Garlic is one of the most used foods in cuisines around the world! Contrary to popular belief, it is not a spice or herb, but instead, is part of the allium family along with onions, chives and leeks. These vegetables all have bioactive sulphur compounds which give them many of their powerful health benefits.
There is quite a lot of research out there on the health benefits of garlic. GreenMedInfo.com lists over 243 studies, and a quick search on the US National Library of Medicine’s PubMed.gov website returns over 5200 studies on the health benefits of garlic, and how it can be used to reduce the risk of and even prevent certain diseases.
Garlic has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic properties, with the biochemicals in garlic found to fight even antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
It is also rich in antioxidants which fights free radicals, and prevents the damage to your cells which leads to disease over time.
Some of the health benefits include –
- Helps regulate blood sugar levels
- Improves blood cholesterol levels
- Fights heart disease
- Reduces inflammation and risk of inflammation-related diseases like osteoarthritis
- Reduces risk and prevents certain cancers like cancer of breast, lung, pancreas and brain
- Controls blood pressure
- Fights infections, colds and flu
- Contains phosphorus, selenium, Vitamins C & B6, calcium and manganese, which makes it extra beneficial to your thyroid and bones
- Boosts immunity
- Protects against oxidative damage in the body
Wow! Don’t you find it absolutely brilliant when peer-reviewed research confirms the health benefits of humble foods we eat every day?
With all these health benefits, who would want to miss out?! Not me!
So what is the best way to use it? For its microbial properties, it is best consumed in its raw state. That said, cooked garlic still has many wonderful health properties. Just make sure you get it in! Whether you decide to use it raw or cooked, an easy way to increase the benefits from garlic is to chop/crush it and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes so that the important health-boosting compound, allicin, develops prior to consuming or heating it.
How do I eat the raw garlic?
- I peel 1-2 cloves, depending on the size, and chop it into fine pieces with a sharp vegetable knife.
- I then allow the chopped garlic to stand for 10-15 minutes, and swallow it down with a glass of water. As simple as taking any other supplement!
It seems like a clove of garlic a day does indeed keep the doctor away! But… as always, it definitely does not substitute an organic wholefood diet.
To life & in good health,