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Garlic: A Healer for Centuries

Garlic comes with a lot of emotion. Some love it; others are repulsed by the smell—or at least don’t like “wearing” the smell if they eat too much! However, garlic was used for centuries as a natural healer and preventative. The ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese all used this herb as a medicine. Before Olympic events, the ancient Greeks gave garlic to their athletes to help reduce fatigue and improve athletic performance.

 

The offensive odor of garlic comes from a sulphur compound called allicin. That compound, however, is loaded with potential health benefits. Garlic contains at least a little bit of almost any nutrient we need. Most nutritionists recommend taking 900 – 1500 mg./day.

 

Health Benefits of Garlic

  • Lowers LDL cholesterol levels
  • Lowers blood pressure (High doses are needed, but sometimes they have been found to be as effective as blood pressure medications.)
  • Improves circulation
  • Strengthens the heart
  • Thins the blood
  • Antibiotic
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Relieves symptoms of arthritis
  • Helps with  blood sugar disorders, allergies, bronchitis, asthma, and yeast infections
  • May prevent viral infections
  • Protects against microbes such as herpes and candida
  • Can detoxify heavy metals in the body (In one study, garlic reduced lead levels in employees in a car battery plant by 19%)
  • Shown to decrease incidence of colon cancer by 35% (in a study of 41,000 women taking 1 or more servings daily)
  • May reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia

 

Incorporating Garlic Into Your Nutritional Plan

When you read a recipe, it may talk about “bulbs” or “cloves” of garlic. An entire head of garlic is called a bulb. Within a bulb, there are sections called “cloves.” (Each bulb may contain 10-20 cloves.) These cloves need to be crushed to release their full health benefits. The best way to prepare garlic for a recipe is to crush it and then let it stand for 10 minutes. This keeps the maximum nutritional value intact. Cooking garlic, as with most foods, does reduce its benefits.

If you would like to add more garlic into the foods you prepare, these are some delicious ideas: Rosemary Garlic Hasselback Potatoes, Oven Roasted Garlic, Roasted Garlic Soup with Olive Oil Croutons, Linguini with Arugula, Garlic, and Parmesan, or Thai Style Green Beans. Another good way to get more garlic in your diet is to add in a high-quality capsule as a supplement.

 

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.
Choose Healthy Eating

Eating Healthy In a Way You Can Stick With It

The holidays will soon be upon us, and that can wreak havoc on our diet and eating healthy habits! Have you ever decided to eat healthier—“This year is going to be different”? A typical scenario might look something like this: You know it is important to watch your diet and weight. You choose a super-strict regimen which then takes all the pleasure out of eating. This forces you to avoid social opportunities because you know you’ll blow it. How well does that work? Probably not very well.

“Weight management really should be about focusing on eating healthy foods that you like, rather than trying to stay away from foods that you like,” says Katie Rickel, PhD, clinical psychologist and weight-loss expert in Durham, North Carolina. A diet that will work must contain both foods that are healthy for us and foods that we enjoy eating. The secret is knowing when you can indulge, and when it is time to stop.1

  1. Rather than choosing a rigid diet that is focusing on the foods you cannot eat, instead focus on foods that you will. According to Vanessa Patrick, PhD (University of Houston), “’I can’t’ signals deprivation, which makes you more likely to cave, whereas ‘I don’t’ signals determination and empowerment, making your refusal more effective.”
  2. You need guidelines, but allow flexibility within those guidelines. Don’t be too specific, as in “I’m going to eat 3 oz. of Brussels sprouts every night.” Instead think of what those foods have—antioxidants, vitamins, etc. What else also has those same nutrients that your body needs?
  3. Only eat at meal times or at planned snack times.
  4. Forgive yourself when you slip.
  5. If your foods of choice are not available, find the closest substitute that will fill you up–and enjoy the meal.

What are your biggest challenges to weight loss or weight management? Please share any comments below.

1 The idea of eating healthy without obsessing over it comes from the ­ book 20 Pounds Younger by Michele Promaulayko with Laura Tedesco, Rodale, 2015.
*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

Take the 1% Challenge

A few years ago Tom Connellan wrote a book that became a best seller. Its title is The 1% Solution for Work and Life. In the book the author challenges the reader to make just a 1% change for the better in each area of life. It isn’t difficult, and over time 1% plus 1% plus 1%… adds up to a significant change. It’s a great challenge for us to become better than we have been in any area of life.

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