An excellent way to lower cholesterol is to drink tea made with medicinal plants that help detoxify the body and have hypoglycemic properties that help reduce blood cholesterol levels, such as artichoke tea and mate tea.
It is important that these teas are taken under the doctor’s guidance and should not replace the recommended treatment, being just a way to complement the diet to lower cholesterol, which should be low in fats and sugars, in addition to practicing regular physical activity.
1. Artichoke tea
Artichoke tea has blood-purifying properties and contains antioxidants that reduce excess cholesterol in the blood, in addition to lowering blood pressure and preventing atherosclerosis.
How to prepare and take: Add 1 teaspoon (from 5 to 6g) of dried artichoke leaves in 1 liter of boiling water. Cover, let stand for 5 minutes, strain, and drink 2 to 3 cups a day, before main meals.
Contraindications: this tea should not be consumed by people with liver cancer, liver failure, or hepatitis. Likewise, it is also not recommended for those using anticoagulant medications, for children under 12 years of age, and for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
2. Dandelion tea
Dandelion helps lower blood cholesterol levels, preventing the deposit of fat in blood vessels, because it has compounds that guarantee antioxidant properties to this plant.
How to prepare and take it: add 1 tablespoon of crushed dandelion root to 200 ml of boiling water and let stand for 10 minutes. Then strain and drink about 3 cups of tea a day.
Contraindications: this plant should not be used by people who are hypersensitive to it, or who have obstruction of the bile ducts or intestinal occlusion. Also, it should not be used during pregnancy and during breastfeeding.
3. Turmeric tea
Turmeric has a bioactive compound called curcumin, a substance that helps lower blood cholesterol levels due to its antioxidant action and exerts cardioprotection.
How to prepare and take it: put 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in 150 ml of boiling water and let it rest for about 10 minutes. It is recommended to take 3 cups a day between meals.
Contraindications: obstruction of the biliary tract due to gallstones and in patients who are taking anticoagulant drugs. During pregnancy or lactation, it should only be used under medical supervision.
4. Mate tea
Yerba mate, in addition to having an antioxidant action, has saponins, which are organic compounds that reduce the absorption of fats and cholesterol at the intestinal level, increasing their excretion through the feces.
How to prepare and take it: put 3 teaspoons of yerba mate in 500 ml of boiling water, let it cool, strain and drink up to 1.5 liters of tea a day.
Contraindications: this tea should not be consumed by pregnant women, during the breastfeeding phase and by people who have anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, gastritis, ulcers, reflux and uncontrolled hypertension, as it contains caffeine.
5. Green tea
Green tea is rich in catechins, flavonoids, and other compounds that have antioxidant properties that help lower levels of bad cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides in the blood.
How to prepare and take it: add 1 tablespoon of green tea to 240 ml of boiling water and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Strain and drink warm up to 4 cups a day between meals.
Contraindications: this tea should not be consumed during pregnancy or breastfeeding, by people who have insomnia, gastritis, ulcers, and hypertension, as it contains caffeine. In addition, it should be avoided by people who take anticoagulants and who have hypothyroidism. Discover all the benefits of green tea.
6. Red tea
Red tea, in addition to being rich in antioxidants, also contains a compound called theobromine, which increases the excretion, through feces, of cholesterol and promotes changes in the metabolism of fats.
How to prepare and take it: boil 1 liter of water, add 2 tablespoons of red tea, and cover for 10 minutes. Then strain and drink 3 cups a day.
Contraindications: this tea should not be ingested by pregnant or breastfeeding women, or by people who have insomnia, gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux, hypertension, or heart problems, as it has caffeine.
Other cholesterol-lowering tips
In addition to teas, it is important to change some habits and lifestyles, such as:
- Perform physical activity, such as walking, running, cycling, or swimming, for example, for 45 minutes about 3 to 4 times a week;
- Decrease the consumption of fats and foods that contain them, such as butter, margarine, fried foods, yellow cheese, sausages, cream cheese, sauces, and mayonnaise, among others;
- Decrease the consumption of sugars and foods that contain them;
- Increase the consumption of good fats, rich in omega-3 and saturated fats, such as salmon, avocado, dried fruit, seeds, olive oil, and flaxseed;
- Increase fiber consumption, eating 3 to 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, which helps to reduce the absorption of fat in the intestine, favoring the reduction of cholesterol levels;
- Drink eggplant and orange juice on an empty stomach, as it is a super antioxidant that favors the elimination of fat found in the blood.