Garlic has everything - taste, health benefits and super food .....

in naturalmedicine •  16 days ago  (edited)

Garlic has to be one of my favourite foods, it makes any ordinary cook like me look exceptionally good! It is not only the sensational taste It is also the smell of garlic cooking in dishes.

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So when I read this article, "6 Health Benefits of Garlic" in the Chopra Lifestyle Newsletter dated 20 August, 2019 I knew that I had to share it. It is a most comprehensive post on the many wellness advantages of garlic, citing highly positive research results that include the lowering of blood pressure, detoxifying and supporting the liver, boosting the immune system and helps prevents cancer.

There are some interesting recipes that might be of use for some fellow Steemians. The Medicinal Garlic Soup sounds most healthy. I have not tried it yet but plan to.

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6 Health Benefits of Garlic
By Sue Van Raes

You likely know garlic well, as it is a popular ingredient in almost every culture’s cuisine around the world. Considered a potent sulfurous vegetable (yes, it’s considered a vegetable—it’s part of the onion family), garlic can be imbibed in a variety of ways from raw to fermented and sautéed to capsuled as dietary supplements.

Garlic’s nutritional qualities make it a highly medicinal food that has positive effects on overall health. The health benefits of garlic are confirmed by research, which shows it as an integral ingredient to fight degenerative disease, build a strong and healthy defense system, and so much more.

Learn some of the most powerful ways that garlic can help to improve and support your health, while also enhancing the flavors of your food.

  1. Boosts Immune System
    From nibbling on a piece of raw garlic to taking dietary supplements of an organosulfur obtained from garlic, garlic has been shown to have supportive immune-boosting properties. Garlic is a triple-threat—antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial.

Garlic is also known for its high antioxidant levels, especially rich in four main chemical classes: alliin, allyl cysteine, allyl disulfide, and allicin. These antioxidant levels help protect your cells keeping you healthy and strong.

Although you have likely heard that garlic aids in the prevention of the common cold, studies showing its benefits against cold and flu viruses remain limited.

One study in 2011, however, examined a group of 146 participants receiving either a garlic supplement (allicin) or a placebo daily over 12 weeks. The participants were assessed for various cold and flu symptoms. The results showed a resounding benefit with taking garlic for immunity. The frequency, duration, and intensity of cold symptoms were each positively impacted by a regular dose of garlic.

  1. Lowers Blood Pressure
    Known as hypertension, chronically elevated blood pressure, aka high blood pressure, is a common condition. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), nearly one in every three adults in the U.S. are affected by high blood pressure.

One popular remedy, tracing back to ancient texts as far as 1500 BC, is consuming garlic. Garlic is known to support healthy blood pressure through stimulating nitic oxide, causing a vasodilating response in the circulatory system.

One study based on a meta-analysis looked at 20 trials with a total of 970 participants. When participants were using garlic, there was a mean decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared with the placebo.

There is consistent evidence that garlic is a reliable and effective method in treating hypertension. Garlic is a safe and tolerable alternative or complementary treatment to include in any high blood pressure protocol.

  1. Helps Prevent Cancer
    The strong aroma of garlic cooking on the stovetop goes beyond its delicious scent. The sulfur compounds that give garlic its robust flavor and smell are the same components that provide many cancer-fighting properties. Many of the phytonutrients found in a clove of garlic have been associated with cancer prevention.

Eating more garlic has been shown to enhance cancer-fighting properties in a variety of cancers.

One study looked at a group of 345 participants diagnosed with primary breast carcinoma. According to the study, breast cancer risk decreased with increased consumption of garlic (combined with onion and cereal fiber).

A 2018 study examined the molecular and cellular activity of various cancer cells with garlic extract. The results showed inhibited growth of these various cancer cells in vitro and vivo (in a test tube and a living organism). The potency of the garlic extract was also shown to diminish with heat and processing suggesting that garlic is somewhat volatile.

Garlic is a promising ingredient to include in your diet for cancer prevention and inhibition.

  1. Detoxifies and Supports Liver
    Detoxication is a natural function of the human body when it is in a healthy state. Your liver is considered the primary detoxification organ. Ensuring you are detoxifying efficiently simply leads to greater wellness and health.

There are two primary phases of liver detoxification:

In phase one, the liver supports the first line of defense against toxicity. In this phase, the liver breaks down toxins through oxidation.
In phase two, the liver toxins that have been altered in phase one can now be conjugated (or linked to a molecule that will allow its excretion). This process is reliant on adequate nutrients, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and protein.
Research shows that garlic contains some of the specific amino acids and antioxidants that may be helpful in the phase two detoxification process, making garlic a great addition to your diet for optimal detoxification and cleansing.

  1. Includes Anti-inflammatory Properties
    Inflammation is a condition associated with almost every disease in the body. While inflammation can be acute or chronic, the treatment or management of inflammation in the body is imperative for health and vitality.

According to Harvard Medical School, food can be inflammatory or anti-inflammatory. Processed foods high in sugar, additives, preservatives, and artificial ingredients lead to more inflammation, while whole foods—low in sugars and high in antioxidants and phytonutrients—are more anti-inflammatory.

Garlic is one of these anti-inflammatory foods. One study looked at the inflammation response with regards to arthritis. The results showed a clear decrease in inflammation and arthritis symptoms. With high levels of sulfur compounds, specifically thiacremonone, garlic helps regulate the inflammatory response in the cells.

Garlic could be a useful addition to any anti-inflammatory regimen.

  1. Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
    Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that acts on various functions of the brain and everyday living. Memory, cognitive function, and mental clarity are some of the aspects of brain function that are directly and negatively impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.

Garlic has been shown to contain some of the necessary antioxidants and phytonutrients that protect the brain from the specific type of oxidative stress that can lead to worsening symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Ways to Enjoy Garlic
Raw Garlic: Quick Kale Pesto

Raw garlic is a strong and pungent food that is versatile and tasty. Often used in dressings and pesto, raw garlic can pack quite a kick.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of kale
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 cloves raw garlic
1 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon, seeded and juiced
1/2 cup water (more or less depending on desired thickness)
1 pinch of salt (to taste)
1/2 cup nuts or seeds of choice (pumpkin, pine nut, walnut, sunflower)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
Directions:

Blend all ingredients in food processor.

Add water slowly to thin out the texture of the sauce.

Toss with your favorite pasta or zoodle, add as a topping to grilled salmon, steak, or tofu, or enjoy as a dip for your favorite raw vegetables.

Roasted Garlic

Roasting garlic sweetens the flavor and softens the spice.

Try wrapping the entire bulb of garlic in tin foil and baking in the oven or over a medium-hot grill. Once soft, mash on a piece of French baguette, combine with olive oil to spread on pizza dough in place of tomato sauce, mix into your favorite salsa, or mix into your mashed potatoes for a delicious mashed potato variation.

Black Garlic

Black garlic is also known as fermented garlic and comes with many health benefits. the fermentation process enhances garlic’s antioxidant potency.

Try black garlic in spaghetti sauce, stir-fry sauce, atop a salad, or added to chili for an extra special flavor and nutritional boost.

Simmered Garlic: Medicinal Garlic Soup

Garlic soup is a highly medicinal soup that helps boost your immune system while diminishing inflammation throughout the body. Many versions of this soup are found in an array of cultures from Spanish to French and Polish to Mexican. The recipe below calls for five to six whole heads of garlic—and that may sound like a lot of garlic—but with the right flavors to balance the soup (such as salt) you will find you quickly develop a love of this potent remedy.

Ingredients:

5–6 whole heads of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons butter or ghee
2 onions sliced
32 ounces of broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 cups milk of choice
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350. Halve the heads of garlic across the cloves (do not peel). Pour the olive oil into a baking dish and place the garlic head halves cut side down on the dish. Cover to roast for approximately one hour or until garlic cloves are fragrant and starting to brown.

While garlic is roasting, melt butter in a large pot and add sliced onions. Sauté over medium heat, stirring constantly until onions are translucent. Add the herbs, salt, and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes.

Let garlic cloves cool slightly, then carefully pick up the shell of the garlic heads. Add peeled garlic cloves to the onion mixture in the pot.

Add broth. Simmer for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add milk of choice. Blend the soup until smooth. Serve warm.

The positive health effects of garlic seem to be endless. It is a dynamic and medicinal food that supports overall health and vitality as well as being a complementary treatment for many of today’s common health issues, so trust us when we say the garlic breath is definitely worth it. There are endless ways to include garlic in your diet so be sure to give a few a try and take advantage of the health benefits of garlic today.

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Functional nutritionist and Food Psychology Specialist
Sue Van Raes is a functional nutritionist, food psychology specialist, and author in Boulder Co. As founder of Boulder Nutrition , Sue helps people navigate how to make sustainable changes in their health and make peace with their plate. Sue uses a combination of science-based testing, clinical nutrition, holistic nutrition, natural medicine, functional medicine, homeopathy, and metabolic typing to guide folks in experiencing clarity, vitality, and body-positive living. She works with clients locally, remotely, online, and on her local and international health and yoga retreats.

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Cheers and Blessing - happy reading

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Howdy angiemitchell! I agree, garlic is one of those super foods that you just have to include and those potatoes look marvelous!

I wouldn't mind eating those garlic potatoes either. The pure Keto way of eating does not include potatoes so just as well I am not on that diet! Hahaha

That's true, Keto is super hard to do! I think it's a great way to detoxify and lose some weight for a month or two but to stay on it is almost impossible!

But are you on a modified version of Keto?

Yeah we're about 80 to 90 percent keto and even then we have cheat days. lol.