Author: Leonardo Riera, Herbalist & Certified QRA Practitioner
Mainstream researchers are now beginning to recognize that chronic inflammation and cell dysfunction are the more relevant critical risk factors for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease; but the latest ground-breaking research states that declining steroid hormone levels are at the root of this condition.
The body attempts to correct declining levels of hormones by pumping out more cholesterol into the bloodstream. However, our lifestyle, environment, and some aging factors can impair our ability to synthesize that cholesterol into the different steroid hormones. The sex hormones are the most important of these steroid hormones.
Here are some steps to help balance your cholesterol:
1. Eat a diet that consists of mostly anti-inflammatory foods that are low in sugar. Modern day processed foods elevate blood sugar, which leads to a decreased vasodilation and blood flow, and contributes to LDL sticking to the artery walls.
- Fresh, preferably organic fruits and vegetables. Garlic, berries and spices such as turmeric are wonderful. Avocados and almonds are a great source of plant sterols. Sautéed, steamed or cooked vegetables are fine for those with a weaker digestive system.
- Moderate consumption of grass-fed or pastured, organic animal products such as kefir, butter, wild salmon, lamb, chicken or beef.
2. High doses of B vitamins throughout the day, along with red yeast extract.
- High doses of B vitamins have been used to reduce levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 30%, reduce levels of triglycerides by up to 15%, and raise HDL (good) cholesterol by up to 35%.
- High doses of B vitamins also help regulate levels of homocysteine in the blood, which is an inflammatory factor that has been linked to the progression of cardiovascular disease.
- Red yeast extract has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol by an average of 35 mg/dL. It serves as a natural statin.
- Use adaptogenic and/or anti-anxiety herbs: Panax ginseng, Eleutherococcus, Gotu kola, and Passionflower are some of the best-studied herbs for this.
- Develop good sleeping habits.
- Practice deep breathing.
- Spend time outdoors. Walking or standing barefoot on grass has a grounding effect in our bodies. Walking on the beach massages the feet while you breathe freshly ionized air.
- Stick to a regular exercise routine. A consistent exercise routine is one of the best proven methods to control risky levels of cholesterol. Anything from 10 minutes several times a day to the highly-acclaimed high-intensity interval training can help.
4. Avoid hormone-disrupting habits.
- Smoking is a highly inflammatory, liver-damaging, hormone-deregulating, neurotransmitter disturbing habit. Everyone can quit smoking. Natural herbs and homeopathic remedies can help lessen cravings
- Avoid using soft plastic for water or food storage. Plastics leech into the food and water and lead to hormone imbalances.
- Avoid the synthetic fragrances and chemicals present in most personal care items, from cologne to shampoos.