8 Health Benefits and Uses for Garlic

8 Health Benefits and Uses for Garlic

By: Michelle Schoffro Cook, April 29, 2017, http://www.care2.com/greenlivi...uses-for-garlic.html

I remember a call with my mother about a decade ago in which she continually bragged about my three-year-old nephew. She was telling me how much he still enjoyed being cuddled and then paused. “But,” she said, “frequently the smell of garlic coming off of him is overwhelming. He just loves the stuff!” My nephew has eaten a largely raw, plant-based diet since he first started on solid food, and is one of the healthiest kids I know. Instinctively he knew that garlic was one of the world’s superfoods.

Garlic lovers already know how good this food tastes, but they might not know just how amazing it is for their health. Here are some of my favorite health benefits and uses for garlic.

Fresh organic garlic bulbs on old wooden table, selective focus

Systemic Infection Solution

Countless studies over the last few decades have demonstrated the antibacterial activity of garlic against both gram positive and gram negative strains of bacteria. New research in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that garlic is one of the most potent antibacterial herbs. Of the 83 herbs tested, compounds in garlic and juniper showed the highest antibacterial action, including against drug-resistant infections like S. aureus and E. coli. S. Aureus (the bacteria that is involved in MRSA infections) can cause systemic infections of the blood, heart, spinal cord or bones.

Cancer Fighter

Allicin is not only a natural antibiotic, it is also an antioxidant that helps to prevent the cell damage that can be a precursor of cancer. Researchers have concluded that garlic has the ability to inhibit different types of tumors and lower the risks of esophageal, stomach and prostate cancer. Research has also shown that allicin can not only slow the proliferation of human gastric cancer cells, but also cause cancer cell death.

High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease Remedy

Many studies have demonstrated garlic’s heart-healing ability over the last few decades. A recent study similarly concluded that garlic can help reduce high blood pressure and the risk for heart disease. The researchers also found that garlic supplements did not interfere with medications used to treat these conditions. Other research found that garlic significantly reduced triglycerides, high levels of which are linked to heart disease.

Using Garlic

There are very few savory dishes that don’t benefit from the addition of garlic. You can add it to soups, stews, stir-fries, curries, sauces and pastas.

When supplementing with garlic, follow package directions as there is a large variation in dosages and active ingredients between products.

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