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5 Natural Remedies For Lowering Cholesterol

5 Natural Remedies For Lowering Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels are connected to heart disease and a number of other health problems that can only get worse if you aren’t proactive about starting a healthy lifestyle today. So, to avoid future health problems, start taking an assertive and healthy approach to your everyday diet.

1. Rhubarb

Rhubarb stalks

    If lower cholesterol is your goal, rhubarb is a dietary choice you can make on a daily basis. This green, leafy, long-stalked veggie has been studied by the National Institute of Health and found to be beneficial. How’s that for an endorsement?

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    The study results showed that while the bad cholesterol levels (LDL) were reduced by 9 percent and total cholesterol dropped by 8 percent, the good cholesterol levels were unchanged. Recommended quantity of rhubarb stalk is 27 grams a day for the maximum benefit.

    But be warned that the leaves of the rhubarb plant should not be eaten either cooked or raw, as they contain a toxic chemical. Eat healthy, stay smart.

    2. Artichoke

    Artichokes being prepared
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      Preventing cholesterol from being produced in the body is one of the advantages of the artichoke leaf extract, which can be obtained by eating a properly prepared artichoke. Like rhubarb, it reduces both total cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels. What’s interesting about this herbal alternative is that prescription drugs called statins used to treat high cholesterol contain ingredients that have the same enzyme inhibitor.

      One study resulted in feedback from patients who were taking anti-cholesterol prescription drugs that the effects of taking artichoke leaf extract were equal to or better than their medication. Do it naturally so you don’t have to do it by prescription.

      3. Oat Bran

      Oats - rich in fiber
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        Prevention is always better than cure, and the benefit of oat bran is that it prevents absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. If you are a fan of oat bran, two-thirds of a cup per day may give you the amount your body needs to make an impact on your total cholesterol levels.

        Beta-glucan (soluble fiber) is one of the key components in oat bran. Each gram you take in may reduce your bad cholesterol level by about 1 percent. Keep in mind this is just for comparison purposes, as 100 g of oat bran will provide about 15 grams of soluble fiber. It should be mentioned that there are certain gastrointestinal side effects that go with overeating oats.

        4. Garlic

        Peeled garlic gloves
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          Garlic has long been known to clean the blood and prevent plaque buildup in the arteries, which lowers the risk of cardiovascular problems. It also has been proven to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in its unprocessed state, so using garlic in cooking brings about the same benefits as taking garlic pills or capsules. The added benefit to using it in your meals is there are no side effects to worry about.

          The effects garlic has in lowering cholesterol levels is generally thought to be temporary. So make it a daily or every-other-day ingredient in your home cooking to achieve its greatest effect. A daily intake of 500 to 1000 mg of garlic is recommended, but pay attention to any side effects that consuming too much garlic may have. Remember, moderation in all things.

          5. Green Tea

          Green tea leaves

            Studies show that green tea has a multitude of health benefits for everyone. Like artichoke and rhubarb, it lowers bad cholesterol levels, but green tea actually increases the good cholesterol levels. A double benefit that attacks the problem from two fronts.

            The reason green tea has a better health reputation than regular tea is that there is no processing of green tea leaves; they are simply dried out and steamed. The result of this is an antioxidant, ECGC, is retained in higher concentrations and maximizes the benefit to your body. That’s why green tea has such a positive effect on preventing cancer and many other health conditions. Going green can be internal as well as environmental.

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            Last Updated on July 10, 2020

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

            We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

            So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

            Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

            What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

            Boundaries are limits

            —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

            Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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            Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

            Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

            Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

            How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

            Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

            1. Self-Awareness Comes First

            Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

            You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

            To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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            You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

            • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
            • When do you feel disrespected?
            • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
            • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
            • When do you want to be alone?
            • How much space do you need?

            You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

            2. Clear Communication Is Essential

            Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

            Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

            3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

            Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

            That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

            Sample language:

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            • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
            • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
            • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
            • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
            • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
            • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
            • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

            Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

            4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

            Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

            Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

            Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

            We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

            It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

            It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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            Final Thoughts

            Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

            Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

            Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

            The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

            Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

            Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

            They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

            Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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