Garlic: an immune superfood – but not if you cook it too quickly
Garlic really is a superstar in terms if you are looking for some immune system support. What’s great about it, is it really doesn’t matter what kind of infection you have picked up; garlic can help them all. Not only is it anti-bacterial and anti-viral, it also can help get rid of parasites and fungal infections.
Garlic also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, making it useful when you are in the acute phase of an infection but also for any ongoing chronic inflammatory conditions.
Research had shown that garlic supplements can reduce the severity of colds and flu and reduce recovery times.
And it’s not just the immune system that garlic is useful for. It also is protective for the heart in that it can lower LDL cholesterol (the bad type of cholesterol that you want to keep low) as well as lowering blood pressure.
Garlic also supports detoxification processes in the liver and so can help with hormone balancing, where the liver often needs some additional support.
How to use garlic to get those health benefits
It is a compound called allicin within garlic that gives it that characteristic smell, that brings these health benefits. Allicin is released when garlic is crushed, sliced or chewed. However, some of the benefits of garlic are reduced when it is cooked.
One of the best ways of preserving some of the health benefits of garlic is to crush it and then let it stand for ten minutes before cooking it.
If you can manage raw garlic (it doesn’t always suit everyone’s stomach), then even better. Try crushing some raw garlic into your salad dressing. Or if you have made a pasta sauce, then add in some crushed raw garlic just before serving.
When to be cautious with garlic
There are some instances when garlic is not advised. Because it can reduce blood clotting, it should not be taken by those on blood thinning medication or anyone about to have surgery. It should also be avoided by anyone taking blood pressure medication, because of the potential lowering effect it can have on blood pressure.
For ideas for immune supporting recipes that include garlic then download my free e-book.
And for more tailored support about supporting your immune health, including advice on supplements then do get in touch to find out how we could work together to develop a personalised nutrition plan.
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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Emma Belton Nutrition disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.
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