Years ago, long before I was into diet and health, I had a friend whose mom always smelled strongly of garlic. My guess is she knew of the many benefits garlic has to offer and from the constant odor permeating out of her body, she may of even viewed it as a wonder “drug” taking it for whatever ailed her. Looking back, I wondered if she was on to something, so I’ve done some research on this wonderful herb (also known as a vegetable). Whole books have been written on garlic and worth the read. I even read that it was natural mosquito repellent … well I know it sure made people, including her grandchildren, stay a short distance away from her! Although she consumed more garlic than you need to, using garlic does have many health benefits. I personally don’t feel you need to consume large quantities to reap some of the benefits and many who consume high quantities have noticed negative side effects such as heartburn, gas, and nausea. Eating 3-4 garlic cloves a few times a week is sufficient for most health benefits. If you do not like garlic or want to cut down on the garlic breath, you may consider supplements, although some claim to burp up garlic from these products and they are not as effective as fresh, raw garlic.
Garlic is taken to help prevent a host of ailments from the common cold to many more serious illnesses. Studies are still underway, but there is evidence that shows that garlic will help prevent the number of free radicals that can cause cancerous cells. Garlic is a very good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C, the body’s primary antioxidant defenders throughout the bloodstream. This helps inhibit blood clotting and prevents LDL cholesterol from oxidation which aids in preventing cardiovascular disease. Garlic also has a powerful antioxidant effect which can help to protect the body against damaging free radicals.
Garlic can transform any meal into a tasty and healthy culinary experience. We recommend using raw chopped or pressed garlic to take advantage of the benefits derived from garlic as cooking does remove some of it’s healthy benefits including the anti-cancer properties. Best if crushed or chopped, and then allowed to sit for about 10 minutes. Crushing or chopping activates the garlic’s enzymes which will help you receive the many health benefits garlic has to offer. If you are cooking with it, it is best to add it towards the end of the cooking process to retain the maximum amount of flavor and nutrition.It is best to use fresh garlic and, when possible, purchase organic garlic as it has a higher sulphur level and therefore has a more benefit opportunities.