Garlic Is Great For Your Heart Health

Filed Under: Heart Health, Food and Nutrition
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Garlic is a fabulous anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent with a long history in folk medicine. It is an excellent natural blood thinner, which makes it vital for people who are trying to improve poor blood circulation or prevent blood clots. It’s so effective that I often instruct some patients to go light on garlic—as well as ginger—if they are on a pharmaceutical blood thinner like Coumadin.

This seasoning also has a favorable effect on obtaining healthy blood pressure. An Australian review of 11 placebo-controlled studies found that garlic can lower blood pressure levels as effectively as some drugs. Analysis of the studies showed average blood pressure reductions of 8.4 systolic points and 7.3 diastolic points. The higher a patient’s blood pressure was at the beginning, the more it was lowered by taking garlic.

Although evidence to date indicates that raw, cold-aged garlic offers the greatest medicinal value, studies have also demonstrated that cooked garlic is effective. The highest quality is grown organically.

There’s an old saying among Italian chefs that there’s never enough garlic in a dish. I’m no different. I chop up at least one clove when I make spaghetti sauce.

I encourage you to include garlic in your salads and sauces. If you have an aversion to garlic’s trademark odor, then try an odor-free supplement. Enteric-coated capsules are best for digestion. Take 500–1,000 mg daily.

For more information on cardiovascular nutrition, visit

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