High cholesterol levels pose high risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Forty million Americans are affected with high cholesterol. A healthy lifestyle, exercise and a healthy diet will help to lower cholesterol levels. Adding certain spices to your diet may also lower cholesterol levels. However, if you have a high cholesterol level, you should speak with your doctor about treatments.
Garlic, is known for its powerful antioxidant properties as well as its antibiotic, antiviral and anti-fungal effects. Garlic is touted for it effects in lowering low-density lipoprotein, also called LDL or "bad" cholesterol. According to Drugs.com, garlic has been used to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which helps to prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries and lowers your risk of heart disease. Garlic may also lower blood pressure. Adding garlic to soups, sauces, salads and other dishes is an easy way to benefit from the effects of this spice.
This root has played a major part in Asian and Indian medicine for centuries, primarily as a digestive aid. Today researchers are most excited by ginger's ability to combat inflammation. Several studies have found that ginger (and turmeric) reduces pain and swelling in people with arthritis. It may work against migraines by blocking inflammatory substances called prostaglandins. And because it reduces inflammation, it may also play a role in preventing and slowing the growth of cancer. Ginger's still good for the tummy, too. It works in the digestive tract, boosting digestive juices and neutralizing acids as well as reducing intestinal contractions.
Early animal studies suggest the effects of turmeric in preventing the buildup of plaque in the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. Lowering cholesterol and preventing the buildup of plaque will lower your risk of heart disease. Studies also show that turmeric stops platelets from clumping together. These effects of turmeric and the amount needed to have an effect in humans are unknown. Turmeric also contains circumin, a potent antioxidant that acts to fight against free radicals and their ravaging effects on cell tissues and premature aging. Turmeric is used to color cheese, butter and Indian curry; it’s also used in mustard.
Cinnamon is actually one of the most powerful healing spices, and has become most famous for its ability to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes. As little as 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon a day could cut triglycerides and total cholesterol levels by 12 to 30 percent. Cinnamon can even help prevent blood clots, making it especially heart smart. Like many other spices, cinnamon has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It's been shown to conquer E. coli, among other types of bacteria. Researchers have even discovered recently that it's rich in antioxidants called polyphenols—another reason it's good for your heart.
Cayenne is thought to act as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Sprinkle some onto your chicken soup to turbocharge that traditional cold remedy, since cayenne shrinks blood vessels in your nose and throat, relieving congestion. It's also a metabolism booster, speeding up your calorie-burning furnace for a couple of hours after eating. Studies find that it also has some anticancer properties, and researchers are exploring its potential as a cancer treatment. Finally, in at least one study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that people with diabetes who ate a meal containing liberal amounts of Chile pepper required less post-meal insulin to reduce their blood sugar, suggesting the spice may have anti-diabetes benefits.