When you have arteriosclerosis, managing your cholesterol levels is important for keeping your arteries clear enough for blood to pass to important organs, such as the brain and heart. Making the lifestyle changes needed to decrease LDL and increase HDL cholesterol can be challenging. One simple step you can take on the road towards better cholesterol numbers is to add these two spices to your diet.
Cinnamon is commonly added to foods to give them a sweet flavor. However, this tasty spice packs a number of health benefits. One of those benefits is helping to reduce LDL cholesterol. One study that followed 60 diabetics who took 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon for 40 days found participants achieved an up to 27 percent decrease in LDL and up to 26 percent decline in total cholesterol levels.
The exact reason why this occurs is unknown. However, cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation in artery walls, something that contributes to plaque buildup. Additionally, this spice contains the blood thinner coumarin that can help prevent blood clots. Lastly, cinnamon has been known to reduce blood sugar levels. High blood sugar has been associated with high cholesterol levels.
You can easily get your daily dose of cinnamon simply by adding it to the foods you already eat. For instance, top peach slices with the spice or add it to a cup of tea. However, you can also purchase cinnamon capsules from a health food store.
Turmeric is a savory spice that's a staple in Indian cuisine. Like cinnamon, it has many health benefits, including helping to prevent type 2 diabetes and improving ulcerative colitis. However, it's also proven to be good at improving LDL and HDL cholesterol.
In a study that followed 75 patients with acute coronary syndrome for about a year, participants took between 15 milligrams to 60 milligrams of curcumin (a substance found in turmeric) each day. At the end of the year, researchers found participants experienced reduced lipid levels, with people taking the lower does obtaining the best benefit.
In addition to lowering LDL cholesterol, the substances in turmeric prevent blood platelets from sticking to each other and arterial walls, which can reduce the buildup that keeps blood from flowing freely. Turmeric is also an anti-inflammatory that can help heal damage arteries.
An easy way to add turmeric to your diet is to sprinkle it on soups or make a vegetable dip using this spice. Incorporating more Indian-inspired dishes into your diet is a fun way to get adequate amounts of turmeric while adding interest to your daily menu.
For more tips on managing your lipid levels, contact a knowledgeable medical professional.