Avoiding garlic due to the “bad breath” after effect means you’re not getting all the fantastic health benefits associated with the “stinking rose!” Instead, embrace this pungent vegetable and all of its health benefits. For 5000 years, this native Asian plant has been used to heal and promote health, now it’s your turn to give it a try.
Here are the five primary benefits of eating garlic:
1. Cardio Health
The allicin found in garlic is able to lower total blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Although studies have focused mainly on garlic power, extracts, and oil, it is accepted that fresh garlic would have similar effects, although not as concentrated. Additionally, garlic can prevent damage to blood cells and vessels which in turn cuts the risk of inflammation, heart attack, and atherosclerosis.
2. Cancer Prevention
Garlic has important cancer-prevention properties, shown to reduce the risk of nearly all types of cancer. With moderate intakes of garlic you can specifically target colorectal and renal cancer by helping to promote cell death. As a major antioxidant, the selenium and vitamin E in garlic helps to maintain and renew healthy cells.
Garlic contains compounds called vinyldithiin and thiacremonone that have been shown to inhibit the messenger molecules associated with inflammation. Studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory effects of garlic can also help battle obesity by preventing the conversion of fat cells to their final state.
4. Blood Health
Allium can help to prevent blood vessel from becoming blocked by reducing the risk of clots. Additionally, the presence of ajoene in garlic increases anti-clotting properties by preventing the platelets in your blood from becoming too sticky so you have less of chance of developing clots. Allicin can limit the contraction of blood vessels to help maintain healthy blood pressure.
5. Antibacterial and Antiviral Help
Historically, garlic has been used in Eastern medicine to treat and control bacterial and viral infections, as well as those caused by yeasts and fungi. Crushed fresh garlic has even been used to prevent infection in burn patients, as well as treating bacterial infections that have become resistant to traditional treatment. Garlic gel can also be used to treat athlete’s foot and other fungal skin infections. For best results when consuming garlic, you want to let chopped garlic sit for a few minutes prior to cooking or mixing with anything acidic, such as lemon juice or wine. Avoid high-temperature heating with oil to preserve health benefits, the lower the temperature, the better. Add garlic to salads, dips, dressing, soups, sauces, veggies and potatoes and enjoy the health benefits. And if you are still worried about the garlic breath, finish your meal with some parsley. The herb is known for freshening your breath. Now bring on the garlic! Photo: Esteban Cavrico