There are so many culinary reasons to use garlic for a great meal, but you can also use garlic medicinally for health benefits too. Garlic is an inexpensive way to keep a host of health issues at bay. Garlic and onion are both part of the allium family of plants, which have many healing benefits. Just one clove of garlic a day has been proven to help with a number of health issues, some of which you might not have heard of. Find out my favorite reasons to use garlic in my meals, along with why it's so important to do so. I know garlic isn't the best smelling food on the planet, but it is truly one delicious, powerful food that’s worth the temporary stench!
One of the most popular reasons to use garlic is for its anti-viral properties. Garlic contains sulfur compounds which are potent against viruses and immunity invaders of all kinds. Garlic is great to fight a number of popular types of viral conditions, such as the yeast overgrowth condition known as candida albicans. This potent yeast overgrowth condition can come from eating too much sugar or processed foods in the diet, high levels of stress, consuming too many antibiotics that kill healthy gut bacteria, and even by taking birth control pills. It’s important to eat a clean diet to first get the body in balance after a candida overgrowth, and one way to do that is to eat whole foods low in sugar, along with healthy foods like garlic.
Along with yeast and viruses, garlic also fights parasites. Parasites can be consumed without you even knowing it, from toxic water, foreign foods, or even on conventional produce. Consuming a clove of garlic a day can greatly help reduce parasites, and help excrete them out of the body. Garlic’s specific volatile oils are the powerful weapon that work wonders against parasite infections. Symptoms of parasites include itching, nervousness, twitching, constant hunger, and a host of other nasty symptoms.
3. Immune Health
Garlic is one of the best foods for keeping your immune system in check all year round. It works in a variety of ways, but mainly because it boosts your immune function, much of which is controlled from your gut. Parasites, yeast, and other nasty viruses actually live and birth themselves in your digestive tract. When you eat garlic, it helps keep your digestive health in good shape, and also your immune system. The flu, colds, yeasts, viruses and more are just no match for a clove of garlic. Plus, garlic contains a huge dose of Vitamin C, which we all know is important for immune health.
4. Healthy Bacteria
One way that garlic helps keep your entire gut healthy is by helping good bacteria proliferate. It is pure “food” for probiotics you take, or consume through fermented or cultured foods like yogurt, kraut, kimchi, chocolate, pickles, miso, natto, or cultured veggies. Garlic is a pre-biotic just like onions, bananas, asparagus, and a few other foods. It has certain types of carbohydrates that help act as food for good bacteria to proliferate and grow. This can keep your digestive system regular, and helps balance good and bad bacteria in your gut..
Though garlic has some carbohydrates, it’s overall very low carb, especially if you only have 1 clove at a time. For this reason, it helps lower your insulin, and ward off sugar cravings. In fact, I’d dare you to try a clove of garlic in a meal and see if you really and truly crave sugar after it. Plus, cooking with garlic is a great way to add satisfaction, helping to lower your sugar cravings overall.
6. Vitamin B6
I’m not sure if you all know too much about Vitamin B6, but it’s my favorite B of the whole group, outside of B12 we hear so much about. Vitamin B6 is the ultimate weapon against stress, depression, low energy, and the inability to rest, or focus. It helps the body adapt whether tired or anxious, and is one of my favorite ways to add calming focus to my day. You can take a supplement, but there are plenty of foods rich in Vitamin B6, with garlic being one of the best. Have a little garlic and see if your mood doesn’t improve and you feel a bit more mellow.
Garlic is dirt cheap ladies! We’re talking about 80 cents at most stores for one whole bulb that comes with around 10-12 cloves. I only use 1 clove per meal, once a day, usually in a soup, salad dressings, or with roasted veggies, but you can also use it in omelets, homemade salsa, or however else you like. Garlic adds flavor, health benefits, and satiety to your meals without the need for sugar, salt, or chemical flavorings, without costing more than pennies a day!
Garlic can be bought in whole form, minced, in a powder or even as a supplement. Just be aware that whole garlic cloves are the only form that come with the health benefits I mentioned above. Once the garlic is processed and sits on the shelf, it loses the health benefits, or at least by over half. Also, when you mince your garlic, it’s been said to let it sit for about 1 minute, finely minced before using it. This helps release the volatile oils known as allicins that are important for the health benefits mentioned here. Do you use garlic in your meals? What’s your favorite way?