Garlic is naturally anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial. It goes by many other names, including ‘the bulb of the tree of life’, due to its anti-aging properties, and the ‘the stinking rose’ because of its strong smell, despite being related to lilies, not roses. Research is finding that garlic has some impressive health benefits, so it can be considered a superfood. The allicin in garlic is the main ingredient responsible for the numerous benefits, from healthy teeth and gums to fighting off cancer.
We prepare meals every day for our patients in the Budwig Kitchen. They quickly learn that we love to use generous amounts of garlic because of the many health benefits it contains.
Garlic versus cancer
A 2007 World Cancer Research Fund review came to the conclusion that garlic “probably protects against” bowel and stomach cancers. A 2009 review found that garlic may lower the risk of colon, prostate, oral ovary and renal cell cancers. Another study found that men and women who regularly consumed garlic over several years had a 30% lower risk of colorectal, esophageal and stomach cancers, particularly when the garlic was chopped and cooked, as opposed to supplements. Dr. Budwig’s agreed. She found that our bodies absorb nutrients through food instead of synthetic formats used in supplements. Laboratory settings have also tested garlic’s power and found that it kills leukemia cells and slows down the growth of tumors in the prostate, bladder, colon and stomach tissue.
Other health benefits of garlic
Garlic is believed to have many health benefits, including being effective against high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, and colds. Garlic can give your immune system a 50% boost, which is critical for cancer patients, especially ones who are going through chemotherapy or radiation treatments, as it can help to prevent colds, flu, and infections. The allicin in garlic is key and has also been found to fight oral flora imbalances by controlling bad bacteria in the mouth that can lead to gum disease and cavities. Garlic contains prebiotic fiber, which promotes gut health, leading to healthy teeth and gums too.
Black garlic’s effects are stronger
Black garlic is fermented or aged fresh garlic that has been treated for an average of 10 days at high temperatures and humidity. Different compounds form during the Maillard reaction, causing it to go black and strengthening the powerful effects of the garlic. Black garlic offers stronger health benefits when compared to white garlic. It has a higher allicin content, which is the beneficial active ingredient in white garlic. It is also packed with amino acids and has almost double the number of antioxidants. Black garlic contains nitrogen oxide, which offers strong antiviral and antitumor effects. Due to the aging process, black garlic has all of the same health benefits as white garlic, but the effects are generally more powerful as it contains all the good properties at higher levels.
Garlic is a delicious flavoring that has been used for hundreds of years. The impressive health benefits it boasts are becoming clear, making garlic an important part for anybody’s diet. Fresh garlic cloves are the best option and should be crushed or chopped a few minutes prior to use to give the allicin time to release, unlocking its beneficial health effects.
Some of the natural remedies that we source contain garlic extract, these have proven to help patients needing treatment for pathogens or high blood pressure.
We encourage our patients to take advantage of this inexpensive superfood as much as possible. Having said that, we must warn our readers that when performing food scans with the GSR software, if a patient has digestive issues garlic is often flagged as being a contributing factor because they consumed too much of it. In these cases, we recommend they entirely refrain from eating garlic for at least 30 days; this is a reminder that no matter how good a particular food may be, balance is the key.