If you want to ward off evil spirits and vampires, hang a clove of garlic around your neck or on the door of your house. Ancient wisdom and old wives tales say that by doing so it helps keep such dark forces at bay. While that may or may not be the case, garlic is highly regarded as a well known powerhouse of a food that can help keep us healthy as the pungent bulbs provide our bodies with numerous health benefits. If you eat garlic first thing in the morning, before breakfast and on an empty stomach, you can help strengthen and heal yourself. The following are some of the many health benefits that your body may naturally derive from it. Firstly, it is thought to be an anti-cancer food and it’s recognized by the National Cancer Institute as potentially having anticancer properties, although more studies are needed to determine how and why. Its anti-cancer link may be due to the fact that it helps relieve oxidative stress. This means its natural antioxidant properties aid our bodies in removing the damage causing free radicals, and thus provides protection against them.
Garlic also reduces both blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels. Studies have shown it lowers the “bad” type of cholesterol that puts people at increased risk for heart attacks. Which leads us the fact that it helps prevent atherosclerosis, the narrowing and hardening of arteries that decreases blood flow and leads to blood clots and heart attacks. In a similar ‘vein’ garlic promotes overall circulatory health because it acts as a natural blood thinner, making it easier for our hearts to pump blood, and reduces the risk of clots.
Furthermore, garlic helps stabilize blood sugar. Studies show it increases the amount of insulin available in people with diabetes and thus helps regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. Other associated benefits are that it improves impotence, prevents yeast infections, helps our bodies absorb minerals, cleans and reduces fatty build up in the liver, acts as a natural antibiotic, and protects against osteoarthritis. Oh yeah, and garlic is excellent at boosting your immune system because it’s packed with nutrients like fiber, Vitamins C and B6, potassium, and calcium. If you ever have a cold skip the meds and instead pop some garlic since it has been proven to help reduce the severity of symptoms associated with the flu and common cold.
To gain these health benefits, try placing a small clove of garlic in your mouth for 30 minutes every morning. You don’t need to chew or swallow it since your body, and saliva, will do all the work. By doing this, the nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants in the garlic are taken up by your body and absorbed into the bloodstream. After 30 minutes has passed, spit out the garlic and brush your teeth, floss, and rinse. Also, if you are sensitive to garlic odors, drinking milk helps to combat any potential remaining smells or tastes in your mouth.
There you have it, some of the many ways that garlic can benefit your body, health and mind. Many people find that eating it raw is nearly impossible to stomach, since it’s so potent, and that cooking it makes it much more palatable and brings out the best flavors it has to offer. Below is a recipe for oven roasted garlic. Now you have no excuse to not eat more of this super-food!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, take a bulb of garlic and remove the papery outer skin, then cut off the top with a knife. Take a piece of tin foil, lay it flat, place an equal size piece of parchment paper on top of the foil, and place the garlic on the parchment. Drizzle bulbs with olive oil and wrap them up tightly in the foil. Place them on a pan in the oven and roast for 1 hour. Remove, unwrap, and allow to cool. Gently squeeze the garlic bulbs to remove the cloves and serve or use them right away. You may also place them in a covered storage container and keep them for a few days in the refrigerator.