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The Health Benefits of Garlic

Outside the kitchen, garlic is mostly known for being strong-smelling and having a prominent role in vampire movies. However, this strongly flavored bulb actually has a large number of health benefits. Fortunately, odorless garlic is available as a supplement, allowing you to get all of the benefits with none of the unfortunate smelly side effects. Some of the best benefits to garlic consumption are listed below:

Helps Protect against Cancers. Eating garlic causes red blood cells to begin emitting hydrogen sulfide, a chemical that can prevent the formation of cancerous cells. In high amounts, hydrogen sulfide is dangerous, but your body actually produces it in smaller quantities internally. Garlic can assist this process and help protect you from cancer.

Natural Antibiotic. Garlic is known to be a powerful antibiotic, although it has a wide focus (as opposed to antibiotic drugs, which target certain bacteria). Garlic can ward off a variety of bacteria, and the bacteria do not seem to develop a resistance the way they can to antibiotic drugs. This antibiotic benefit was first noticed back in the 19th century when English priests developed infectious fevers, but French priests, who ate garlic every day, did not.

Promotes Healthy Blood Pressure and Circulation. In clinical trials, the blood pressure of participants was decreased 1 – 5% after taking garlic supplements. This is a small reduction, but it may reduce the risk of stroke by 30-40% and heart disease by 20-25%. However, since garlic helps the blood clot less, it should not be taken by anyone who has a bleeding disorder or who is currently on blood thinning medication.

Help the Prevention of Allergies and Coughing. Garlic has antiviral properties that can help prevent allergies and the common cold. A single tablet of garlic each day, starting a few weeks before cold season, can help you get through the season safely. In addition, the anti-bacterial properties of garlic make it a great way to soothe coughing and sore throat.

People often wonder what the best way to take garlic is. The easiest way to ingest garlic is to include it regularly in cooking. Mediterranean and other diets contain a large amount of garlic – not surprisingly, these diets are also linked to very low occurrences of heart disease and other health issues. When cooking, cut or chop the garlic, and then let it sit for several minutes to allow the oils to start flowing. Then, include it in recipes as desired. In addition to cooking, garlic supplements can be bought at most stores. Read the information on the bottle for dosage information.

As with all natural remedies, please do not stop your regular medicines without first consulting your doctor. If you regularly take garlic supplements, be sure your doctor is aware as it can affect blood pressure and clotting medications. Garlic has many amazing effects, and can be a great way to improve your health. Try adding garlic to your diet today!