The aim of using natural therapies in the management of elevated blood cholesterol is to bring cholesterol levels back into normal range and to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Diet, exercise, herbs and nutritional supplements can all help reduce blood cholesterol levels.
A natural cholesterol lowering program involves protecting blood vessels from further damage and ensuring blood does not become too “sticky” resulting in blood clots. Antioxidant nutrients help to protect vessel walls from damage and reduce the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. People who have diets high in antioxidants have a lower risk of developing heart disease than those who don't, so it is essential to increase dietary antioxidant intake if you have high cholesterol. Taking a broad spectrum antioxidant supplement is also helpful to prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Increase consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables. Eat them raw or only lightly cooked wherever possible to maximise antioxidant intake.
- Eat vegetables such as onions, garlic and leeks three to four times per week. Adding fresh ginger to foods is also helpful as it improves peripheral circulation. Legumes such as lentils, dried peas and beans add dietary fibre which is very helpful.
- Avoid foods containing oxidised and trans-fats (animal fats, fatty foods, take-away foods etc.) and minimise consumption of animal fats from meat and dairy products. Use hummus, avocado or olive oil as an alternative to butter.
- Eat deep ocean fish high in omega 3 oils such as sardines, herring, mackerel, tuna & salmon at least three to four times weekly.
- Drink green tea every day for its antioxidant effect.
- For a treat try using cacao nibs, they are high in antioxidants and full of nutrients.