Garlic Does A Body Good!

garlic_640x312Do you regularly eat garlic?  If not, you should.  Not only does it add great taste and aroma to food, it also comes with many valuable health benefits.  Garlic belongs to the family of vegetables called “Allium”, which also includes onions, scallions, leeks and chives.  It is especially rich in a variety of powerful, sulfur-containing compounds that are linked to optimal health.[1]  These compounds which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, protect body cells from damage that leads to disease.[2]  There is especially strong research support for garlic and heart health.  Based on a review of 39 studies by the University of Adelaide in Australia, garlic can help lower blood cholesterol levels, especially in high risk individuals.[3]  It also protects blood vessels and the heart from injury and reduces the stickiness of the blood.[4]  Garlic is also an immunity booster.  It has a long history of reducing the risk of infection by fighting bacteria and viruses.[5]  As for cancer, as your garlic intake goes up, your risk of cancer goes down.  Garlic inhibits both cancer development and the spread of cancer cells.[6]  To optimize garlic’s health benefits let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes after chopping or crushing it before you cook with it or add it to marinades or sauces.  This allows an enzyme to be released that enhances its disease-fighting properties.[7]  Bottom line, make today and every day a “garlic” day!



[1] The George Mateljan Foundation for the World’s Healthiest Foods.  (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60)

[2] Capasso, A.  “Antioxidant action and therapeutic efficacy of Allium sativum L.”  Molecules. 2013 Jan 4;18(1):690-700.

[3] Ried, K., et al.  “Effect of garlic on serum lipids: an updated meta-analysis.”  Nutr Rev. 2013 May;71(5):282-99.

[4] Khatua, T., et al.  “Garlic and cardioprotection: insights into the molecular mechanisms.”  Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2013 Jun;91(6):448-58.

[5] Karuppiah, P. and Rajaram, S.   “Antibacterial effect of Allium sativum cloves and Zingiber officinale rhizomes against multiple-drug resistant clinical pathogens.”  Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2012 Aug;2(8):597-601.

[6] Yi, L. and Su, Q.  “Molecular mechanisms for the anti-cancer effects of diallyl disulfide.”  Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Jul;57:362-70.

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Antioxidants | Blood Pressure | Cancer | Healthy Cooking | Heart Health | Inflammation |