Garlic and Its Many Health Benefits

Garlic-and-its-Many-Health-BenefitsThe ancient Greeks were the first to recognize the health benefits of garlic including Allicin – It a distant relative of the onion, both are high in a type of sulfur called Allicin, which provides curative and health benefits. The sulfur in Allicin is released when the bulb and its cloves are crushed, chopped or chewed.

The Health Benefits of Garlic include:

  1. Immunity– Eating this ingredient in your diet will boost your immunity to illness, particularly colds and flu. Adding it to your diet or garlic supplements can reduce the symptoms and total number of days you are sick if you do catch a cold.
  2. Low Calorie– It is low in calories, about 45 per ounce, with 1.9 grams of protein and is rich in Vitamins and minerals. This is a natural source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Selenium and Manganese. It also provides trace amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1.
  3. Lower Blood Pressure– Recent studies compare dietary garlic and garlic supplementation with the blood pressure drug Atenolol and found that four cloves daily can be as effective as the prescription. The study extended over 24 weeks and supports the theory that a Mediterranean diet high in garlic and olive oil may produce significant heart-healthy benefits.
  4. Antioxidants– It contains antioxidants which protect our cells from damage and the aging process. This ingredient in your diet may also help prevent degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia-related to the oxidative processes.
  5. Lowers LDL Cholesterol It reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol in people who have high cholesterol without affecting HDL (good) cholesterol.
  6. Athletic Performance– It was the original performance enhancing food; the Greeks used it to reduce fatigue and increase energy in athletes and laborers. It was first used with Olympic athletes in ancient Greece. Modern athletes use garlic capsules to support training.
  7. Detoxification– Sulfur found in it binds with toxins and particularly heavy metals in your body and helps to eliminate them. Heavy metals like lead and mercury that may build up in your liver and organs can be greatly reduced by increasing its consumption.

Garlic is simple to add to your daily diet, and it’s delicious. Crush or grate a clove into any savory dish like sauces or soups. Grate a clove onto salads, on toasted breads, or add it to dips, butters or spreads like hummus. Crushed and grated garlic are most beneficial as both release the Allicin (sulphur) to provide the benefits listed above. Be sure to crush or grate your garlic BEFORE cooking it to activate the Allicin. Pressed garlic with olive oil and a dash of vinegar makes a great dressing.

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