Garlic And Your Health

Throughout the ages, people have known that eating and using garlic was beneficial to their health and well being. Garlic has been long used as a herbal “wonder drug” with the reputation to  prevent everything from  the common cold to the plague. Garlic has also become a mainstay in herbal medicine where it has been used to lower cholesterol levels and even rubbed on the skin to prevent acne and repel mosquitoes. 

Garlic’s curative power lies within the substances that give it that pungent odor and taste:  Diallyl Sulphides and Allicin. These substances act as powerful natural broad spectrum antibiotics and antioxidants enabling you to fight off foreign invaders such as germs and free radicals. While garlic’s healing powers might not be as strong as an over the counter antibiotic, our bodies also do not seem to build up a resistance to it. This allows the positive health effects of garlic to build up over time.

The best garlic to eat

The stronger tasting your garlic is, the more sulphur content it is likely to have, hence the more medicinal value it is likely to display. There is some evidence that suggests that organically grown garlic has the tendency to have higher sulphur content and therefore displays greater medicinal value. Most people though, generally like to buy organic garlic simply because it happens to taste better than the other garlic despite of any of its purported nutritional benefits.
For those who do not want to walk around with garlic breath, garlic supplements in the form of capsules and pills are available and can be found at most health food, grocery, or drug stores. The only thing about taking pills is that recent research indicates that many of the free radical fighting properties displayed in garlic occurs right after the clove has been crushed and broken down.

Side Effects

Eating raw garlic can end up causing stomach problems and skin conditions  so it is best to use caution and not eat too much of it. Too much garlic can irritate and even damage your digestive tract.  There are also a few people out there that are actually allergic to garlic. Symptoms of a garlic allergy include skin rash, heightened temperature and headaches. Garlic’s blood thinning capabilities also makes it a potential problem if you are on anti-coagulants. It should be avoided before undergoing major surgery.  As with anything else, it is also a good policy to talk with your doctor before deciding to supplement your diet with raw garlic.

While garlic supplements can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is no way a substitute for eating a sensible diet or exercising. Instead garlic should be seen as one part of a healthy lifestyle and not an alternative to having one on the first place.

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