Garlic health benefits and cooking with Garlic

As a breast cancer survivor and with Help Whip Cancer and Relay for Life events all around us in April through June, I’d like to remind everyone that even though there are some unpleasant side effects to eating garlic it is an ingredient you may want to add to your cooking or as supplements (900mg daily).

Dr. Richard Béliveau, at the Charles-Bruneau Cancerology Centre in Canada, tested extracts from many foods on cancerous cells in a petri dish. For breast cancer, Dr. Béliveau lists “garlic, leeks and scallions [green onions]” as the top-three foods that inhibit cancer cell growth.”

“The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York has found that garlic inhibits the growth of cancer cells in the laboratory. And in a study of colon cancer conducted at the M. D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, Dr. Michael Wargovich determined that diallyl sulfide, a major component of garlic, reduced the growth of colon cancer in mice. A related experiment showed that diallyl sulfide may prevent cancer of the esophagus and help in preventing prostate cancer in some individuals.”

In the Journal of Hypertension, data collected showed by taking garlic the volunteers’ blood pressures were reduced by 1-5 %. The data showed strokes were reduced by 30-40% and heart attacks could be reduced by 20-25%.

A clove, not a bulb, can improve your overall health while 2-3 cloves a day can help ward off colds.  You can add garlic to your yogurt or cottage cheese to help cover the taste of garlic. You can  eliminate garlic breath by eating a small piece of fresh parsley, eating a lemon, drinking lemon juice, or eating a crushed clove in olive oil. If you have Parmesan-Garlic oil dipping seasoning, add a clove to it when you add the olive oil–great for bread dipping.

In addition to helping promote a healthy immune system, Garlic also helps promote a healthy cardiovascular system. Its properties fight the bad cholesterol and diminishes the radical damage to cholesterol; thus, reducing the start and progression of arteriosclerosis. Heart patients should consult with their doctors before using garlic supplements and/or putting garlic in their daily cooking because garlic has blood thinning properties just as prescription blood thinners. Also garlic supplements should not be taken two weeks before surgeries because of blood clotting and risk of bleeding. As with all supplements inform your doctor and pharmacist because they can interact with medicines.

If you or someone you know has a condition called “intermittent claudication” garlic can help them because its properties help improve the body’s peripheries. When using the garlic people involved n studies could walk further distance and walk without the pain and discomfort they had prior to adding the garlic to their diet.

Because Garlic contains salicylic it is a natural help with headaches and joint pain. Although It also acts as an aspirin as mentioned above, it also keeps the red blood cells from clumping together, dissolves clots, and lengthens clotting time. Garlic keeps your blood flowing naturally through your body.  So now we can see garlic as a means to help prevent strokes and heart attacks not just adding flavoring to our meals.

Garlic can also help with weight loss because of how it works with body fat. In conjunction with exercise and a healthy diet, it is an excellent and effective means of reducing fat.

Did you know if you just have a beer or glass of wine after dinner that it interferes with the body’s ability to stimulates endogenous lipogenesis and breakdown dietary fats? Alcohol when consumed even in a very small amount controls the body’s mechanisms making it impossible to breakdown and eliminate fat. Taking garlic doesn’t give you a license to drink, although it does have the properties to dramatically reduce the bad consequences of the bad choices we make in our food and liquid intake.

The two main ingredients in garlic which promotes these healthy benefits is Allicin and Diallyl Sulphides.  Allicin isn’t produced until you finely chop or crush it. The finer you chop it or press it, the better because more allicins are generated and the stronger its health effects.  “Allow 10 minutes before adding the chopped or pressed garlic to your recipes to allow the allicin to develop fully.”  So press or chop the garlic before beginning the cooking process. It begins to decompose quickly; therefore its health benefits decreases over time. Cooking speeds up the decomposition process and is destroyed when microwaving.  “Add the garlic about five minutes before the end of cooking – this way you apply just enough heat to convert the allicin into medically active compounds.”

For the best results add pressed garlic toward the end of the cooking process.  By adding it to the end of the recipe you will also keep most of the flavor. And remember if a little is good, more is better, does not apply to garlic!  Too much raw garlic can produce irritation of and/or damage to your digestive system.

Diallyl sulphides do not decompose as quickly as allicin when cooking. These help lower the bad cholesterol and boosts the immune system. For the health benefits to be produced, garlic does have to be chopped or crushed.  “If garlic is not crushed or chopped there are relatively no health benefits to eating garlic.”  The breakdown process of these in the body is just a couple hours so again more at one time is not better.  To receive the benefits of garlic it is better to add it often to your meals rather than an overdose at one meal.

I often add 2-4 cloves of pressed garlic toward the end of the recipe and reduce salt in meal preparation. The garlic replaces salt for me in the preparation.  When using salt I use sea salt which has so much more health benefits than table salt. Again, its much healthier to use.

As a kitchen specialist if you email me I can help you locate the sea salt, the  oil dripping seasoning, a garlic press, a garlic peeler and garlic slicer which are not only easy to use but comes with a guarantee.  This means no more handling the smelly garlic yet still being able to add it to our meals so we can reap the many health benefits of adding garlic to our meals.  Eating healthier, easier and quicker preparation of meals means not only a healthier you, but a healthier family.

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