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Uses and Benefits of Garlic

By Amy Silva

Garlic is used in a variety of cuisine despite being known to give breath a bad odor. It adds a specific flavor to foods that people all over the enjoy. It is affordable enough to purchase yet simple to grow on one's own in even the smallest gardens or pots. Garlic also has health benefits some aren't aware of.

The Background of Garlic

Garlic has been around for thousands of years. It's known to have been used for various purposes in ancient civilizations that include Egypt, Greece and even China. We use a different type these days, but for the same reasons the ancients used it: for health benefits and consumption. It's part of the same family as onions, called allium, and is grown in countries all over the world. Garlic has Vitamins B6 and C, and minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, copper and selenium, among others.

Health Benefits

Garlic contains antioxidants, has antibacterial properties, and can aid in disease prevention or help treat health issues such as these.

  • Cancer - Studies show garlic may reduce the risk of lung cancer by a whopping 44 percent when eaten raw two days per week. It can also lower the risk of colorectal cancers when eaten raw or cooked, as well as aid in prevention of prostate and brain cancer.
  • Heart - High blood pressure may be lowered resulting in having a reduced risk of strokes and heart attacks. Taking garlic supplements may reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) enough that the risk of heart disease will be lowered.
  • Other benefits - Garlic is a low-calorie food that contains antioxidants and antibacterial properties. Frequently consuming garlic may reduce bouts of the common cold as well as possibly lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Garlic is said to help with acne, athlete's foot and psoriasis. There is a study that may link it to aiding in weight loss, but more studies need to be conducted.

Tips for Using Garlic at Home

Garlic doesn't only have benefits for your body, it can be used in several ways around the house too. Some have used garlic to repair small cracks in glass by crushing it and carefully covering the crack. A cotton swab should be used to apply it to prevent possible skin irritation. Another trick for using garlic is to leave a few cloves around; they may act as a mosquito repellent.

Some people can be sensitive to garlic so should consider adding it slowly their diet if they don't already consume a lot. If planning to use any of the garlic tips above, be sure to protect your skin and rinse well if irritation occurs.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Upland, Calif. 

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