Garlic has long been a staple in my diet. I’m a garlicky kind of girl. What others might refer to as “a bit too garlicky,” I say, “No such thing!”
I just LOVE garlic. Sorry Brandon.
Lucky for me, garlic toots LOADS of health benefits!
In fact, to get the most out of garlic, it is best consumed crushed and RAW. I realize for those less enthused about garlic, this might be a challenge, but I promise it’s not as difficult as it sounds. One of my favorite ways to eat garlic RAW? HOMEMADE SALAD DRESSINGS! I’m also a huge fan of adding garlic as a topper to sauteed greens or sunny-side up eggs. I’ve also read that it is best to crush the garlic and let it sit for AT LEAST 15 minutes to get more of the health benefits (this allows for the release of the active compound in garlic; allicin, but no need to get more technical).
If you still need more convincing about why you should be adding more garlic to your daily routine (at least 1-2 cloves per day), here are 5 reasons why YOU should add more garlic!!
1. ANTI-CANCER. As you may have already guessed, I’m a huge supporter of all things with anti-cancer properties. Garlic happens to be great at fending off pre-cancerous growths by helping to decrease their size and number. Garlic is especially known for keeping away stomach, colorectal, and hematological (leukemia/lymphoma) cancers. Apparently, garlic helps boost your immune system, giving our bodies a stronger ability to detect and ward off tumors. Sounds good to me!
2. HELPS LOWER CHOLESTEROL. There is mixed evidence to show that garlic works in a similar manner to statin drugs. If this is true, then your only real side effect MIGHT be bad breath. Depends on who you ask though! Garlic also helps to decrease atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by preventing the oxidation of “bad” or LDL cholesterol.
3. LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE! Garlic causes the smooth muscles of the arteries to relax and dilate. This, in turn, helps to lower blood pressure!
4. MAY HELP PREVENT BLOOD CLOTS. Garlic contains a wonderful mineral; selenium. Selenium is a trace mineral that is believed to help prevent abnormal blood clotting by working as a blood thinner (among other things)! Many people are deficient in this mineral. Other great sources include seafood, brazil nuts, and sunflower seeds. It is best to try to incorporate more selenium rich foods on a daily basis as well!
5. CAN HELP WITH THE COMMON COLD. Garlic contains an active compound called allicin (as mentioned above), which has anti-microbial properties. Due to this reason, garlic can be beneficial at helping to ward off the common cold! While I wouldn’t tell you to stop washing your hands during cold and flu season, it can’t hurt to add a little more garlic to your routine!
And there you have it! 5 excellent reasons to add more garlic in to your day!
And if you just cannot STAND garlic (I can’t even fathom this) …do not fret; the key to a healthy diet does not lie in one food alone! There are plenty of other healthy foods out there that boast as much nutrition!
QUESTION: Do you like garlic? What is your favorite way to incorporate it!?