New research shows that when it comes to heart health, freshly crushed garlic beats the dried variety. In tests on rats recovering from a simulated heart attack, scientists found that fresh garlic restored blood flow to the aorta more effectively than processed garlic did.
The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, suggests that fresh garlic may release greater amounts of hydrogen sulfide, a compound known to relax the blood vessels and boost circulation.
A daily dose of fresh garlic could indeed help protect your heart, says David Kiefer, M.D., clinical assistant professor of medicine at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Aim for one to two raw crushed cloves daily. (Mix into meals or take it straight up.)