Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in the blood. For a healthy heart you need more HDL good cholesterol, less LDL bad cholesterol and less triglycerides in your blood.
A simple blood test at your GP surgery can determine your HDL, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Bad cholesterol deposits in the inner lining of your arteries and causes the arteries to narrow. Narrow arteries increase the pressure on your blood vessels, leading to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
High LDL cholesterol can be inherited, but it often arises from unhealthy lifestyle choices. A diet high in saturated fat and sugar, stress and lack of exercise are just some factors that increase LDL cholesterol.
A healthy diet, regular exercise and sometimes medication (e.g. statins) can help reduce high LDL cholesterol. There are also several natural foods that reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
A daily drink consisting of one teaspoon of raw organic honey, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of psyllium husk, first thing in the morning before breakfast, can help to reduce LDL cholesterol.
Raw organic honey, apple cider vinegar and psyllium husk are three natural foods scientifically shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Let's examine.
Raw Organic Honey
A study published in the Malaysian Journal of Medical Science in 2015 found that raw honey can help lower triglycerides and bad cholesterol in your blood.
Raw organic honey helps to detoxify the liver of toxins and make it more efficient. Given that most cholesterol in the blood is processed by the liver, a healthy liver reduces the levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Research has also shown that the micronutrients found naturally in raw honey can improve the viscosity of your blood and have a good effect on the functioning of your arteries.
The purest form of honey is honey that is both raw (unpasteurised) and certified organic (free of chemicals and antibiotics). Raw organic honey is not commonly sold in supermarkets.
The best way to consume raw organic honey is to mix it with warm water and drink it. Water releases the goodness of honey and aids in its rapid absorption into the body.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is vinegar made from fermented apple juice.
A 2017 12-week randomised clinical trial cited in the Medical News Today journal found that people who consumed two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every day had significantly reduced LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels as compared to those who did not take the apple cider vinegar. (See below for reference.)
There have been many such studies on the effect of apple cider vinegar on cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.
To avoid damage to tooth enamel, apple cider vinegar is best taken mixed with water.
Psyllium husk, also known as ispaghula, is the husk of the psyllium seed cultivated in northern India. It is often crushed to a coarse powder before use.
The high soluble fibre content of psyllium husk acts as a sponge in the blood and goes round mopping up excess LDL cholesterol.
A 2000 double-blind study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate 7-10g (two teaspoons) of psyllium husk every day had their LDL cholesterol levels lowered by 6-18% over a eight week period.
Psyllium powder is best taken mixed with water. Certified organic psyllium husk ensures that it is free of chemicals and pesticides.
A Daily Cocktail To Reduce Cholesterol
Most people do not have the time to drink several different drinks first thing in the morning. However, it is safe to mix raw organic honey with apple cider vinegar and psyllium husk in the same glass of water.
So, to summarise, mix together, in this order:
One glass of warm water (max 37C) - microwaving a glass of cold water for 50 seconds is usually enough.
Two tablespoons of raw organic apple cider vinegar - we recommend Aspalls Raw Organic Apple Cyder Vinegar, available widely in supermarkets.
Two teaspoons of organic psyllium husk powder - this is widely available at health stores, on Amazon and online.
Note: never microwave a drink containing raw honey or you will kill its living nutrients.