There is a growing epidemic in India. This epidemic is insidious, kills 1 person every 33 seconds, and yet remains unnoticed and ignored. With so much of our current news being occupied by COVID-19, another lethal killer has been ignored. Hear attacks. As much as 52% of cardiovascular deaths in India are for those under 70 years of age. The average age for the first presentation of acute myocardial infarction in Indians is at the young age of 53 years.
Home Remedies For Lowering Cholesterol.
If this doesn’t scare you, how about the fact that most Indians are getting a heart attack 8 to 10 years earlier than any other ethnic group all over the world?
It is no wonder that India is often touted as the coronary capital of the world.
It is time that we understand this invisible enemy and slay it before any of us or our elders suffer because of it.
The connection between cholesterol and heart attacks
Non-HDL cholesterol (also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol) in high quantities is extremely harmful to our bodies. Too much Non-HDL cholesterol builds up inside the walls of our blood vessels. This clogs them up leading to narrowing of the arteries. It will increase the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
Fortunately, as long as we catch it quick enough and take steps to improve our lifestyle, dietary choices and health, we will be able to prevent many cardiovascular diseases.
Steps to follow to reduce cholesterol levels are:
- Following a balanced diet low on saturated fats
- Being active – exercising, going on treks, etc.
- Quit smoking
- Controlling diabetes (if you are diabetic)
- Losing weight (if you are overweight)
While doctors may prescribe medication depending on your cholesterol level, you can also integrate some natural supplements that will help lowering cholesterol. These natural supplements are:
- Soluble Fiber: This type of fiber lowers the absorption of cholesterol in your blood. Some foods containing soluble fiber are orange, pear, peach, asparagus, potato, oatmeal, and kidney beans.
- Soy protein: They can help reduce bad cholesterol a little. Tofu, soy milk, and steamed soybeans are also good sources of proteins.
- Garlic: Yes, it is an essential part in our favourite Chinese and Italian cuisines. It is considered to have a number of health benefits including lowering blood pressure. Feel better about that garlic breath, right?
- Ginger: With garlic around, can ginger be far behind? Studies have shown that ginger can lower total cholesterol and triglycerides levels and boost good cholesterol.
- Flaxseed: It is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which can raise good cholesterol along with a number of other health benefits. Use flaxseed oil or simply eat ground flaxseed every day for the best benefits.
- Fish oil: It is another good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Non-fried fatty fish such as salmon, anchovies, herring, mackerel, tuna, and sardines at least twice a week has been recommended by American Heart Institute.
- Fenugreek seeds: Used as a ground powder, high doses of this can lower total cholesterol in the body. It is speculated that the reason is that fenugreek seeds contain a high amount of dietary fiber (from 20% to 50%).
- Niacin: It is a B vitamin. It will help increase good cholesterol levels and reduce triglycerides. However, please consult a doctor before taking this supplement.
- Psyllium supplements: Psyllium is made from husks of seeds of the Plantago ovata plant. Regular consumption is shown to significantly reduce cholesterol levels. It is also used to relieve constipation and can lower blood sugar in diabetics.
- Phytosterols: It is wax derived from plants. It helps your intestines not absorb cholesterol. It is naturally present in whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
- Dietary fiber: These bind cholesterol and eliminate it from your body. Whole grains, legumes like beans and lentils, vegetables, and fruits are a great source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber includes soluble fiber (discussed above) and insoluble fiber (which is great for gut health).
Simply changing your diet is not enough. Along with other medication, there need to be some crucial lifestyle changes that need to be made to ensure your heart remains healthy as long as possible.