High cholesterol can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes
Drink tomato juice, cocoa drinks and oat milk to lower your cholesterol
Peppermint tea is one of the best herbal tea for high cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that flows through the blood in your body. Although cholesterol has a bad rep, did you know that your body actually requires it? The human body needs cholesterol for many reasons. For instance, it uses cholesterol to build cell membranes. Similarly, your digestive system uses cholesterol to produce bile. Apart from this, cholesterol helps produce vitamin D and critical hormones. But, your body is self-sufficient. It produces all the cholesterol it needs to perform these functions. So, when you eat foods rich in cholesterol, you do your body a disservice.
As cholesterol is a fat, it is harmful in excess quantities. It lines arterial walls, forming plaque. This restricts blood flow and can result in high blood pressure. Cholesterol deposits can also break free to form a clot. This is fatal as it can cause a stroke or heart attack.
A poor diet can cause high cholesterol, but you can also treat it through diet. By exercising and eating healthy foods and beverages, you can bring down cholesterol levels. Here are some drinks you can add to your diet if you are on the search for a natural drink to lower cholesterol.
The good news is that there isn’t just one natural drink to lower cholesterol. Here are a few options that you can try.
Additional Read: A Handy Low Cholesterol Diet Plan
Oats contain a beneficial substance known as beta-glucans. Beta-glucans mix with salts in your gut to lower the absorption of cholesterol. To see results, consume at least 3g of beta-glucans a day. This amounts to almost 3 cups of oat milk.
You can make smoothies with store-bought oat milk or add it to your tea/coffee. You can also make porridge with it or add it to cereal.
Cocoa contains flavanols, a type of antioxidant. As per studies, flavanols reduce bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol levels. Moreover, the monosaturated fatty acids in cocoa also improve cholesterol levels. To get benefits from a cocoa drink, you must consume at least 450g of hot/cold chocolate twice a day.
To make a cocoa drink add 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder into hot/cold milk. You can also add it to a mix of milk and water. Sweeten it to your taste with sugar or alternatives such as maple syrup. Stay away from packaged cocoa drinks as they are high in sugar and additives.
If you want to lower cholesterol, drink apple and orange juice. Apples and oranges both contain pectin. This is a soluble fibre that helps lower bad cholesterol.
Juice both fruits at home and consume a glass every day. Don’t strain the fruit pulp as it contains the most nutrients. Similarly, don’t buy packaged juices as they do more harm than good.
Avocado smoothie Apart from being heart-healthy, avocados are a good source of monosaturated fatty acids and fibre. Both of these nutrients lower bad cholesterol and enhance good cholesterol. Therefore, an avocado smoothie is an excellent natural drink to lower cholesterol.
Blend half an avocado with 1.5 cups of oat milk for a simple avocado smoothie. You can sweeten it with honey, maple syrup or date syrup. To have the smoothie as a snack or meal, add a scoop of protein powder to it.
Tomatoes have lycopene, which is said to reduce bad cholesterol. Juicing tomatoes increases its lycopene content. This is why tomato juice is an effective natural drink to lower cholesterol.
You can puree a tomato with water to create a juice. Try having some of the pulp, if not all of it, for maximum benefits.
Want to try herbal tea to lower cholesterol? Have peppermint tea. It increases bile production, which allows your body to make better use of the cholesterol.
To make this herbal tea for cholesterol, tear 4-5 peppermint leaves and add them to 2 cups of hot water. Steep the tea for 5 minutes, strain and drink.
The most basic and best herbal tea for high cholesterol is ginger tea. A study from 2008 suggests that ginger can lower cholesterol levels apart from soothing a sore throat!
When consuming ginger tea to reduce cholesterol, don’t use fresh ginger. Instead, mix about ½ teaspoon ginger powder into a cup of hot water and sip on it. Don’t consume too much ginger as it may cause indigestion.
Free radicals cause oxidative stress, which includes oxidation of cholesterol. In other words, free radicals can worsen cholesterol. Hibiscus tea is considered to be the best herbal tea for
cholesterol because it has very high amounts of antioxidants. These antioxidants neutralise free radicals and prevent them from worsening cholesterol.
To brew hibiscus tea, add a teaspoon and a half of dried hibiscus to a cup of hot water. Cover it and let it steep for about 5 minutes. Then, strain and drink it. You can also consume this herbal tea to reduce cholesterol cold.
When you drink herbal tea for high cholesterol for a few weeks, you’re likely to find lower cholesterol levels. This is provided you also eat healthily, exercise and take any medication that a doctor has prescribed.
The best way to control cholesterol through diet and beverages is to consult with a doctor. He/she will tell you about foods to eat and ones to avoid. For instance, pomegranate juice helps lower cholesterol, but it can be dangerous if you take blood-thinning medicines. So, it’s best to speak to a doctor before making dietary changes.
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