Add Garlic for Good Health

garlic image

While garlic is a well-known and widely used ingredient, it’s also been used for ages for its medicinal properties. Once you learn what all the garlic buzz is about, it will be easy for you to use it for pasta sauces and pizza or as a natural remedy.

Garlic has been used medicinally as far back as the beginning of recorded history. Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and India all have medicinal texts that recommend the use of garlic for various illnesses. It was believed to strengthen and increase productivity in manual laborers, improve heart health, and treat parasites.

Science is now showing that garlic actually does have some very real medicinal properties, likely due to the allicin in it. Allicin is the biological component of garlic that is responsible for the health benefits that garlic provides. It has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and certain cancer inhibiting effects.

While some of the effects of garlic are still being scientifically proven, there is a lot of information that suggests garlic is much more than an herb for cooking.

● Heart Health: Garlic has been shown to prevent the hardening and narrowing of arteries that happens as the human body ages, as well as reduce blood pressure by up to 7% or 8%. It’s also an anticoagulant, preventing clots in the blood stream.
● Treating Inflammation: In a recent study done on garlic, there were four sulphuric compounds in garlic that were shown to decrease inflammation, including skin inflammation such as that caused by psoriasis. It can also help those who suffer from inflammation as a result of autoimmune disease, especially if it’s a regular part of their diet.
● Immune Strength: Garlic is packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants battle free radicals in your body, and can also strengthen your immune system, preventing you from getting sick or helping you to fight off sickness faster.
● Preventing Food Poisoning: Some research suggests that the antibacterial properties of garlic can prevent the development of E. coli and Salmonella. This is only to be used in conjunction with safe food handling procedures.
● Preventing Colon Cancer: There has been some research that indicates that eating garlic daily can prevent the development of Colon or Rectal Cancer. These studies also suggest that you can take a high dose aged garlic supplement in order to prevent the growth of new tumors.
● Treating Fungal Infections: Garlic also has antifungal properties, making it a great treatment for ringworm, athlete’s foot and jock itch. These are fungal infections that grow in moist environments, and are highly contagious.
● Prevent Tick Bites: A recent study shows that people who eat large amounts of garlic over a five month period have a reduced number of tick bites.

There is some controversy over the best way to eat or use garlic for its medicinal benefits. Because raw garlic has such a strong, potentially overwhelming flavor and smell, most people prefer to cook garlic before they consume it. However, research indicates that cooking garlic can reduce its effectiveness to treat or prevent illness. The best way to cook garlic is to crush it and let it sit for 10 minutes so that the components that produce the allicin can be activated, then add it to your meal at the end, so that it doesn’t get too heated.

It seems that the ancient civilizations were right about the power of garlic. Try adding it to your diet, you may be surprised at what it does for your health!

Photo credit: ilovebutter / Foter / CC BY

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