a special feature from Debra Orringer; Integrative Nutrition Health Coach*
Did you know that 75% of cholesterol is created in the body and is necessary for normal cellular function? It’s created in the liver and its purpose is to keep cell function healthy and hormone levels normal. Cholesterol isn’t all bad; in fact, it is an essential fat…. within limits.
I am sure we have all heard that as a society our cholesterol is too high. There are a myriad of drugs out there that help with the lowering of cholesterol and those drugs have a variety of potential risks and side effects, as does any drug. Now, I’m not telling you to go against your doctor’s orders and stop taking your prescribed medications, but I do encourage you to talk with your doctor about a plan to wean off the drugs as you make some healthier lifestyle changes.
Below are three secret tips to lower your cholesterol for good without the drugs
- Raise your cholesterol!
Does that statement shock you? Most likely. But what if I prefixed that with raise your “good” cholesterol, also known as your HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol actually Reduces, Reuses and Recycles the bad LDL cholesterol to the liver where it can be reprocessed.
- How do you help raise your HDLs? Exercise. Yes, simple exercise 30-60 minutes daily will help. That daily exercise will also help with maintaining a healthy weight, which also helps raise the HDLs.
Stress can wreak havoc on our overall health and it can definitely affect cholesterol. According to WebMD, researchers are not really sure how stress affects cholesterol, but just that it does. We may not be able to rid our lives of stress, but we can certainly learn different methods of coping. So if you tend to melt down under pressure, you may want to nama-STAY in a yoga or meditation class.
- Laugh it up
If you think that the aforementioned Ohm’s are silly, then feel free to laugh at yourself because laughter also helps raise HDL’s. How? For the mere fact it helps with our stress. If you don’t want to laugh at yourself, laugh with others… America’s Funniest Home Video’s can be just the place.
- Fight the fire with fiber!
I know I said THREE secrets to lowering cholesterol, but I couldn’t leave this one out. And this is one I’m sure you’ve heard before.
Fibrous foods help to reduce the reabsorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream and this lowers cholesterol naturally. The easiest way to increase fiber in your diet is to eat plenty of whole foods in the form of plant foods, with simple additions to your meals like steel cut oats, flaxseed and psyllium. Fruits like apples, pears and prunes are high in fiber too! Another benefit of high fiber foods is they help maintain a healthy colon and a healthy weight.
Since we keep coming back to that healthy weight and cholesterol, I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe below to help get you on the path of least resistance.
Curried Chicken Salad with Apricots and Cashews
Curry is one of the many spices that are beneficial to heart health and apricots are high in soluble fiber. Cashews have fiber and heart healthy fasts so in moderation cashews are also pretty awesome. This is a win-win recipe!
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast cut into small cubes
1/3 cup dried apricots – if you can find the organic ones without the sulfates, even better
1/3 cup cashews, chopped
1 TBSP dijon mustard
1/3 cup home made mayonnaise
1 TBSP Indian Curry Powder
1 TBSP Turmeric (good for inflammation)
1/4 cup chopped celery (optional)
1/8 cup chopped red onion (optional)
1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
4 lettuce cups – the darker the lettuce leaf the more vitamins and minerals
Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, curry and turmeric. Stir in the chicken, apricots, cashews, celery and onions. Scoop out a portion and fill a lettuce leaf. Roll it up and eat. Nomnomnom.
“Being Healthy Doesn’t Have To Be Hard”
*Debra Orringer, MS, CIHC from Naples, FL, is a Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and a Clinical Exercise Physiologist with over 20 years in the industry. She has managed the wellness programs at the Kennedy Space Center as well as consulted for several national fitness companies, authored articles, and retains a myriad of advanced level certifications. Debra produces a nutritional blog weekly at www.DebraOrringer.com and can be reached at email@example.com