February, dubbed “American Heart Month” since 1963, is a month dedicated to raising awareness of heart health and mitigating cardiovascular disease; the number one killer in the U.S.
Well, we might be able assist… California heirloom garlic – a natural antioxidant boasting high concentrations of essential vitamins and minerals – is widely regarded as a combatant against various heart-related conditions, including strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, kidney failure, blood clots and more.
Statistics emphasize the severity of cardiovascular disease, considering:
* nearly every 25 seconds, an American will experience a coronary event
* nearly every minute, an American will die from a coronary event
* in 2009, an estimated 785,000 Americans had a new coronary attack
* two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese and one-in-three adults lives with high blood pressure (the most critical risk variable for heart disease), according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association.
So, how can you take preventative measures against heart disease?
“A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease,” according to the American Heart Association. The organization offers several suggestions for nutritious eating choices; many of which point to fresh garlic consumption, including:
* Eat a variety of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables to help control weight and blood pressure. California heirloom garlic, which is 100% natural, boasts high levels of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B and C, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, allicin and more
* Minimize foods high in dietary cholesterol; aim to eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily. Studies indicate fresh garlic helps reduce cholesterol, thin blood and burn fat;
* Select and prepare foods with little or no salt; aim to consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily. Fresh garlic is a healthful alternative to salt, as substituting one teaspoon of fresh garlic for equal salt will eliminate 580 milligrams of sodium.
Additionally, garlic-focused medical trials reinforce the belief that fresh garlic is capable of boosting heart health.
For example, when researching the correlation between consuming fresh garlic and alleviating blood-pressure levels, Dr. Kurt Reinhart, assistant professor of pharmacy at Wingate University School of Pharmacy, found a solid inverse relationship in patients with hypertensive blood pressure above 140mmHg.
“I think patients looking to lower blood pressure can safely be recommended to consume more raw garlic,” said Dr. Reinhart, as garlic reduced blood pressure in the hypertensive group by nearly 16/9 mmHg.
Furthermore, fresh garlic’s ability to help hinder cardiovascular disease is one variable earning the vegetable recognition as a SuperFood – a food equipped with nutrients proven to enhance consumers’ longevity and prevent disease, said Dr. Steven Pratt, author of ‘SuperFoods HealthStyle: Proven Strategies for Lifelong Health.’
“Most people die of a cardiovascular disease or cancer, so if you eliminate heart attack, stroke, lung, colon, prostate and breast cancer, you’ve eliminated what kills most people,” Dr. Pratt said of fresh garlic’s role in fighting medical conditions. “Anything that lowers the risk of cancer and thins the blood, with an aspirin like effect, and tastes good, is good.”
Keep your heart healthy in February – and the other 11 months in the year. Eat fresh California heirloom garlic.