How to Use the Health Benefits of Garlic to Ward Off High Blood Pressure and Protect Cells From Cancer

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Garlic: What the Research Shows

Garlic has been touted as a cure all for centuries. The Egyptians buried garlic with their dead to help give them strength during the journey through the underworld. Fifteen pounds of garlic could buy a healthy slave in Egypt and the Greek historian, Herodotes, noted that the Great Pyramid of Giza was built by slaves who were fed onions, garlic and radishes. So, did the Egyptians have it right? Does garlic give strength and stamina after it is ingested?

Garlic has been found to have antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties in vitro according to Wikipedia. Garlic has been reconfirmed by Dr. Ellen Tattelman of New York to have antimicrobial properties, cardiovascular and antineoplastic properties as well. Antineoplastic drugs are used to inhibit the growth or spread of cells that are are cancerous. More recently, in a 2007 study, published in the Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, eating garlic increases our body's production of hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is poisonous in large amounts but in proper doses our bodies use it to transmit cellular signals which increase blood flow and to relax our blood vessels. It is also used as an antioxidant. The fact that garlic helps to boost hydrogen sulfide levels may explain why a diet rich in garlic may help protect a body from cancers such as colon, prostate and breast cancers.

The amount of garlic used in the study was equivalent to two medium sized cloves of garlic. Is that a bad thing? Only if you are concerned about the smell. Eating fennel seeds or a small bunch of fresh parsley after ingesting large amounts of garlic will help reduce the smell of garlic on your breath.

The compound allicin found in garlic is the compound that reacts with blood cells to produced hydrogen sulfide. When the hydrogen sulfide is produced in the body, it keeps blood flowing smoothly by relaxing blood vessels. When blood vessels relax, they dilate. This is what causes a reduction in blood pressure. When the blood pressure reduces, it allows more oxygen to flow to the heart and essential organs.

Exposing garlic to the air before cooking or ingesting it will help to expose its health benefits. After mincing garlic, let it sit for about fifteen minutes. The exposure to the air lets an enzyme reaction occur which increase the compounds, like allicin, that are good for you in the garlic.

Incorporating Garlic into Your Daily Diet

Eating two medium size cloves of garlic is not a hard thing to do. After chopping up the cloves and letting them sit for fifteen minutes, you can swallow them with a teaspoon of honey followed by a little bit of fresh lemon juice in hot water. These methods will keep you from smelling like garlic throughout the day. Swallowing fresh garlic daily can be incorporated into your daily routine. Eat your garlic at the same time that you take your vitamins.

If eating garlic raw this way turns you off, you can always opt for garlic capsules. The medical studies quoted above were done using fresh garlic not capsules, so the effectiveness of capsules remains to be seen. Make sure your capsules are of the finest quality. Organic capsules are your best bet. View my recommendations on the right side of this page.

Another option to add garlic to your daily intake is to use it in all of your favorite recipes. Chop up two cloves of garlic and blend it with your salad dressing for a great addition to your lunchtime greens. Chop or mince two cloves of garlic and add the cloves to pasta sauces, steamed vegetables, or spread with a bit of butter on to homemade bread and toast in the oven for fantastic garlic bread. Roast the garlic and spread roasted cloves on to crackers for an easy and quick appetizer. Try roasted garlic in mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower.

Anyway you choose to do it, adding garlic to your diet can affect your overall health positively. Experiment with recipes and have fun getting healthy.

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Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

1 medium head of garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and quartered

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 cup milk

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Drizzle garlic with olive oil, then wrap in aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.

For a quick roast. Sauté the garlic with olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium high heat until light brown.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain. Stir in butter, milk, salt and pepper.

Remove the garlic from the oven, and cut in half. Squeeze the softened cloves into the potatoes. Blend potatoes with a potato masher or a ricer until soft.

Disclaimer

This article is not to be used as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your physician before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can supply you with the proper advice on what is safe and effective for your individual needs. Only your physician or health care provider should diagnose you by using particular medical history.

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Comments 3 comments

ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

Thanks for the info on Garlic.

The benefits of Garlic probably account for why someone wrote that it would fend off vampires, as they are like fungus and bacteria.

I like the idea of garlic instead of prescriptions to regulate the blood.


cabmgmnt profile image

cabmgmnt 4 years ago from Northfield, MA Author

Hi ib radmasters,

Yes, that is true especially from the tales of folklore. You get bitten and you become a vampire. It all sounds like a virus to me...lol.

I have always been fascinated by the benefits of whole foods and am excited to know that science is discovering more benefits daily!


GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 4 years ago from Northern California

I am now taking garlic tablets, 3 at night...after 2 weeks I dropped some weight which makes me wonder if my high cholesterol level might have been lowered. Good Hub!

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