April 10, 2014
Garlic is often known for its pungent odor and its use in many cuisines around the world. Did you know that garlic might also provide health benefits?
Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which gives garlic its distinctive odor and provides antimicrobial and antioxidant benefits. While research is mixed on the actual health benefits, there are some conditions that garlic is possibly effective for treating, according to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database:
- High blood pressure—in people with high blood pressure, garlic may help reduce blood pressure by 7-8%
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries)
- Colon, rectal, and stomach cancer
The National Cancer Institute does not recommend taking garlic supplements, but recognizes garlic as a vegetable that may have anticancer properties. The World Health Organization’s recommendation for general health promotion in adults is a daily dose of 2-5g of garlic, the equivalent of just one clove.
Jonnell, Registered Dietitian
One of my favorite ways to use garlic is to mince garlic and mix with extra-virgin olive oil, parsley, and crushed red pepper for a great bread dip or pasta sauce.
To get the most health benefit from garlic, crush or chop 10-15 minutes before cooking it.
What is your favorite way to use garlic?
National Cancer Institute: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Prevention/garlic-and-cancer-prevention
MedLine Plus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/300.html