3 Healthy Reasons to Sniff Out Garlic
by Tracey Pollack
While garlic is great for stir-fries and sauces, it’s just as good for your health. This aromatic vegetable is high in sulfur-filled nutrients, particularly allicin, which give it a strong scent and taste that’s only matched by its health-boosting benefits. But this news is nothing new since garlic has been used not only as a food, but also as a medicine, for centuries. Now, modern research is backing up the belief that garlic is one of your best defenses against many health conditions. Get a taste of all the ways that garlic can be so good for you.
- The Cure for the Common Cold
Did you know that a healthy dose of garlic can help make cold and flu season less miserable? It turns out that garlic has antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial qualities that can help to relieve the common cold, along with many other infections. Studies have shown that garlic not only reduces your risk of catching a cold, but also helps you recover faster and eases any symptoms in case you do get sick. So while garlic helps to relieve your sneezing and misery, it also builds up your immunity to help shield you from future sniffles.
- May Lower High Blood Pressure
How can garlic decrease your blood pressure? It’s all in the allicin. Along with reducing the inflammation that leads to high blood pressure, garlic also encourages blood vessels to widen, which decreases both high blood pressure and hypertension. As an added bonus, flavoring your food with garlic makes you less likely to reach for the salt that raises your blood pressure in the first place.
- A Remedy for Your Memory
It turns out that garlic may do as much for your brain as it can do for your body by helping to protect you from age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. See, the antioxidants in garlic help your body fight the free radicals and oxidative damage that lead to cognitive decline. In addition, garlic has been found to improve many brain functions, such as memory, learning and mood.
The Raw Truth About Garlic
Whether or not you get all of garlic’s benefits depends on the way you prepare it. You’ll get the most bang for the bulb by simply eating garlic raw. If raw garlic just doesn’t appeal to you, it’s best to slice, dice, mince or mash the garlic—and then allow it to sit for 15 minutes before cooking as little as possible. See, crushing or chopping garlic releases its allicin, which increases its immunity-boosting, disease-fighting potential.
When it comes to protecting and improving your health, it’s worth getting a whiff of garlic.