National Garlic Day: Nutritionist’s top 4 health and wellness benefits of garlic
Garlic is a staple in many dishes across the world. Undoubtedly, this species in the onion genus is the best option to add flavor and character to even the simplest foods. Don’t believe us? Here are some ideas. Is your pasta too bland? Throw some garlic in it. Want to add a kick to your veggies or side dishes? Throw some garlic in it. Do you want to ward off vampires? Throw some garlic in it.
So while many of us can agree that garlic makes everything taste better, did you know that it also has some powerful health benefits? Dr. Vikki Petersen, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Chiropractor, and Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, shared with HOLA! USA, the incredible health benefits of adding garlic to your diet.
“Garlic is part of the allium family along with onions, shallots, chives, leeks, and green onions,” Dr. Petersen explained. “The allium family is high in beneficial sulfur compounds, giving them a unique aroma and flavor to your food. Beyond flavor (and perhaps warding off vampires!), garlic should be a daily addition to your diet because of all the health benefits it provides, including boosting immunity, decreasing the risk of cancer, reducing inflammation, reducing blood sugar, and protecting your heart,” the expert added.
Garlic can help boost your immune system to help avoid and fight off viruses (like the common cold and Covid-19) and can even reduce the risk of cancer. The chemical compounds (flavonols) and sulfur compounds have known anti-viral and tumor inhibition properties.
Garlic is very rich in antioxidants and, therefore, lessens the effect of oxidative damage, which is tied to premature aging, DNA damage, and diseases of the brain, including Alzheimer’s and dementia. This is one food that promotes both good physical and mental health!
This is important because the degenerative diseases that many Americans are dying from, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and more, are all driven by inflammation. Garlic acts to reduce inflammatory proteins, and as such, can help ward off aches and pains in the body, fight depression and sadness, and even help combat brain fog.
Not only is garlic a low-calorie option, but it also adds delicious flavor to healthy foods you want to eat more of, including vegetables, beans, and whole (gluten-free) grains. (E.g., hummus, homemade salad dressing, roasted vegetables, sautéed vegetables, and more). Want just about anything to taste better? Throw some garlic on it!
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