You've probably heard that garlic is good for you, but most people don't take the time to truly gain from the benefits of garlic. Perhaps because it has such a strong flavor and no one wants "garlic breath." Or perhaps because it's easier to sprinkle garlic salt on food than to buy fresh garlic, peel it, and chop it (or press it).
But garlic is one of those simple things that has major health benefits. So with this post I hope to inspire you to go out and buy some garlic and start using it faithfully! =)
Here are just a few of the many benefits of garlic -
For starters, garlic has antifungal, antiviral, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties.
Garlic boosts the immune system.
Garlic is good for heart health, preventing plaque from forming in arteries and promoting proper blood flow.
Garlic helps normalize cholesterol and blood pressure.
Garlic is good for the bones and the thyroid.
Garlic helps protect against cancers.
Garlic helps reduce inflammation.
Wow! Are you impressed yet? =)
The trick with garlic is in how it's used. Here are Dr. Mercola's comments on the best use:
"Garlic must be fresh to give you optimal health benefits though.
The fresh clove must be crushed or chopped in order to stimulate the release of an enzyme called alliinase, which in turn catalyzes the formation of allicin. Allicin in turn rapidly breaks down to form a number of different organosulfur compounds. So to "activate" garlic's medicinal properties, compress a fresh clove with a spoon prior to swallowing it, or put it through your juicer to add to your vegetable juice.
A single medium size clove or two is usually sufficient, and is well-tolerated by most people. The active ingredient, allicin, is destroyed within one hour of smashing the garlic, so garlic pills are virtually worthless.
You also won't reap all the health benefits garlic has to offer if you use jarred, powdered or dried versions."
So yes, you can use garlic in cooking, but to gain the most benefits from it, it's better to consume it raw. I've done this before, and while it's not pleasant to swallow a chopped garlic clove, it's a pretty simple way to improve health. Or you can always add it to juicing as Dr. Mercola mentioned. (An exception would be if your digestive system doesn't handle raw garlic well, in which case just eat it cooked.)
Eating garlic isn't the only way you can use it though. You can also hold a raw clove of garlic in your right hand (for about 10 minutes) to help your body fight an infection. I often do this when dealing with infections, sometimes even twice a day. It's simple and helpful.
You can also use garlic as a tool for decontaminating things. You just peel the garlic and set one or more cloves on the object (depending on its size). Leave the garlic for about 15 minutes, then throw it away, and you'll
be amazed how much less toxic or smelly the item will be!
I've used garlic to remove cat urine smell from things (when I was staying with a friend who had a cat).
I've used it to absorb mold/mycotoxins that got on objects. (We've had a lot of those since we got mold in our house last year. Many things we threw away, but some things we were able to save by putting garlic on them, yeah!)
You can use it to detoxify a new mattress or other new furniture (which are usually loaded with chemicals, especially flame retardants).
It's great for absorbing things like smells, mycotoxins, flame retardants, etc. If you're not sure if it'll help with a particular item or smell, give it a try anyway, there's nothing to lose. =)
Well, I hope all this information has amazed you with the wonders of garlic! I hope you'll go buy some (preferably organic) and give it a try. =)