Why You Should Be Cooking With & Supplementing Garlic
If you are interested in improving the health and immunity of yourself and your family, garlic is the perfect, all-natural food to use and supplement with. Read on!
Over the last few weeks, we have had a bad cold going around our home. All of us have gotten it. Luckily we are on the back end of it now, but it has me thinking about what I could do to help us all feel a bit better and maybe prevent it from coming around again. Colds are no fun!
For years, my dad has encouraged myself and my siblings to supplement our diets with garlic, reiterating that its one of the best natural ways to help fight many of the sicknesses we all struggle with. After hearing him talk about it for so long, I did some of my own research. Man, was he right! I often refer to the book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" when I am looking for more information on natural remedies and supplements. I will link to it here in case any of ya'll are interested in getting your own copy! Its a guide to using vitamins, minerals, herbs, and food supplements for natural healing. Balch, the author, only has great things to say about the benefits of garlic. Garlic can help fight the common cold, along with so many other ailments.
Garlic is a medicinal powerhouse! It is one of the most powerful foods available to us, in terms of nutritional healing and supplementation. Along with its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, garlic can help aid in detoxifying the body, lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, and stabilizing blood sugar levels. In addition, garlic has been shown to aid in the treatment of a number of different conditions and diseases including asthma, arthritis, cancer, digestive problems, yeast infections, and many more. Garlic has often been considered "nature's antibiotic".
One of the easiest ways to use garlic and reap its benefits is to cook with it! It can add so much flavor to all of your dishes. Add garlic when sauteing, baking, and cooking. If you are going to be cooking with garlic it is important to crush or mince the garlic and then let it sit out for about 10 minutes prior to using it in your dishes. This allows some of the enzymes to activate and then convert, before breaking down into a variety of organosulfur compounds, which is more beneficial to you (source). Basically a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo going on, but you get the point! Breaking it down beforehand is best.
Garlic can also be consumed raw, or made into garlic oil. My father in law was just telling me the other day how his mother would put oil in his ear when he was a young boy, to help soothe his pain whenever he would have ear infections. He said it would be instant relief. He didn't say it, but I am assuming she was using garlic oil! Garlic oil, with its antibiotic properties, can help fight ear infections naturally. Garlic oil can be made by adding peeled, whole garlic cloves to a quart of olive or canola oil. Make sure to wash the garlic after it has been peeled and before placing it in the oil. The garlic oil should be refrigerated, and it should keep for up to a month. You can use the garlic oil like you would any other oil, on salads, when cooking, etc., as well as for home remedies like fighting ear infections.
Finally, garlic can be consumed in an extract, pill form. There are some brands that boast a "no smell" variety, so that you aren't burdened with the smell of stinky garlic breath. I encourage you to do your research and find a brand and variety you trust, that is high quality, if you choose to go this route. Though it can be extremely convenient to supplement your diet with garlic pills, and I have done so, I think it is best to just add garlic and garlic oil to your dishes as often as possible; you can't beat the flavor punch it adds especially when paired with the heath benefits it provides.
I always try to remember how important it is that I take care of my own health and that of my family's, especially being a homemaker. Whether I am doing this through the foods that I cook, the medicines/remedies I have on hand, and the overall environment I encourage in our home, I am hopeful that I can do a good job with it. If you are interested in taking control of you or your family's health, and boosting your household's immunity, supplementing and cooking with garlic is the perfect way to start.
Of course, I am no doctor, and you should always consult your doctor or health professional before taking any medical advice. I have just done research, and from what I have read and looked into, I believe wholeheartedly in the benefits of garlic and the healing effects it can have on your body. If you are like me and are a little bit wary of always turning to modern medicine, and are wanting some natural alternatives to try first, add garlic to your natural medicine cabinet/repertoire.
Are you already using garlic as a natural supplement, and do you have any garlic dishes you love to whip up?! Let me know in the comments below!