The single most important step you can take for heart health starts with what you put on your plate
Rx Effect: Prevents atherosclerosis
The Evidence: Your mom was right: You need to consume your dark leafy greens. “Kale has everything you would want in a superfood,” says Joel Fuhrman, MD, the author of the bestseller Eat to Live, who uses diet and exercise to help patients reverse their cardiovascular disease. For starters, kale boasts a bumper crop of heart-healthy antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin E. It’s also rich in lutein, which correlated in the Los Angeles Atherosclerosis Study with protection against early atherosclerosis. Kale even contains an unusual compound, glucoraphanin, that activates a special protective protein called Nrf2. “It creates a sort of Teflon coating in your arteries to keep plaque from adhering,” says Dr. Fuhrman.
Try: For a snack, try Brad’s Raw Leafy Kale—actual kale that is dehydrated, then coated with ground cashews, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, and garlic.