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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

GARLIC - POWERFUL for the GUT - Antibacterial, Disease Preventer

Garlic has many health benefits, but one of the most unusual is that it’s one of the few foods considered to be a prebiotic—the food eaten by probiotics (the healthful bacteria in our digestive tracts).  By supporting these beneficial bacteria, garlic helps support the many health benefits of a healthy microbiome (our population of beneficial bacteria).  

Current research shows that good bacteria in the gut helps prevent chronic diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, as well as ward off mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.  Garlic is very high in inulin, a type of fructan beneficial gut bacteria such as Bifido and Lactobacilli like to consume. Up to 16% of a garlic clove is inulin, so when consuming garlic, you’re getting a great dose of both the anti-bacterial compounds and prebiotic effect at the same time.

Garlic also appears to help lower high blood pressure. A 2015 analysis found garlic is a safe and effective treatment for hypertension.  It’s also effective for lowering cholesterol, according to a 2013 meta-analysis.  In addition, garlic has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and some evidence suggests it may decrease the risk of certain types of cancer, especially cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.   Garlic also is an antibacterial super food ! 

Good for when the virus season hits. A great cold, cough and sore throat remedy  You won’t have to resort to immune-suppressing, artificial-flavouring laden, over-the-counter medication.

  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 T. fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 heaped t. fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1 heaped t. caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of a good quality raw (unheated) honey
Gently warm the seeds (if using) in the vinegar without boiling for a few minutes.
Place the garlic and ginger in a glass jar with a plastic lid. Do not use a metal lid as the vinegar will corrode it.
  • Pour the vinegar and seeds into the jar. Replace the lid and shake to stir.
  • Shake the mixture 1-2 daily for 1-2 weeks.
  • After 2 weeks, strain all the herbs using a cheesecloth.
  • Add the honey and mix well.
  • Place in a clean jar and replace the lid. Add a label with date and name of preparation.
  • Store in a dark cupboard or a dark amber glass jar until needed.
For colds, coughs, sore-throats and flu-like symptoms take:
Adults: 1 tsp every 1-3 hours depending on severity of symptoms.
Children: 1/2 tsp every 2 hours.

When cooking with garlic, after you mince or press garlic, let it rest about 10 minutes before cooking.  Crushing releases the enzyme alliinase, which then produces allicin.  Alliinase is heat sensitive and is lost in the cooking process, so if you chop then fry your garlic straight away you won’t get any allicin and therefore no health benefits. The health benefits in garlic come from a chemical reaction that happens once garlic is crushed or pressed, and you need to allow time for that to happen.

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