Drinking Flax Seed Tea for Cholesterol

One of the more unfortunate results of the modern diet is that many people struggle with keeping their cholesterol levels in check. An excessive intake of processed meats and animal byproducts has made it unfortunately easy to build up high cholesterol levels. Although medication for high cholesterol levels is available, these can have significant side effects, especially when taken over long periods of time. For this reason, many people are turning to nature for alternatives. Flax seed tea can provide one such alternative, as its various constituents can offer positive effects on cholesterol levels by working with the body’s natural functions.

How Cholesterol Works

Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance found in the cells of animals and humans. It is somewhat beneficial, and is an important part of digestion, hormone production and other processes. However, all of the cholesterol needed by the body is already produced within the body itself. Because of this, cholesterol that is consumed from the diet becomes excess and raises cholesterol levels. As the excess cholesterol travels through the bloodstream, it can cause a buildup of plaque in the arteries, limiting blood flow and creating the potential for heart disease.

There are three parts that contribute to your total cholesterol level. LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) is often known as “bad” cholesterol, as this type contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries. HDL cholesterol (high density lipoprotein) is the opposite of this. Also known as “good” cholesterol, this lipoprotein scours the bloodstream and removes LDL cholesterol from the arteries, transporting it to the liver where it can be removed from the body. Triglycerides, a similar but distinct lipid, normally provides the metabolism with energy, but when present in high levels, it contributes to hardening of the arteries and thickening of the arterial walls. An ideal cholesterol level would have low levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and high levels of HDL cholesterol.

How Flax Seed Tea Builds Healthy Cholesterol

A refreshing cup of flax seed tea can be an excellent way to naturally keep your cholesterol at healthy levels. Flax seed tea has four primary constituents which contribute to its positive effects on cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber, found in abundance in flax seed, helps to moderate cholesterol levels as it passes through the digestive system by binding the cholesterol to itself before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. This allows the cholesterol to be flushed harmlessly from the body. The fiber in flax seed tea is also thought to contribute to an increase of apolipoprotein A1, the primary protein used to create HDL cholesterol.

The second of flax seed tea’s constituents are lignans, a group of plant-based chemical compounds that have demonstrated positive effects on cholesterol levels, and may also reduce the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels. The third element, omega-3, helps to lower cholesterol levels by keeping the arterial walls from hardening, and by preventing against plaque buildup in the arteries. Finally, flax seed is a natural source of phytosterols, plant chemicals that are similar to cholesterol in composition, yet do not contribute to plaque buildup. Studies have shown that phytosterols may help to control LDL cholesterol levels by competing with cholesterol to be absorbed in the digestive system. This means that less LDL cholesterol is absorbed and enters the bloodstream, thus reducing overall cholesterol.