As I walk in the door my nose is swept away and begins to follow the path. The aroma is pleasing yet in a strange way powerful! I know what this aroma is and I know what ever the dish is, it will be delicious and packed with an array of health benefits! I smile, close my eyes and continue my path towards the kitchen just knowing what awaits.
This phrase has been repeated so many times as I walk in the door to a dish my wife may be preparing. The aroma and flavors may blind us to its healing power but my body is grateful for its consumption.
Garlic has a long history of use for healing and medicinal purposes dating back thousands of years. It posses many powerful health benefits. Most of these health benefits come from its unique family of antioxidants in garlic called allicin and alliin. Allicin and its family of compounds are formed once the cell wall structure of the garlic bulb is crushed or chopped. The enzyme alliinase is released and in 10 to 15 minutes the many amazing healing compounds are produced through the enzymatic action. So, crush or chop it and let it sit before cooking. However, raw garlic will always yield higher protective potential. Raw garlic is hot and can cause irritation to the digestive system if it isn’t mixed with other foods. If you eat a lot it can also create strong body odor and breath!!
Garlic (Allium sativum) is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its cousins include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion. It is native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran, and has long been a common seasoning worldwide.
Ok, I know it smells great and taste great. What can it do for me?
It helps prevent and can even reverse some types of DNA damage. (This is a powerful benefit)
Garlic can help reduce LDL cholesterol.
It is a blood thinner. (talk with your doctor before consuming a lot of garlic)
It helps release nitric oxide which may help lower blood pressure and keep blood vessels flexible.
It increases cellular glutathione levels. Glutathione is the master antioxidant in our cells. Glutathione protects our cells from toxic agents, both chemical and biological.
It increases Nrf-2 signaling pathways. (Nrf-2 helps slowdown and prevent cell damage from free radicals that causes disease and accelerated aging)
It can turn off the signaling process that cancerous tumors use to build a blood vessel highway that will keep them growing. (this is called anti-angiogenisis)
It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects that may protect the heart and cardiovascular system
It may help prevent certain cancers by suppressing certain cancer causing genes and by turning back on apoptosis. Apoptosis is a natural programed cell death when cells become sick. Cancer cells turn this off.
It helps remove toxins from the liver and may help reverse fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic liver disease.
Garlic also has Vitamin’s C, B1, B2, B6 and the minerals Calcium, Copper, Iron, Manganese and Selenium.
Enjoy your garlic and try using it in a variety of ways. It doesn’t take much to add a flavorful yes healthy impact. You may want to give this garlic mushroom recipe a go. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvaibAcAFvE
How much is too much garlic? Really, has anyone every asked?
Wally Bishop I.N.H.C., C.N.C., C.I.C.P.
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.