Garlic Health Benefits

Garlic: one of the world's healthiest foods.

Garlic health benefits have long been revered. It was even worshiped in ancient Egypt. Claims that garlic is a natural remedy and can cure all from yeast infections to athlete’s foot, lower cholesterol and ward off a cold, have been around for centuries.

Garlic is rich in antioxidants and increases nitric oxide production. Antioxidants help to protect the body against damaging "free radicals" that can cause premature aging and cancer.

Now garlic doesn’t do much for your breath but it’s those same pungent sulphur compounds that are released when cloves are chewed, crushed or cut, that contain the magic ingredient thought to be responsible for garlic's therapeutic qualities.

Now recently published research suggests that garlic can actually relax arteries and thereby increase blood flow, reduce blood clots and prevent oxidative damage. This is good news for heart health benefits.

Clinical tests at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, showed that blood vessels exposed to crushed garlic juice showed a reduction in tension within the vessels by 72%. The reaction takes place in the cells of the blood vessel lining and causes them to dilate.

Worried About Garlic Breath?

There are several ways to get rid of garlic breath:

  1. Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly.
  2. Chew on fresh parsley, mint, or basil leaves.
  3. Drink a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon or a spoonful of lemon juice.
  4. Eat a piece of bread or have a dairy product, such as yogurt or milk, as they can neutralize the odor-causing compounds in garlic.
  5. Drink green tea or black tea, as they contain polyphenols that can help to neutralize the odor-causing compounds in garlic.
  6. Use mouthwash or chew gum containing strong breath fresheners.

Garlic Health Benefits - fighting off the common cold

A recently published study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the risk of the volunteers catching a cold by 50%. The researchers also discovered that even when those taking the supplement did develop a cold they were more likely to make a speedier recovery than the non-garlic taking volunteers. In fact just one clove a day will top up your body's supplies of vitamins A, B and C, as well as a vast array of minerals including selenium, iodine, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium.

Summary Of Garlic Health Benefits

  1. It is a natural antibiotic and antiviral, which can help to boost the immune system and fight off infections.
  2. It contains compounds that can help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
  3. It is a good source of antioxidants, which can protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and may help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
  4. It contains compounds called allicin and diallyl disulfide, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as stomach and colon cancer.
  5. Garlic also contains Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Manganese, which are essential for maintaining good health.
  6. It is also low in calories and rich in flavor, making it a great addition to a healthy diet.

Benefits Garlic In Your Home Detox

Garlic is extremely helpful to the body in as part of a natural detoxification program. Research has well validated the role of garlic extract (aged), powdered garlic, garlic oil and whole garlic in getting rid of toxins from our bodies and in protecting us from diseases partly caused by those toxins, including liver disease, kidney disease, cancer disease and lung cancer. Many natural health gurus recommend sulphur rich foods as part of a detox diet and garlic is one of them. Garlic’s detox health benefits include blood cleansing as well as anti-bacterial properties.

Capsules or Fresh Garlic?

Garlic capsules are a convenient way to consume garlic without the strong odor and taste of fresh garlic. They typically contain dried, powdered garlic or garlic oil. They are available in different potencies, and it is important to choose a reputable brand and follow the recommended dosage on the label.

Fresh garlic is also a good option, as it retains its beneficial compounds. It can be chopped, crushed, or minced and added to various dishes or consumed raw. You can also use it as a supplement by taking it in form of juice or oil.

It's important to note that consuming large amounts of raw garlic may cause heartburn or upset stomach, and some people may be allergic to it. Also, consuming large amounts of raw garlic may also cause bad breath, heartburn, and upset stomach. If you're taking blood-thinning medications, it's important to talk to your doctor before consuming large amounts of garlic.

Using Garlic In Cooking

Before cooking with fresh garlic, let it stand for 15 minutes after crushing as this triggers the enzyme to boost the healthy components of the garlic and so increase the health benefits. Add to your recipes about five minutes before the end of cooking to get just enough heat to convert the allicin into medically active compounds.

There is no substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise and garlic should be part of that lifestyle and not seen a stand alone cure-all.

Try this Raw Tomato and Red Pepper Soup with raw garlic cloves for flavour.

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