2. Oily fish
Salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and other oily fish are rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids. Omega 3 decreases inflammation in the body and can help to reduce atherosclerosis. A University of Pittsburgh study found that incidence of coronary artery calcification was three times higher in middle-aged Japanese men living in the US compared to men living in Japan who consumed more than twice as much marine-derived omega-3.
3. Dark chocolate
Oxidation of LDL cholesterol leads to the development of plaques in the arteries. Flavonoids in dark chocolate inhibit LDL oxidation, reducing atherosclerosis. In one study, participants were assigned to either a low flavonoid diet or a diet which included dark chocolate. After four weeks, LDL was extracted from blood samples and subjected to oxidation. The chocolate diet slowed LDL oxidation rates by about 8% compared to the low flavonoid diet.
Several animal studies have shown that allicin, an organosulfur compound in garlic, reduces atherosclerotic plaque formation. In a pilot study on humans, 19 patients with atherosclerotic disease were treated with either aged garlic extract or a placebo. After one year, scans showed that garlic significantly slowed the accumulation of coronary artery calcification. Aged garlic extract is available as a supplement in capsule form.