How to live longer: The popular herb shown to prevent heart disease and lower cholesterol

Why cholesterol is bad for you

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Heart disease and high cholesterol are two often linked conditions that can be prevented or improved by diet. Having too much cholesterol means there is too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. If not dealt with, this can block vessels and make you more at risk of issues such as heart disease and strokes.

High cholesterol is usually caused by eating fatty food, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol.

It can also be genetic.

However, according to various studies, one herb is particularly potent when it comes to improving your health.

Researchers have found that coriander seeds could reduce cholesterol levels as well as your risk of heart disease.

One paper, by a team from Sri Ramachandra University in India and published in Current Cardiology Reviews, proved the seeds could lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL) – also known as “bad” cholesterol – and fats called triglycerides.

It said: “The seeds of coriander have a remarkable hypolipidemic action.

“The levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides decreased significantly in the tissues of the animals of the experimental group which received coriander seeds.

“The level of LDL and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased while that of high density-lipoprotein (‘good’) cholesterol increased in the experimental group compared to the control group.”

And another study, published in the Journal of Environmental Biology in 2008, fed coriander seeds to rats.

“In the present study, coriander seeds incorporated into diet and the effect of the administration of coriander seeds on the metabolism of lipids was studied in rats, fed with high fat diet and added cholesterol,” it says.

“The seeds had a significant hypolipidemic action. In the experimental group of rats (tissue) the level of total cholesterol and triglycerides increased significantly.”

In 2009 a report published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology concluded the seeds – or fruit – of the herb could successfully lower blood pressure – or hypertension.

High blood pressure can also raise the risk of heart problems.

The paper says: “These results indicate that coriander fruit exhibits gut stimulatory, inhibitory and hypotensive effects mediating possibly through cholinergic, Ca(2+) antagonist and the combination of these mechanisms respectively.

“Diuretic activity adds value to its use in hypertension.”

As a general rule, a healthy level of total cholesterol in the blood is five or less millimoles per litre (mmol/l).

More specifically a healthy level of high-density lipoprotein is one or more mmol/l.

And you should have four or less mmol/l of low-density lipoprotein.

To find out if your cholesterol levels are high your doctor will need to take a blood test.

Having high cholesterol is often linked to a number of lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise.

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