Spices lower cholesterol? Oh yes.
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 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 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, antiviral and antifungal 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 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[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 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 and see the positive difference in your cholesterol level not just from a curative health point of view, but preventive health as well.