By Jennipher Walters
This article first appeared on the U.S.-version of SHAPE.com
Everyone wants a healthy cholesterol number when they go in to see their doctor. But just in case your cholesterol levels could use some improvement, did you know that you can do just a few things to lower your cholesterol naturally? Read on for five easy ways to do just that!
1. Exercise, exercise, exercise. Is there anything exercise can’t help? Studies show that regular moderate physical activity can lower total cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol levels by up to 10 per cent.
2. Get your fibre. Soluble fibre — like what’s found in oatmeal, barley and beans — acts like a sponge in the digestive tract, helping to reduce cholesterol levels naturally.
3. Drink green tea. Swap out sugary drinks and sodas for green tea, which contains compounds that can help lower bad LDL cholesterol. Bonus: studies show that green tea can also help prevent weight gain!
4. Enjoy garlic. This ‘stinking rose’ has been shown to help reduce inflammation, fight oxidation and help lower bad LDL cholesterol levels. Totally worth popping a piece of gum post-dinner.
5. Have a glass of wine. One alcoholic drink a day has been shown to raise levels of good HDL cholesterol by as much as 10 percent. Just be sure to limit it to one glass!
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach, and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.