Botanicals for Cholesterol Management
Botanicals are a wonderful way to increase your intake
of flavonoids, which are the active constituents that provide potent anti-inflammatory and cell signaling
activities that benefit cardiovascular function.
Garlic: Contains an active ingredient called allicin that is responsible for its health benefits. In addition to lowering lipids and preventing blood coagulation, garlic has antihypertension, antioxidant, antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Garlic has been shown to lower triglyceride levels and can reduce plaque, making it a powerful agent for cardiovascular health.
Pro-tip: Crush fresh garlic and either combine with cooked food or add towards the end of cooking to retain its benefits.
Usage: Add to stir-frys, pasta sauce, marinades and even eggs!
Turmeric: A integral component of Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti- bacterial agent. Turmeric’s super powers come from it’s yellow pigment, Curcumin, which also acts as an antioxidant. Since oxidized LDL is a big cause in creating inflammation and heart disease, turmerics antioxidant properties are a big benefit.
Pro-tip: Fresh turmeric is available in health stores and is a earthy and complementary addition to a ginger tea.
Usage: Turmeric lends a golden color and is a lovely addition to soups, veggies, curries, meat and more.
Hawthorn: A powerful antioxidant, hawthorn improves circulation to the heart by dilating blood vessels, relieving spasms of arterial walls; maintaining normal blood pressure and heart beat; and increasing coronary blood flow and strength of heart contraction. It is also shown to protect LDL from oxidation.
Pro-tip: The extracts of leaves & flowers have more antioxidants than berries!
Usage: Suggested dosage is 160-1,800 mg/day standardized extracts, 3-16 wks (consult doctor before taking supplements).
Green Tea (ECGC): Loaded with protective plant based chemicals called polyphenols, green tea lowers fibrinogen, a substance in the body that lowers clots and strokes. It is also seen that drinking green tea daily is associated with increased HDL cholesterol and decreased LDL and VLDL cholesterol.
Pro-tip: Lemon juice helps bring out the antioxidants in green tea and makes it a beneficial addition your cup of tea.
Usage: Don't forget the oolong, white and black teas! Drink 2-3 glasses daily.
Bauman, E., Friedlander, J. Therapeutic Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College, 2016. Murray, Michael, N.D. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books, 2005. FBowden, J., Sinatra, S. The Great Cholesterol Myth. MA: Fair Winds Press, 2015
**As with taking any supplements, always consult your health care provider before incorporating any of these botanicals into your cholesterol management plan.