Since the first recorded history of mankind, garlic has been used by various cultures for medicinal purposes.
Healers from Rome, Egypt, Greece, China, Japan and India – who had no opportunity to interact – all used garlic to treat the same ailments. According to these ancient civilizations, garlic boosts metabolism and energy, helps with respiratory issues, and protects the cardiovascular system.
A Pungent & Potent Heart Protector
Studies conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that garlic was substantially able to lower blood pressure by relaxing the arteries.
Lead author, David Kraus, Ph.D. states, “The role of garlic compounds in preventing…heart attack or stroke, and in limiting cancer growth and the progression of several diseases is well documented.”
Kraus’s team confirmed the results of researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Researchers at Albert Einstein had previously proved that patients who had suffered heart attacks benefited from eating garlic. Those patients partaking of a garlic-rich diet sustained less cell damage during their cardiac event.
Garlic produces hydrogen sulfide when crushed, and UAB researchers found that when eaten the crushed garlic directly caused blood vessel relaxation of up to 72%. Kraus added, “A garlic-rich diet has many good effects, and hydrogen sulfide may be the common mediator.”
As you age, production of hydrogen sulfide slows down. Garlic health benefits keeps your overall levels healthy, continually working to lower blood pressure and protect your heart.
From Chemical Reaction to Powerful Antioxidant
The aroma and flavor of garlic come from another incredible compound called Allicin. For years, scientists have considered garlic one of the most powerful antioxidants – but couldn’t determine exactly how it works.
Researchers now believe it involves the “allicin release,” thus dubbed because allicin is not present in a whole garlic clove. It’s only created when the garlic is crushed.
It’s this decomposition of the garlic that produces the acid that reacts immediately to neutralize free radicals. The reaction is faster than that of any other antioxidant.
Derek Pratt led the study published in 2009 in the international chemistry journal, Angewandte Chemie. He explains, “If Allicin was indeed responsible for this [antioxidant] activity in garlic, we wanted to find out how it worked. No one has ever seen compounds, natural or synthetic, react this quickly as antioxidants.”
Though there are other members of the Alliaceae family, such as onions, nothing is as powerful as garlic health benefits.
The Protective Effects of Garlic Health Benefits on Key Functions:
• Prevents cardiomyopathy – a form of heart disease in diabetics
• Lowers cholesterol
• Prevents blood clots
• Prostate cancer prevention
• Detoxification of blood
• Destroys bacterial infections
• Lowers blood pressure and relaxes blood vessels
• Reduces inflammation and eases arthritis pain
• Decreases arterial plaque and calcium deposits in arteries
Don’t Lose the Benefits in Cooking!
The Agriculture Research Service (ARS) recommends first crushing garlic to release the important compounds, and then lightly baking to ensure you keep all the garlic health benefits inside….right where you want them.
Never microwave garlic; this strips it of valuable disease fighting properties.
Dr. Leo Galland, MD recommends 2 teaspoons each day to reap the most effective benefits. Garlic is a natural blood thinner so avoid eating large amounts if you have a bleeding disorder or are on blood thinners.
Add garlic to soups, salads, meats and sautéed vegetables for a distinctive flavor your entire family will love, while protecting your DNA and boosting your total body health.
Ancient civilizations knew exactly what they were talking about.
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