makes the liver to remove cholesterol from the blood. These drugs may help the re-absorption of the fats that are already deposited on the arterial walls.
- Bile-acid-binding resins: The liver uses cholesterol to make bile acids which are needed for digestion. These drugs indirectly bind the bile acids which makes the liver to use excess cholesterol to produce more bile acids. This mechanism helps in the reduction of the cholesterol in the blood.
- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors: The small intestine absorbs the cholesterol from your diet and releases it into the blood stream. This helps to reduce the blood cholesterol by limiting the absorption of dietary cholesterol.
- Combination cholesterol absorption inhibitor and statin: This is a combination drug therapy where the absorption of dietary cholesterol in the small intestine and the production of the cholesterol by the liver also decreases.
How can cholesterol formation be prevented?
Heart-healthy lifestyle changes can lower the risk of cholesterol. Some of the things to be followed to prevent high cholesterol include:
- Quit smoking.
- Drink alcohol in moderation or stop completely.
- Lose extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat a low salt and fat diet that includes vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
- If you are above the age of 40, then go for diagnostic tests to determine the cholesterol levels.
- Stop eating fast foods.
- Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes.
- Yoga asanas like ardhamatsyaendrasana, padmasana, shalabhasana and vajrasana are also useful in lowering blood cholesterol.
Natural Remedies for increased cholesterol
Before using any natural remedy, consult your doctor. Some of the common remedies include:
- Water: Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily.
- Coriander seeds: Immerse 2 table spoons of coriander seeds in a glass of water. Boil the mixture, strain it and drink it three times a day.
- Cinnamon sticks: Take 10 pieces of cinnamon and put them in a pot that is filled with 5 teacups of water. This water can be boiled and honey is added. This mixture is taken once daily.
- Garlic: Add a garlic clove in a glass full of milk and cool it before drinking. This can be taken for a few days.
- Onion juice: Consume raw onion juice daily.
- Oat bran: Oat bran can be taken as this also reduces blood cholesterol.
- Coriander water: Drinking coriander water can help in lowering the blood cholesterol.
- Sunflower seeds: These seeds help in the regulation of the cholesterol levels.
- Fenugreek seeds: Eating fenugreek seeds and sprouts can help in the control of cholesterol.
Diet for Cholesterol Patients
The diet that can be taken by a person suffering from high cholesterol includes:
- Eat green leafy salads mixed with olive oil as it is beneficial in lessening the high cholesterol levels.
- Foods rich in fiber like raspberries, strawberries, green beans and broccoli should be consumed.
- Eat more broiled or grilled fish.
- Consume lots of walnuts and almonds as this helps in reducing the cholesterol levels.
- Eat foods prepared from sunflower seeds instead of butter as this reduces the cholesterol levels.