Garlic has been used all throughout history for both the kitchen and for healing and medicinal purposes. Though very popular as a condiment of master cooks and chefs, few people know that garlic has some amazing health and healing properties. In the article, you will discover the 5 surprising health benefits of garlic.
Some Basic Facts About Garlic
The garlic is a very close relative to the onion, shallot, leek and chive. The botanical name of garlic is Allium Sativum. The bulb of the garlic is the part that is most commonly used from which are taken small crescent shaped garlic cloves.
The 5 Surprising Benefits of Garlic
Benefit Number 1 – Garlic Lowers Cholesterol and Improves Cardiovascular Health – Garlic helps to lower the ratio of good to bad cholesterol in the body. The bad cholesterol, also known as LDL, is the type of cholesterol that accumulates in the circulatory pathways and in time begin to block the flow of blood to the arteries. Garlic contains an ingredient called allicin which prevents LDL from being oxidized. Recent research also has shown that by taking garlic supplements, persons suffering from hypertension, can reduce their high blood pressure by 5%. This in turn means that they are reducing their chance of stroke by 40% ! You may ask, if garlic is so good for lowering cholesterol, why don’t drug companies research it more. Why? Because there is no monetary incentive in the way of financial reward for researching something so affordable and accessible as a food that can be easily found and obtained in any supermarket.
Benefit Number 2 – Garlic Is A Potent Anti-Oxidant – What this means is that when erratic and deranged cells (called free radicals) attack the healthy cells of the body, foods that are classified as anti-oxidants such as garlic put of a protective shield against the onslaught of these free radicals. (Free radical cells, by the way, result from breathing air pollution and from ingesting the residual pesticides of fruit and vegetable produce.) The allicin in garlic naturally increases the enzymes atalase and glutathione peroxidase in your blood which in turn become the anti-oxidant agent.
Benefit Number 3 – Garlic Can Help in the Overcoming of Nicotine Addiction – Good news for those trying to kick the cigarette habit and the addiction to nicotine! Garlic can help counteract the damaging effects of nicotine addiction. It also slows down the aging process of your liver by inhibiting lipid peroxidation. (Lipids in a word are the fatty acids of the body.) Lipid peroxidation refers to the degeneration and degradation of lipids whereby the free radicals “steal” electrons from the lipids in cell membranes, resulting in cell damage. Garlic protects the healthy liver cells from this through their anti-oxidant shield. The liver is responsible for removing impurities and toxins from the body – including nicotine.
Benefit Number 4 – Garlic Can Help Improve and Clear Up Acne – There are many reasons for acne, including stress, hormones and diet. It is not likely that garlic can be claimed as a cure for acne, but there is strong evidence to believe that it can improve the condition of acne in conjunction with other treatment because of its antibiotic and blood cleansing properties.
Benefit Number 5 – Garlic Is Nature’s Infection-Fighting Antibiotic – Garlic can effectively fight off a number of harmful bacteria, such as: E. coli, Listeria, Cryptococcal Meningitis, Salmonella, Candida Albican and Staphylococcus. Garlic has 1% of the potency of penicillin, but don’t let that dissuade you or fool you into believing that garlic lacks potency or effectiveness. Eating garlic daily or regularly has a cumulative effect for making your body resistant to infection. Back in the early 19th century, some English priests caught some infectious fevers, the daily garlic-eating French priests did not catch these fevers. The main problem with most commercial antibiotics like penicillin is that the bacteria being fought can develop resistance to them; this is not the case with garlic.
What About Garlic Breath
Eating a fresh chopped garlic clove or two as part of your daily diet in your salad or other food will definitely improve your health. However, the down side of eating plenty of garlic is “garlic breath” which most people find offensive. There is a way around this problem; it is through the use of garlic supplements found at your supermarket or health found store. Garlic supplements are very affordable. You can get a 180 capsule bottle for as little as $10. One to two capsules taken two times a day after meals is all you need.
Who ever thought those tiny little cloves could do so much good.
Yours in health,
“The 12-Week Fitness Guru”
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