Garlic. It's not just for killing of vampires anymore.
It's also great for killing harmful bacteria, fungus, and viruses. It's pretty much an all-around medicine. So let's hope you don't have alliumphobia (a fear of garlic) - reaping its benefits is as easy as adding some chopped garlic to your stir fry at dinner. If you dare, eat a clove raw. If you're in the habit of kissing someone, dare them to eat one too. Then they won't notice your garlic breath as much.
Also, while garlic isn't a "spice" persay, it's a flavor enhancer and has medicinal properties. I've been eating a lot of it to help ward off a cold, which its been successful at helping me with so far.
So, why eat garlic?
- According to the Mayo clinic, it helps to fight off an infection. They have even seen success with applying garlic topically to skin infections.
- Garlic is wonderfully anti-inflammatory. That's good news for our heart, muscles, and respiratory system.
- Another bonus for the respiratory system is that garlic is a natural expectorant.
- Garlic can remove toxic metals from the body, such as lead and mercury.
- Garlic can reduce blood pressure if taken daily
- The American Journal for Clinical Nutrition has found that those who eat garlic (and its relative the onion) have a lower rate of cancer
- The American Journal for Hypertension has found garlic to help maintain the weight of animals.
A word of warning with garlic -- don't go too crazy with it. Everything in moderation. Especially raw, if taken in large quantities, garlic can cause stomach irritation and heart burn.
One of my favorite ways to include garlic in my diet is by cooking some crushed garlic in olive oil (usually 2-3 pieces) and then blending it up with garbanzo beans to make a hummus. Sometimes I'll just add some raw garlic cloves into my hummus blend, too. Garlic is also great in tomato sauces, stir fries, and in soups. Maybe try some in your Superbowl chili this Sunday. Perhaps you'll be a little bit healthier for it.
How do you use garlic? Do you enjoy garlic or do you suffer from alliumphobia?