The Greeks ate it every whichaway, as a basis to foods as well as dish enhancements, on bread, in condiments, in salads. Roman armies ate it daily in soups, with boiled barley to ward of illnesses, and maybe enemy soldiers in hand to hand battle contact. Ancient Germans ate it, so did Turks, Austrians, Poles and even the English who have had a garlic renaissance with chefs like Nigela Lawson and Gordon Ramsay.
Sure, it won’t win you any “best smelling breath” awards, but the more I read about garlic, the more I’m sure I’ll be using it for the rest of my life.
Long before garlic became a popular culinary spice, the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese used garlic for its medicinal properties.
And now that modern science put garlic to the test, it only confirms the incredible power of this herb.
Let’s start with its heart health benefits:
1. Garlic Can Reduce Blood Pressure
According to two separate studies, garlic supplementation was able to reduce systolic blood pressure by 7-16mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure by 5-9mmHg. Source
Researchers believe garlic does this in two ways. First, garlic can lower C-Reactive Protein, which is a common marker of systemic inflammation. Secondly, garlic contains ‘allicin’ – a sulfuric compound that relaxes the blood vessels and prevents blood vessel constriction.
2. Garlic Can Improve Cholesterol
In a meta-analysis of sixteen trials with data from 952 subjects, supplementing with garlic appeared to lower total and LDL cholesterol by 10-15%. Source
Researchers noted that garlic deactivated cholesterol-producing enzymes, which may explain this effect. Source
3. Garlic May Reduce Dangerous Plaque Buildup
A 2016 study asked 55 patients, aged 40-75 years old, to take either a placebo or a garlic supplement. One year later, those who took the garlic supplement had slowed total plaque accumulation by 80%. Source
4. Immune Support and May Repel Insects
In a large 12 week study, those supplementing with garlic were 63% less likely to get a cold compared to the placebo group.
Even better, the average cold length of the garlic group was reduced by 70%, from 5 days for the placebo group to 1.5 days for the garlic group. Source
Garlic’s sulfur smell may repel insects as well. In fact, some find that spraying a garlic solution on their plants can keep insects away. Does it work for humans? Right now evidence is mostly anecdotal, but you’ll find many people swear that supplementing with garlic keeps the bugs away.
A word of caution: Those taking blood-thinning medications should speak to their doctor before increasing garlic intake.
Garlic is truly incredible. We’d add it to more of our supplements, but I’m not sure you’d enjoy the taste!
Now before you go….a recipe that will blow away nearby companions…just kidding:
Recipe – Roasted Garlic
Roasted garlic spread on some toast, Italian bread….paradiso! You can also toss it in pasta, potato salad and add it to soups before serving.
4 garlic bulbs
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and cracked pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F/200C.
Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact.
Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.
Place the garlic heads in a baking dish. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head and make sure the garlic head is well coated. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.
Allow the garlic to cool and then use your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins.
They are ready to eat as is or you add it to many recipes. I have even heard of Italians putting it on softened ice cream….never seen it done though, I admit.
Source: Rejuvica Health