Garlic is part of the onion family, related to onions, shallots and leeks.
Garlic Starts Healing From Your Gut
More research is coming out these days about the importance of gut health. Old-fashioned medical doctors have used garlic to treat a variety of medical conditions for centuries.
Garlic’s healing compounds start working in your gut and they enter the body from the digestive tract. Garlic travels all over the body working its healthy magic.
Scientists have discovered that garlic’s health benefits are due to sulfur compounds released when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed or chewed.
Perhaps the most famous of these compounds is known as allicin. But, allicin is an unstable compound that is only briefly present in fresh garlic after it’s been cut or crushed.
The other known compounds that play a role in garlic’s health benefits include diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine.
Filled With Vitamins
Garlic has the special healthy compounds mentioned above, but garlic also contains:
- Vitamins B1and B6
- Vitamin C
Garlic helps support your immune system.
Research studies have shown that garlic boosts the immune system. If you get a cold or the flu, try adding more garlic to your diet and see if it helps shorten the time your body is under the weather.
If you have fresh garlic regularly in your diet, maybe you can avoid getting a cold or the flu. BEFORE you get sick.
Yumm. Chicken soup with lots of fresh garlic.
Garlic And Heart Disease
Case studies have found that garlic supplements do have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
Studies show that 600 mg to 1,500 mg of aged garlic extract over a 24-week period was as effective at reducing blood pressure as the drug Atenolol®. Supplement doses were fairly high during the studies, but the amount needed was equivalent to about 4 cloves of garlic per day.
Now THAT will keep the vampires away. Simply breath on them.
Garlic And Candida/Yeast Infections
The proof is in the petri-dish. Studies show that garlic inhibits Candida/yeast overgrowth. Allicin is the component in garlic that inhibits the growth of yeast by deteriorating the fat that coats the outer surface of the yeast molecule.
This generally helps relieve common yeast infections.
Preventing Cavities And Infection
The allicin in garlic attacks dental plaque bacteria in the same way that it combats yeast infections; allicin attacks the growth of the enzymes that oral bacteria needs to grow.
This helps control the bacteria that causes tooth decay, periodontitis, oral thrush, and problems caused by dentures.
Garlic And Parasites
Personally, I think this helps with animals, too – studies have shown that garlic helps with giardiasis and tapeworms in lab rats. The allicin in garlic interferes with the movement, food absorption, and reproduction of parasites by blocking their fat synthesis.
Because garlic can strengthen your immune system, eating garlic when you have parasites can naturally assist your body’s defenses.
Garlic And Anti-Aging
Some studies are being done on garlic’s anti-aging effects. Garlic is being shown to:
- increase the growth of skin cells
- delay aging through antioxidant effects
- protect against damaging UV sun rays
- help with skin rashes
- remove keloid scars (thick scarring)
- help with hair loss
Garlic’s healthiest qualities come from its support of the immune system and anti-oxidant effects. The allicin in garlic helps with many health issues, and it seems that as garlic ages, the stronger its healing qualities become.
Cooked garlic is less potent than raw garlic because the enzymes that form garlic’s sulfur compounds are deactivated by heat.
Heads Up – aged raw garlic and some garlic oils can cause bad breath or stomach aches. Simply cut back on the dose if this occurs, and try some of the alternative garlic supplements found on the market.
Here are some choices for garlic supplements:
- garlic powder
- garlic oil
- garlic oil macerate
- aged garlic extract
Garlic powder does not contain allicin, but does have alliin in it; garlic oil does not allicin, but has a variety of sulfides in it; garlic oil macerate is ground garlic mixed with vegetable oil. Macerate does contain allicin. Aged garlic has a high concentration of antioxidants, and includes S-allyl cysteine.
Healthy Recipe – Garlic Oregano Knots
Recipe by Alison Attenborough
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for baking sheet
1 pound store-bought fresh (or frozen, thawed) pizza dough, leave at room temperature for 30 minutes
All-purpose flour (for dusting)
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
Flaky sea salt
Lightly butter a baking sheet. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch square. Cut dough in half. Cut each half crosswise into 1-inch-thick strips (for 24 strips total). Tie each strip into a knot, gently stretching dough as needed. Place on prepared sheet. Loosely cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until slightly puffed, 1-1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375°. Bake knots until cooked through and golden, 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup butter with garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer garlic butter to a large bowl; stir in oregano.
Place warm bread knots in bowl with garlic butter; toss until well coated. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with flaky salt.
To scale up, double or triple the ingredients. Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Bake knots, rotating pans halfway through (work in batches if tripling). Serve half of knots. When platter runs low, rewarm remaining knots in a 350° oven.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. The FDA may not have evaluated some of the statements. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding supplements or making any changes to your dietary program.
Before taking vitamins, consult your doctor; pre-existing medical conditions or medications you are taking can affect how your body responds to multivitamins.