The word cholesterol fills most of us with dread. It even brings up the one fear that we hoped we’d never have to deal with: the idea of giving up our guilty pleasures to understand how to control cholesterol levels.
Fret not! Complete abstinence may not be entirely necessary as long as you have a few spices up your sleeve. These have been known to be one of the best home remedies to understand how to control cholesterol[¹][²][³]. Many spices are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that your heart will thank you for[⁴]. So how exactly do they lower your cholesterol levels? Let’s dive into four spices and find out:
The Haldi Way
Adding haldi to your diet not only decreases your levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol), but also increases HDL levels (the good cholesterol)[⁵]! The spice helps prevent atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. Curcumin, the active ingredient in haldi which gives it its yellow colour, has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties[⁶].
Whether garlic really does keep vampires away is a mystery, but ginger consumption has been associated with reducing levels of LDL accumulation[⁷]. This means less of the bad cholesterol, yay! Ginger extract possesses antioxidative characteristics[⁸], which helps prevent heart diseases[⁹][¹⁰].
Kaali Mirch (pepper) is considered the king of spices, and some stories even say that earlier, the treasured spice used to be part of a bride's dowry! While we haven’t heard any such reports in present day India, kaali mirch is still a valuable addition to your diet. It has been shown to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and increase the levels of good cholesterol, thus, helping the body understand how to control cholesterol levels[¹¹]. Its active ingredient, piperine, protects us against oxidative damage[¹²].
The Cinnamon Club
While many of us do not appreciate the raw taste of dalchini (cinnamon) in food, it has amazing antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-diarrhoeal properties[¹³]. Dalchini extract can reduce the oxidative stress in the body and improve its antioxidant balance. The spice has also been shown to improve cardiovascular functioning[¹⁴].
So while you must listen to your doctor and follow all the steps they prescribe, do give these natural home remedies a try to understand how to control cholesterol levels, and see the positive difference in your cholesterol levels not just from a curative health point of view, but preventive health as well.
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