Reversing high cholesterol numbers takes more than just swallowing a pill. According to the Mayo Clinic, paying attention to your regular diet does wonders when it comes to lowering your cholesterol. Decreasing consumption of saturated fats, trans fats, and alcohol can help lower your LDL “bad” cholesterol. Adding sources of soluble fiber into your diet can also help with lowering your LDL and increasing your “good” HDL cholesterol. Exercising at least 30 minutes a day five times a week can also improve your numbers.
However, along with these surefire ways to lower cholesterol, supplements can be an added bonus in improving your numbers along with those lifestyle changes.
According to Trista Best, RD from Balance One Supplements, taking the right supplement for cholesterol is all about decreasing your oxidative stress.
“Vitamins and supplements provide the body with antioxidants which work to counteract oxidative damage,” says Trista Best, RD from Balance One Supplements. “This damage can increase one’s risk for a host of chronic illnesses from obesity to heart disease. Part of their ability to decrease the risk for heart disease is their cholesterol-lowering ability.”
“This damage is the result of free radicals and toxins in the body paired with a lack of antioxidants to counteract the damage which leads to inflammation,” Best continues. “Chronic, low-level inflammation causes oxidative stress in the body that leads to many of the chronic conditions common to Western nations.”
“Antioxidants are plant compounds that stimulate the immune system and are also responsible for reducing inflammation by preventing clumping of blood platelets,” she says. “If this damage persists cholesterol rises and the sticky substance can adhere to the walls of the arteries. For this reason, I would recommend supplementing with antioxidant-specific supplements, like NOW’s Super Antioxidants.”
It’s important to note that taking supplements isn’t a solution, but an added bonus to your healthy diet. Harvard Health reports that antioxidants work best when individuals consume them with other nutrient-rich meals already filled with antioxidants. A wide range of food that stretches from cantaloupe and cauliflower all the way to shellfish should complement the effects of antioxidants and may lead to the best results.
For more inspiration to help supercharge your antioxidant nutrients and lower cholesterol, check out these 17 Foods That Lower Cholesterol for some healthier dietary choices.