Cholesterol – The good and the bad
There are two types of cholesterol – Good cholesterol also referred to as HDL and bad cholesterol also referred to as LDL. Good cholesterol is essential for the functioning of the body and is also produced by the body in addition from what we get from the food we eat. Bad cholesterol consumption leads to various health issues including cardiac problems and obesity.
Cayenne pepper and its availability
For centuries cayenne pepper has been used by people across the world as a herbal remedy to treat a variety of diseases. Its healing properties have made it an indispensable part of every kitchen. In some cuisines, fresh paprika is used, in some the dried ground powder is used and in some case, dried cayenne is used. Cayenne pepper (also referred to as red chilly in India ) is available in most countries irrespective of the climactic conditions. In certain cuisines, the use of cayenne is higher while in some cuisines it is sparsely used.
Why and how does cayenne pepper reduce cholesterol
Cayenne pepper has the ability to improve blood circulation rapidly. Many times, you may have seen how if you accidentally bite into a red chilli, your face becomes red. This is due to the swift circulation of the blood as a response to the red hot pepper you bit into. This circulation action is what helps to lower cholesterol and also removes plaques from the arteries.
How to include cayenne pepper in your diet
To derive the best benefit out of cayenne to reduce cholesterol, in addition to including this herb in your diet, make a juice / decoction and drink it thrice a week. (Only for those who have high LDL cholesterol levels; others may drink this once a week)
- Take two cayenne peppers.
- Cut them in halves.
- Take three to four cloves of garlic.
- Grind these together.
- Strain well and extract the juice.
Warning: It is not easy to drink this juice. Make it dilute at first and gradually increase the concentration if you feel you can handle it.
If you find the above juice too hot for your taste buds, you may opt for cayenne capsules that are available in the market. Or if you think you can handle it, you can dissolve some pure (unadulterated) cayenne pepper powder in warm water and drink it.
This juice is also beneficial for those who may have heart conditions such as blockage due to their cholesterol levels.
This remedy may not be suited for those:
Cayenne pepper causes no harm when consumed in smaller amounts. But larger amounts may lead to liver or kidney damage. Cayenne has an ingredient called capsaicin. You should not consume it in large quantities since it may lead to diarrhea, stomach ache and in some cases hemorrhoids (piles).
- Who suffer from GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) – although not proven, the hot juice seems to aggravate this condition.
- Those suffering from stomach ulcers should avoid even small quantities of cayenne.
- Heartburn may be a cause for concern. This is for those who are not into the habit of including cayenne in their diet. In those cases, you may include the herb slowly in your diet. You can then start drinking the juice if you find that you are used to it.
- People suffering from hemorrhoids or those who have a blood-in-stools reaction to hot foods should not consume large quantities of cayenne pepper.
- Those who have renal problems and urinary infections may want to consult with their doctor before consuming this juice.
Most natural remedies are very mild and harmless. Although the cayenne drink isn’t harmful, it is a concentrated drink. Hence those with medical conditions should consult with their physician.