Cholesterol is a natural substance which plays a very significant role in smooth functioning of the human body. It is not always bad for your health but the level of cholesterol should be maintained in order to avoid any unwanted health problems. High cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for coronary artery disease, heart attack and strokes.
Cholesterol is a waxy soft substance which is found in all the body cells and it is transported through the blood. It regulates production of certain hormones and other body functions. There are two types of cholesterol in the body; HDL or good cholesterol and LDL or bad cholesterol. LDL is known as the bad cholesterol as it is responsible for forming plaques in the arteries whereas HDL is the good cholesterol as it carries excess cholesterol back to the liver where it can be broken down or eliminated from the body completely. Depending on their functions, LDL should be lower than HDL in order to decrease the risk of heart disease.
Here are some tips and remedies to improve your cholesterol levels naturally.
- Regular Exercise
Regular exercise is very important for a healthy lifestyle. Exercise or a simple walk is enough to kick start your metabolism. You should perform aerobic and cardio workouts. Swimming, walking and riding a bike are also very good exercises to maintain a good level of cholesterol. Working out will help you to maintain a healthy body weight and reduce the risk of heart diseases. Also, it helps reduce stress levels to improve your mood.
- Add Some Vitamin K2 to Your Diet
Vitamin K2 can work wonders when it comes to heart related diseases. K2 lowers your serum cholesterol but more importantly, K2 helps to reduce the plaque accumulation in the arteries which is biggest risk of high LDL or bad cholesterol. If the artery plaque is build up, the arteries can clog up or even stop the blood flow entirely. One thing to remember is that Vitamin K2 is not the same as Vitamin K1 which is found in leafy green vegetables abundantly.
Vitamin K2 works it’s wonder in conjunction with calcium and Vitamin D and makes sure the calcium gets where it is needed which is your bones. Vitamin K2 also helps the body to get rid of any built-up calcium in the arteries and helps to restore the flexibility of the arteries.
Vitamin K2 is found in hard cheese, soft cheese, butter, egg yolk and chicken liver. But these foods should be taken moderately and not eaten every day. You can also buy any Vitamin K2 supplements which are available in the market place.
- Quit Smoking
Smoking should be eliminated from your life altogether because of the harms it does to your body. Smoking interferes with a variety of functions including blood pressure, functioning of lungs and level of oxygen needed for the body. These can lead to serious health problems as well as problems related to cholesterol and heart diseases.
Within 20 minutes of quitting smoking, your blood pressure and the heart rate decreases. Within one year of quitting, the risk of heart diseases is reduced to half of that of a smoker. In 15 years of time span, your risk of heart diseases is the same as that of a person who has never smoked in his life.
- Drink Moderate Amount of Alcohol
Moderate use of alcohol can impact your HDL levels and cause them to rise but this benefit is not strong enough to promote drinking to someone who has never drank alcohol before. If your consume alcohol already, do so in moderation to get the benefits related to cholesterol levels.
Moderate amount is one drink for women of all ages and men over 65 years of age and 2 drinks for men younger than 65. Red wine has shown to impact your cholesterol levels significantly rather than any alcohol bases product.
- Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate juice is one the greatest home remedy to cure heart diseases and improve cholesterol levels. Some studies have shown that pomegranate juice prevents the thickening of arteries and improves your blood circulation with all the other benefits it possesses. Pomegranate juice contains higher levels of antioxidants than any other juice and it is effective against heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancer as well. Try to drink 4-8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily or as often as possible.
- Eat Healthier Foods/Fats
Saturated fats which are found in meat and dairy products increases overall cholesterol and your LDL which is the bad cholesterol. Avoid non-healthy fats and consume more of the healthy fats which can be found in olives and canola oils. You can also consume leaner meats and low-fat dairy to avoid this condition.
Trans-fats are the fats which affect your cholesterol levels by lowering HDL and increasing LDL thus increasing the risk of heart diseases significantly. Trans-fats are most usually found in baked foods such as cakes, pastries and doughnuts etc. Snacks such as chips and crackers are also rich in trans-fats and should be avoided as much as possible to improve the levels of cholesterol.