Garlic is one of my favorite functional foods because of both its incredible taste/flavor as well as the fact that it has so many amazing benefits to the body. I put garlic in just about everything … sometimes so much so that it’s too spicy for others to eat… Oops, sorry!
Garlic has many immune system benefits and is sometimes referred to as “Russian Penicillin” because of its antimicrobial properties. It can also help with fungal, viral and parasitic issues.1 It is also great for helping to lower high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol.1
We should always look to whole foods for health before drugs. The best medicine is real food! Garlic is also helpful for preventing cardiovascular disease.2 You may recall that cardiovascular disease is one of the top two leading causes of death in the U.S.
There are 2 key factors to understand about garlic in order to get the most benefit from it. First, it is a food that actually needs to be crushed and exposed to air in order to release its beneficial properties. You can purchase a garlic press inexpensively, which works great, or you can just smash it however you choose. Let it sit for at 5 minutes before you consume it. The other important factor for getting the most from you garlic is to combine it with a bit of healthy fat (avocado, nuts, seeds, etc.).
Garlic should be bought fresh and stored at room temperature. Be sure to keep it away from areas of your kitchen that get warm. For example, don’t put it in the cabinet right next to the oven. The spiciness of garlic varies from one plant to another, which is why you will often see garlic is added to a recipe “to taste.” I have made food that was great with just a couple of cloves and other times added 5 to 10 cloves for the same recipe (again depending on the size of the clove and how strong its flavor is). Garlic is great in hummus, kale chips, vegetable dips, salad dressings and my personal favorite, guacamole!
I do not recommend buying garlic that is pre-chopped. I know it’s convenient but it’s also old and preserved. You are worth more than old food;).
Allicin is the most active component of garlic, giving it many of its healing properties. One of my favorite immune products is called Allicidin. The active ingredient in this products is allicin, giving it incredible health promoting qualities. This is one of those products that I always have on hand and also keep in my herb kits so it’s with me when I travel.
Building health through food is fun, delicious and inexpensive. You deserve the best fuel! Be sure to add fresh organic garlic to your next grocery shopping list.
1. Mikaili P, Maadirad S, Moloudizargari M, Aghajanshakeri S, Sarahroodi S. Therapeutic uses and pharmacological properties of garlic, shallot, and their biologically active compounds. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2013. doi:10.22038/ijbms.2013.1865
2. Banerjee SK, Maulik SK. Effect of garlic on cardiovascular disorders: A review. Nutr J. 2002. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-1-1
Nothing said or implied in this post is intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease. It does not take the place of a health care practitioner. It is for educational purposes only.