Garlic might make most dishes you cook taste like fine cuisine or ward off vampires at midnight, but I usually use it for medicinal purposes and it never lets me and my family down.
Its sulfur compound Allicin, which gets released when raw garlic cloves are crushed, cut or chopped and consumed, enters the body from the digestive tract to travel everywhere to do its magic.
The health benefits of Garlic and Allicin
1. First of all, garlic is low in calories and very nutritious, so a win-win right there. It is high in Vitamin C, manganese, and Vitamin B6, and has some other nutrients and antural sugars.
2. It fights cold and flu symptoms when eaten raw, cutting down the time of suffering and boosting the immune system. Finely chop an average size clove (then wait for a few minutes for oxygen to activate compounds) and either drink with honey, lemon, and water – or mix with peanut butter and honey on a spoon and swallow. Do this 2-3 times a day.
3. It can reduce blood pressure (hypertension) and reduces the risk of heart disease (by lowering LDL cholesterol). Research has shown it is just as effective as some blood pressure medications
4. It is high in antioxidants and may help prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia with its anti-aging properties. High dosages of Garlic support the body’s mechanisms to protect against oxidative damage, oxidative stress and cell damage.
5. It is a great detoxifier protecting the organs it can help reduce heavy metal levels in your body, lead, copper, etc).
6. Garlic helps to build estrogen levels and can help menopausal women
7. Microbial properties: It is antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic and antibacterial, basically, anytime you’re sick with anything, have raw garlic! I mean it.
8. It is a natural antibiotic! Studies show it is up to 100 times more effective than major brands of antibiotics.
9. Garlic is anti-cancer, reducing the risk of certain cancers like colon, stomach, breast or pancreatic cancers.
10. It works as a blood thinner, so if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medications, talk to your doctor before increasing any garlic consumption!
IMPORTANT : Crush fresh, raw garlic and before consuming allow it to be exposed to the air for at least 5 to 10 minutes. That way its compounds become fully activated and reach their highest levels.
Cooking/heating garlic transforms its health compounds making it less effective.
Tip: Add finely chopped garlic at the end of cooking to your soup, salad, sauces or cooked meat.
2 Salad Dressing Recipes using raw garlic
Balsamic Garlic Dressing, makes 1 cup
1/4 c balsamic vinegar (better quality ones taste usually sweeter and you can omit the brown sugar)
1 tbs crushed, chopped garlic (2-3 cloves)
1-2 tsp brown sugar (optional, taste test!)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil, extra virgin cold pressed
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
If using the food processor, add all ingredients except olive oil and blend up, then add olive oil in a slow pour while running the machine to create an emulsion.
If using a whisk, dissolve salt and sugar in vinegar first, before adding oil, garlic, and pepper.
Note: Add more olive oil if necessary
Blue Cheese Salad Dressing, serves 2-4 people
Blend 6 garlic cloves with 2⁄3 c extra virgin olive oil,
1⁄4 c apple cider vinegar & 1⁄2 c blue cheese (or more to taste).
Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste and use over your crunchy green salad.