January 10, 2011

Garlic: A Superfood

When most people think of garlic they typically think of its potent smell or even more potent taste. Smell and taste aside, garlic is an absolute superfood! The health benefits of eating garlic far outweigh its smell and taste.

One of oldest global food remedies, more than 1,200 pharmacological studies have been done on garlic proving the health benefits that people have been touting for hundreds of years.

The secret to getting the full benefit of eating garlic is mashing it or chopping it up finely, this produces allicin – the compound in garlic that provides many health benefits.

Here are some of the benefits of allicin:
  • A natural remedy for lowering cholesterol, garlic has been shown to lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol and to raise healthy HDL cholesterol.
  • Research has found allicin provides excellent anti-platelet activity, meaning that it can help prevent blood clots which therefore helps prevent heart attacks or strokes.
  • Garlic has been shown to help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and to even slow cancer cells from spreading.
  • Garlic can reduce the length of the common cold or even prevent it completely. In a study published in Advances in Natural Therapy, the average duration of cold symptoms were less than half the time for those eating garlic. Learn more tips to prevent a cold here.
  • Working on losing weight? Garlic has been shown to help aid weight loss.
  • Garlic has also been shown to reduce blood pressure by two to seven percent after just four weeks.
Try adding freshly chopped or mashed garlic into your meals throughout the day. Saute it with vegetables, use it in homemade salad dressings and add to meat while cooking.

  • Take a normal or elephant garlic clove and pierce multiple times with a fork or knife, douse with olive oil and wrap in tin foil.
  • Bake in the oven at 250 degrees until it is soft (about 30 – 45 minutes)
  • Mash the garlic clove on a plate with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and enjoy with whole grain bread (we buy Ezekiel bread, available at most health food stores, including Grains & Greens in Saginaw)

The next time you go to the store, be sure to add a tasty superfood to your shopping list – garlic!
Roasted garlic is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it, here is my recipe:

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