Even if your body is in perfect health now, gradual plaque buildup in your arteries can bring it all to a screeching halt. So it’s no surprise that billions of dollars have been pumped into efforts to curb this common risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Currently, the most popular (and most prescribed) approach to prevent plaque involves cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, despite all of the overwhelming evidence indicating that these drugs don’t protect you nearly as much as you’ve been led to believe.
And let’s not forget to mention the laundry list of dangerous side effects! High blood sugar, muscle damage, kidney damage, brain fog, cataracts… The risks goes on and on!
Fortunately, nature has provided us with a simple way to keep arteries flexible and clear of plaque buildup. And it’s something you probably have in your kitchen this very moment…
As far back as ancient India, healers knew that garlic promotes healthy arteries.
And as you’ll see, it’s important to keep a few important tips in mind to help you maximize the benefits garlic provides to your circulation and overall cardiovascular health.
Hefty health benefits in every clove
Prevention of atherosclerosis (the narrowing and hardening of arteries due to plaque buildup) is actually just one of the standout ways garlic protects your cardiovascular system.
As certified health coach and best-selling author Bill Gottlieb notes in his Essential Age-Eraser Protocol, garlic not only slows arterial plaque progression… it can actually reverse plaque buildup.
Additionally, hundreds of scientific studies illustrate the heart-friendly benefits of garlic. It can:
- Cool down chronic, low-grade inflammation — a driver of heart disease
- Decrease the stickiness of blood platelets, reducing the risk of artery-clogging blood clots
- Increase the flexibility of stiff, “hardened” arteries
- Lower high blood pressure
- Reduce the advance of cardiovascular disease, especially in people with type 2 diabetes
But there’s one catch to all these benefits: The way you prepare the garlic makes a big difference in its therapeutic value.
So many choices — but only one is best
If you’re not a cook, you might be amazed at the large range of ways garlic can be included in your diet.
Bill breaks it down: “There’s raw and there’s cooked. There’s whole, crushed, and sliced. There’s garlic powder, garlic flakes, garlic oil, and the aged extract found in many garlic supplements.”
So which one of these preparations goes the furthest in heart support?
To answer that, Bill cites an animal trial conducted by researchers at the Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Connecticut (UC) School of Medicine. Using different preparations of garlic in animal diets, the UC team found that raw, crushed garlic created the greatest protective effect on the animals’ hearts.
The lead author of the study noted that a compound called allicin is garlic’s primary active ingredient. Your body breaks allicin down into sulfur compounds, including hydrogen sulfide, which performs several key tasks, including:
- Improves circulation
- Protects heart cells
- Relaxes blood vessels
- Strengthens heartbeat
And as the UC trial demonstrates, fresh, crushed garlic generates hydrogen sulfide better than processed and cooked garlic.
Pro tips for spicing things up
To find out the best ways to include more fresh, crushed garlic in our diets, Bill talked to Elizabeth Hoiles-Menzel, a professional chef in Las Vegas. She offered these pro tips for preparing fresh garlic:
- Knife technique
- Starting with a knife and cutting board, roughly chop several cloves of garlic.
- Using the side of the blade and a pinch of coarse salt, grind the garlic into a paste.
- The garlic may then be placed in a bowl and mixed with the remaining ingredients in a recipe. “This is a great way to add fresh garlic to tabbouleh or cucumber-yogurt salad,” Chef Hoiles-Menzel said.
- Food processor or blender
- Place the garlic cloves in the food processor and pulse the garlic until it reaches the desired size or puree.
- You can add additional ingredients to the processor to make a finished sauce, dip, topping or even a green smoothie. “I find the processor a very effective way to make pesto sauces, garlic-rich dips like baba ganoush or hummus or salad dressings,” she said.
Bill’s Essential Age-Eraser Protocol includes two more useful preparation tips. However, he acknowledges that the taste of crushed garlic can be a bit too pungent for some people.
So he offers this alternative: “For those who still want to incorporate garlic into their routine, I suggest a garlic supplement, particularly if the person has high total or LDL cholesterol.
“A supplement may not be as effective as fresh, uncooked garlic for overall heart health, but studies show that daily doses of 600 to 900 mg of standardized garlic extract can lower high cholesterol.”
And Bill adds one cautionary note: Garlic supplements thin the blood, so don’t use a supplement if you also take Coumadin or any other blood thinning drug.
“Other than that,” Bill says, “there’s no reason to be cautious about garlic. Eat it to your heart’s content!”
This is just one of many intriguing health insights Bill includes in his Essential Age-Eraser Protocol. Click here to learn more about Bill’s unique program, curated specifically to help you enjoy a long life in the very best of health. Want to get started now? Don’t wait—sign up today!
“The Role of Hydrogen Sulfide on Cardiovascular Homeostasis: An Overview with Update on Immunomodulation” Frontiers in Pharmacology 2017; 8: 686. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00686