Meet the Ingredient: Garlic
Have you ever realized how powerful the punch is in tiny garlic bulbs? MAJORLY POWERFUL! Not only does it add tons of flavor to meals but garlic’s potent anti-bacterial properties make it a staple in clean eating- I add it to everything! The Ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese all have used garlic in ancient traditional remedies to treat common illnesses and diseases. Garlic contains a compound called “allicin” which has been proven to contain potent medicinal properties.
Garlic is very rich in Vitamin C which makes it an ideal component for optimal immune system health, Vitamin B6 which is an essential vitamin for more than 100 enzyme reactions responsible for metabolism and Manganese, an essential nutrient needed in the body for proper bone strength, and also used to treat anemia and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). So, what are the exact benefits of garlic?
Benefits of Garlic:
-Can Fight the Common Cold!
Garlic instead of Dayquil- YES! One large 12 week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared with placebo. The average length of the cold symptoms were dramatically reduced by 70%! (While I’m not one for supplements- I believe the food we consume should be our vitamins & “supplements”).
-Garlic Reduces Blood Pressure!
How many people do you know suffer from high blood pressure? Prescription pills given to people that suffer from this common issue often lead to several other damaging side effects often leading to dependence on further medications. Scientists have concluded that high doses of garlic supplements over a 24 week period had the same effects as “Atenol” a commonly prescribed blood pressure medication. The amount of garlic needed is equivalent to about four cloves per day! Simple right? Yes!
-Garlic Contains Antioxidants that Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia!
Oxidative damage from free radicals accelerate the aging process. Disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia are believed to just be a common part of the aging process but scientists are quickly finding these neurological disorders can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle early on. Better late than never right?! With garlic’s combined ability of reducing cholesterol and blood pressure can help reduce the risk of cell damage and aging.
-Garlic Detoxifies Your Body!
On a daily basis we are exposed to toxins, chemicals and heavy metals in our air, our at home cleaning products, vaccines and even our food! It has been studied that the sulfur compounds found in garlic can protect the body from heavy metal toxicity. In a four week study done of employees who were exposed to high levels of lead while working at a car battery plant found that three doses of garlic a day outperformed the drug D-penicillamine in symptom reduction!
How to Use Garlic:
On EVERYTHING! But first, CHOP! SIT! USE! *Note: it is important to chop garlic and let it sit for about 10 minutes as this increases production of the beneficial sulfur compounds and keeps them more active when they are exposed to heat, so- CHOP! SIT! USE!
-Sautee it! Sautee garlic in a little olive oil or coconut oil, add some veggies and you’re good to go! Just the other night I sauteed some garlic in olive oil with some kale and mushrooms- topped over some quinoa pasta..see, as easy as that!
-Add it to your breakfast! Not sure how to get garlic in your day to day? Try adding it to your breakfast dish! Loading garlic (and veggies) into your tofu scramble or egg scramble will help you get that extra benefit without the stress of changing your routine.
-Juice it! Sounds intense…maybe because it is, but yes, DO IT! I’ve done this before- it’s major but it’s pretty tasty when juiced with strong flavored veggies than can coat the garlic’s flavor.
-Eat it..RAW! You read that right! I am greek, and in ancient greek culture olympians used to eat raw garlic because they believed it gave them extra strength and endurance. I have yet to have the taste to eat an entire bulb raw, but I have raw bulbs to a few raw dishes I make..and yes, it definitely gives you a quick surge of energy!
Hope you find a creative and fun way to add garlic in to your daily lifestyle