The single most important step you can take for heart health starts with what you put on your plate
Rx Effect: Reduces blood pressure and plaque
The Evidence: Research suggests that, much like the ACE inhibitor drugs that fight high blood pressure, garlic ratchets down an enzyme called angiotensin, which constricts blood vessels. Though the effect is modest compared with medications, garlic seems to have a significant impact on the buildup of plaque. In three randomized trials, Matthew Budoff, MD, professor of medicine at UCLA, found that plaque progression slowed by more than 50% in people taking garlic extract, compared with the non–vampire slayers—”and the nongarlic group was on standard drugs,” he says.
Try: The trials used 250 mg tablets of Kyolic aged garlic extract to standardize the dose. “But it’s always better to eat the real food,” says Gayl Canfield, PhD, RD, director of nutrition at Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami.