Garlic gets a bad rap because it causes bad breath. Garlic has so many health benefits that it’s worth the chance of a little bad breath. If you eat garlic and you’re worried about bad breath you can suck on a lemon wedge or chew some fresh parsley to neutralize the odor. For getting rid of the garlic smell on your hands you can rub your hands on stainless steel. I don’t know if that’s an old wives’ tale or not but it seems to work for me. You could also put some of the lemon juice on your hands after you suck on the lemon wedge for your breath.
I eat garlic raw and I also add it to cooked foods. It gives your food a flavorful boost. You can also buy garlic supplements that may help reduce garlic breath.
Keeps Heart & Circulation Healthy
Powerful antioxidants found in garlic can help reduce free radicals in your body. Free radicals are can damage tissue and accelerate the aging process. Some free radicals are created naturally during metabolism, but pollutants like radiations, cigarette smoke and herbicides can creat even more. Eating garlic and other antioxidants can promote heart health, reduce and repair damaged cells and support healthy blood flow throughout your body, resulting in better circulation. It can help lower blood pressure, reduces LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) and help regulate blood sugar. Garlic also relaxes the lining of the blood vessels, thereby helping to reduce plaque buildup in your arteries. This can help prevent strokes and heart attacks.
Supports Your Immune System
Garlic contains a substance, called allicin, which is a natural antibiotic. Allicin reduces the ability of germs to grow and produce bacteria in your body and can also boost your body’s natural defenses helping to rid you allergies, colds, and infections. You must crush or chop the garlic in order to release the allicin.
Detoxification is a process your body goes through to remove toxins so it can perform better. Garlic aids with detoxification and helps your body’s own defenses work better by improving the function of your immune system.
Defends Against Cancer
Many studies show that a diet rich in garlic can actually help protect your body form various types of cancers, such as colon, breast and prostate cancer. Garlic contains chemical substances that may actually block cancer-activating carcinogens from being formed in the body.
Helps to Relieve Pain
Garlic is a natural pain killer. It reduces the pain and itch of bug bites, ringworm or other rashes. To apply to the affected area, cut a clove in half and rub the cut side all around the wound.
It can also lessen the pain of toothaches. In a similar fashion, apply the cut side of the garlic directly onto the tooth and gums. You can also take a clove and break it up a little with a hammer or mallet and put the whole thing right over the affected tooth.
Many swear by applying a garlic mask for their acne. I’ve never tried this but since garlic has natural anti-fungal and antibacterial properties it helps in clearing up acne prone skin. You can make your own mask by crushing several cloves of garlic and mixing with Manuka honey. Manuka honey is from New Zealand and is made by bees that eat the Manuka bush. These bees produce honey with higher antibacterial properties than other types of honey. Apply the mixture directly to your face and let sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with warm water, and blot dry.
Everyone can benefit from adding a little extra garlic to their diet. One of my favorite uses for garlic is to crush some over sliced veggies and roast them at 350 degrees until tender. I add a little salt, pepper and Italian seasoning before roasting. I also make a mean Garlic Chicken. I may just have to post the recipe for that one of these days. It sure stinks up the house but it makes a flavorful, moist chicken dish.