Healthy Food – Why Adding Some Garlic Into Your Meals is Beneficial

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The ILEAD Company® welcomes you to Fitness Friday. On Fridays, I will educate you on becoming mentally sound and physically fit. Nutrition and Fitness is influential!

Speaking of nutrition…Let’s continue with our discussions on superfoods. I want focus on a superfood that is famously used on Italian foods…Garlic!

Healthy Food – Why Adding Some Garlic Into Your Meals is Beneficial

Recent findings on the power of garlic to fight cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, give garlic the bona fide characteristics to elevate it to Superfood status.

Garlic’s Medicinal Properties

Throughout the history of civilization, the medicinal properties of garlic have been prized, and it’s been used to treat  an array of ailments, including atherosclerosis, stroke, cancer, immune disorders, cerebral aging, arthritis, and cataract formation.

Garlic’s power as a heath promoter comes from its rich variety of sulfur containing compounds. Of the nearly one hundred nutrients in garlic, the most important in terms of health benefits seems to be the sulfur compound allicin—an amino acid. Allicin is not present in fresh garlic. It’s formed instantly when cloves are crushed, chewed, or cut. Allicin seems to be responsible for the super-biological activity of garlic as well as its odor.

In addition to allicin, a single clove of garlic offers a slew of compounds with potential health benefits, including saponins, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, polyphenols, and arginine. In addition to these compounds, garlic is a good source of vitamin B6 and also of vitamin C. As with most whole foods, garlic’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities are probably due to the sum of the whole rather than a single agent.

What Have Studies Reported About Garlic

A number of studies have shown that garlic has an important impact on risk factors for cardiovascular disease. It has been demonstrated that those who make garlic a regular part of their diets enjoy lowered blood pressure and decreased platelet aggregation, as well as decreased triglycerides and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Garlic also may increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Consuming one half to one clove of garlic daily lowers LDL cholesterol levels by approximately 10 percent, partially by decreasing cholesterol absorption.

Garlic extracts have also been shown to decrease blood pressure. In one study, a 5.5 percent decrease in systolic blood pressure and a slight decrease in diastolic pressure were noticed. While these are modest decreases, they could still lead to a significant lessening of the risk for stroke and heart attack. The end result of all of these benefits is a lowered risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease as well as a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. Garlic oil has been shown to decrease total and LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well.

So, do me and your body a favor, add garlic into your meals. You will be grateful that you did in the long run.

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