A good friend of mine recently had an annual physical and was told that he needed to lower his cholesterol. Upon getting his test results, he asked me if I could offer him any Ayurvedic and Yogic tips to help him reduce cholesterol, while not having to give up his spice for life.
The truth is, cholesterol is not mentioned in Ayurveda. Rather, Ayurveda talks about meda dhatu (lipid tissue) and talks about how to maintain the health of fat tissue in the body. When meda dhatu is healthy and balanced, it consequently helps to sustain healthy cholesterol levels.
According to Ayurveda, there are several ways to ensure meda dhatu is healthy. One way is to include spices like turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, fennel, ginger and curry leaves in your diet, as these spices help to flush out toxins of the body. That may sound like a lot, but it’s easy if you prepare the spice mixture ahead of time. Then, when you’re preparing your dinner, just add a teaspoon of this spice mixture to a bit of olive oil or ghee. Once this spice/ghee mixture is heated, go ahead and combine it with your veggies and or grains. This spice mixture is not only a fantastic flavor enhancer, it will also help you with your digestion and metabolism of fat.
Beyond the above spice mixture, be sure to drink plenty of water to reduce cholesterol. Look to include the following foods in your diet: dried beans, berries, broccoli, carrots, nuts and bitter leafy greens, like spinach, chard, kale and mustard greens. These leafy greens are a great way to help cleanse the system and aid in the prevention of bad cholesterol from accumulating in the body.
A note on a few foods to avoid: Steer clear of wheat, breads, pasta, along with sweet milk products, and salty foods.
Look to include yoga poses like: Pachimottanasana (Two-legged Forward Bend), as this pose stimulates the liver and kidneys. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand), known to improve digestion, while also stimulating the abdominal organs. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half-Spinal Twist), as this stimulates the liver and helps with digestion. Shalabhasana, (Locust Pose), as this stimulates the abdominal organs, while also helping with digestion.
Here’s to your health!