The Health Benefits Of Garlic

Whether you cook with garlic or take daily supplements, garlic is now proven to help everything from cholesterol to blood pressure.

With all the talk over the past years of health, supplements, cholesterol, blood pressure and herbal benefits, it's hard to know what's healthy, what's not and what doesn't even matter. Recently there has been an uprise in the amount of people who are now researching garlic and its benefits towards better health. Over 5,000 years ago, people already knew about the health benefits of garlic, using it internally and even externally, to help prevent the growth of bacteria in wounds. Today, many people eat more foods that contain garlic or take garlic supplements to improve their health. Garlic has been proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, along with helping to provide protection against strokes and heart disease. Published studies have shown that after a mere four weeks of adequate garlic intake, a twelve percent reduction in cholesterol is possible. Garlic is also thought to reduce the possibility of getting blood clots and to fight off infections in the body. The common cold can be warded off, or the risk of catching it can be lowered by fifty percent, simply by taking one garlic supplement tablet daily. Garlic does not prevent colds or flu. It's possible to catch a cold while taking garlic supplements, but usually the symptoms are less severe and the cold disappears more rapidly than in those who are not taking garlic. Garlic also contains vitamins and important minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium and zinc.

Somewhere between 600 and 900 mg per day in is the recommended dosage for overall better health, but it's not recommended that you consume the garlic raw, since it is capable of causing digestive tract irritability. You can use it in cooking or take garlic supplements which reduce the heartburn and bad breath to which many garlic eaters, and their loved ones, protest. Improved formulas work towards the eventual elimination of garlic breath from taking supplements and most people who take the tablets report less heartburn than when they eat garlic cloves. If heartburn does occur, antacids are helpful and for the breath, when using real garlic, try chewing some parsley after eating the garlic clove to reduce breath odor, or try gum or mints. Garlic can affect blood-thinning medications, even aspirin, so get the okay from your physician before adding a substantial amount of garlic to your diet. Most physicians recommend stopping the garlic therapy at least two weeks prior to any type of surgery, since garlic can cause the blood to have a harder time clotting.

Garlic can lose some of its health benefits during cooking, so add garlic towards the end of the recipe to prevent the loss of important components in the garlic. Crush the garlic well, then allow to sit for ten minutes before adding it to the recipe to retain as many of the healthful benefits as possible.

With new studies now relating garlic to the prevention of stomach cancer, tumor growth, fungal infection and the absorption of dietary fats, adding garlic supplements to your diet seems like a health boost we simply can't live without.

© High Speed Ventures 2011