Really a Superfood? It’s not unusual to hear someone declare, “Garlic is really good for you!” Yes, it is. But, here are a myriad of reasons why garlic is an incredible gift to our health.
Herb or Veggie?
Garlic is actually a member of the lily family, which starts as a bulb. It’s similar to onions and shallots, which are considered vegetables. Garlic also has leaves giving it further veggie credence. However, a herb is defined as a vegetable cultivated for medicinal or spiritual values. Hence, garlic must be a herb as well!
Good Stinky Breath and Skin
Garlic can be associated with bad breath, especially if you haven’t eaten any lately. Allyl methyl sulfide (ALM) is the compound that gives off the pungent odor when we eat it. During digestion, the sulfur passes into our blood stream.
The sulfur in garlic makes up vital amino acids used to create protein for cells, tissues, hormones, and antibodies. This is one reason why garlic helps boost our immune system.
When we sweat, the stinky ALM is emitted from our skin. This is beneficial because it helps release toxins. It also repels many types of insects, including some mosquitoes.
Beneficial Cancer-Repelling Compounds
Besides sulfur, garlic contains flavonoids, selenium, oligosaccarides, and arginine. All of these compounds have been linked to decreasing cancer-risk. Many fall into the antioxidant category.
Consumption of garlic has shown to decrease the risk of esophageal, stomach, prostate, breast, and colon cancers. In fact, most studies show the higher the quantity consumed, the lower the risk of developing the cancers mentioned earlier. Some components in garlic have proven to reduce the size and slow the growth of malignant tumors.
T-Cells are produced in the thymus. The thymus is responsible for creating armies of white blood cells, which help fight infection in the body. Garlic has been shown to stimulate T-cells.
Studies done at the Mayo Clinic show garlic contains properties that help to boost the body’s levels of antioxidants, which work as a defense system against viruses.
Garlic consumption via food source or supplement is recommended for taming yeast infections. It is considered a powerful anti-fungal (along with Oregano, FYI.) Garlic also offers anti-bacterial properties. Some parasites and bacteria become defenseless against the chemical compounds in garlic.
Garlic has proven to lower bad-cholesterol levels when eaten/taken on a daily basis. Additionally, studies have shown that garlic helps keep the aorta flexible. As we age, the blood vessel managing blood pressure can stiffen. Garlic can help keep your heart’s aorta from aging prematurely or from working too hard.
Clearly, the health benefits of garlic are immense. The best part, however, may be how it tastes mixed with a teeny bit of butter on a warm, just-out-of-the-oven, slice of healthy bread. Yum…
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