GARLIC: The Stinking Rose of Mirth

With winter just around the corner, now is the time to start dosing yourselves and your loved ones up with GARLIC!  Garlic is one of my favourite medicinal foods. Not only does it taste great, it is incredibly good for you too. This short article will introduce you to some of the wonderful health benefits of adding garlic to your diet, as well as how to best eat and grow garlic!

Common cold/ immune enhancer

There are a plethora of studies demonstrating the immune- enhancing effects of garlic. One randomised study separated 146 participants into either the placebo group or the treatment group for 12 weeks over winter (Josling 2001). The treatment group were given allicin containing garlic supplements. The allicin group had significantly less colds than the placebo group. The placebo group also had significantly more days with viral symptoms, and significantly longer duration of symptoms. Garlic (particularly allicin) significantly lessens ones chance of getting colds in the first place, and then increases recovery time (Josling 2001). Now’s the time to start eating it as a healthy daily habit!

Cardiovascular and metabolic benefits

Not only an immune enhancer, but garlic is also widely recognised to have significant cardioprotective benefits. Numerous scientific, clinical studies have shown that it is a wonderful preventative and treatment for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. These include hyperlipidaemia, atherosclerosis, thrombosis, hypertension and diabetes (Banerjee  & Maulik 2002; numerous research articles cited in Bayan et al 2014). In other words, garlic has been shown to lower blood pressure, prevent atherosclerosis, reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides, prevent blood clotting, and help break down blood clots (Chan et al  2013).  These are big killers in western nations, and to think that our common garlic can help significantly! To prevent such illness, all you have to do is eat it! For high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes etc garlic supplementation is required via tablets.

Antibacterial

Most people today attempt to stay healthy by preoccupying themselves with staying clean from germs. However, you are fighting a losing battle, as germs are EVERYWHERE- around, on and IN you! It is better to keep your body strong and healthy so the ‘bad’ germs don’t take hold! Eating garlic, the natural antibiotic, is one of the best ways to do this.

Many studies have proven that garlic is effective against numerous gram-positive, gram-negative and acid-fast bacteria. These include Salmonella, E. Coli, Pseudomonas, Proteus, Staphlococcus aureus, Klebsiella, bacillus subtulis, clostridium and helicobacter to name a few (numerous research articles cited in Bayan et al 2014). So not only can you prevent getting sick from bacteria in the first place but you can treat it with garlic also. Yes, even the antibiotic resistant bacteria such as gram-negative types. Impressive.

 

Cancer prevention

Moreover, there are numerous epidemiological research studies demonstrating the link between a decreased risk of cancer (especially stomach and colon cancer) and garlic consumption (Fleischauer & Arab 2001; Bayan et al 2014). With cancer as one of the top causes for death in Australia, simply adding it to your daily diet is worth it!

Other impressive benefits

If cardioprotective, immune-enhancing and cancer preventative properties aren’t enough to convince you to eat it regularly, there are many other benefits too. It has also been shown to be antifungal, antiviral, antiprotozoal, anti-tumour, and help treat diabetes, cardiovascular and liver toxicity (cited in Bayan et al 2014). The selenium contributes to heavy metal and chemical detoxification by the liver. Wow! I often use it in clinic to treat ear infections, respiratory infections, hypertension, candida, parasites and many other acute infections.  Book in to heal your body naturally this winter.

Best way to eat garlic

The best way to eat garlic is to crush it, let it sit, and eat it! The organosulfur compounds in crushed garlic are attributed with the beneficial health effects (Schafer  & Kaschula 2014). Eating it both cooked and raw offers the numerous benefits. But however you eat it, make sure you crush it first to activate the allinase enzymes. Then let it sit for up to 10 minutes to allow the enzymes to convert the allin into allicin to get the most medicinal benefits. Allicin will then form the benefical organosulfur compounds.

Eat one crushed garlic clove a day (2-5g) for wonderful, preventative health benefits.  Add crushed garlic to oil dressings raw, crush it into your soups, stews, casseroles, or roasts either before serving, or during cooking.  Eat it raw sometimes, and other times eat it cooked so as you maximise the health benefits of your health-promoting, garlic consumption.

What does garlic contain?

One close of garlic contains: 7 calories, 0.31g protein, 0.01g fat, 1.5g carbohydrate, 1.4mg calcium, 10mg phosphorus, 0.07mg iron, 0.9mg sodium, 26mg potassium, 0.01mg BI, 0.004mg B2, 0.02mg niacin, 0.75mg C and trace amounts of selenium. It also contains the much sort after alliin and allicin, the sulphur compounds that are incredibly health promoting. Much more than a spice, this medicinal food is powerful!

Grow your own garlic

Growing a garlic crop each year is one of my favourite veggie patch activities. Much of the Australian garlic is imported and has been treated with chemicals. You can void this by growing your own or buying organic.

Garlic needs to be planted in autumn so it has the cold winter months to form the heads. We planted ours last week. Simply break apart the heads into single cloves. With the pointy end upwards, push each single clove into the soil about 4-7cm deep. Water and weed as needed. Apply comfrey tea or other organic liquid fertiliser during spring to ensure a huge healthy crop of garlic.

Garlic varieties store from between 5 and 12 months. We enjoy our home grown, organic garlic all year round, until we harvest our next crop at the end of the year.

Take home message

Eat a clove of fresh, organic, raw or cooked garlic every day to help prevent cardiovascular disease cancer, bacterial infections, viral infections, and overall enhance your immune system. Eat lots of garlic if you have a cold or flu for a speedy recovery this winter. Eating garlic as part of a well balanced, fresh healthy diet will go a long way to helping you live a healthy and happy life.

Book in to see Sari when your next acute illness strikes. You may be prescribed garlic!

I love to receive comments, so please do so below.

To the ‘stinking rose of mirth’!

 

Happy healing,

Sari.

 

For references go here

ALL THINGS CARROTS!

CARROTS ARE HIGHLY NUTRITIOUS

Carrots are tasty, sweet and extremely good for you. Eating cooked carrots is far more important than drinking carrot juice, however drinking the juice does provide you numerous yummy benefits. This article focuses on all things carrots, just to give you a boost in your carrot- consumption- motivation!

Carrots contain many minerals

Carrots are so nourishing because they contain high levels of a very useable form of calcium and other minerals such as potassium. They also contain Vitamin K, B vitamins, bioflavanoids, and anti-oxidant substances such as carotene. The carotenes are what give the carrots their gorgeous colour and it is converted into Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is exceptional for eye health, and proper immune system function.

Few other foods contain as much calcium as carrots do. Dairy is a great source however the pasteurisation and homogenising destroys most of it. Raw dairy is preferable.

Research has shown that carrots lower blood cholesterol, decrease risk of several types of cancer, aid in eye health and digestion, and promote weight loss.

Carrots do so much good… but I ask you: Why did the carrot get an award? Because he was out standing in his field!!

Cook your carrots

Please cook and juice your (preferably organic) carrots. Do not eat them raw, as the tough fibre makes it very difficult for your body to extract the many beneficial minerals. The cooked fibre feeds all your good bacteria in your gut, improving your overall health and decreasing your risk of illness. Cooked and juiced, the humble carrot helps to alleviate constipation and keeps you using your bowel regularly.

 

The best ways to enjoy your carrots:

  • Cooked via pressure cooking. Chop carrots and place in pressure cooker with a small amount of water depending on how many carrots you are cooking. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Cooked via steaming. Cut up and then place in steamer basket over some water in a saucepan. Steam for 30-40 minutes until the fibres have turned soft. Place some butter on top and serve. Drink the water or add it to your stock pot.
  • Cooked via roasting. Cut carrots and place in baking dish with a little olive oil and cumin seeds. Roast for 1-1.5hours at 180C.
  • Juice them alone or with a small amount of greens such as kale, silverbeat, spinach or parsley.
  • Feed them to your babies/ young children after simply mashing the cooked carrot up.
  • Eat carrots either alone as a mono-meal, or with a variety of other vegetables. Due to their sweetness, they go well with vegetables that aren’t so sweet, such as turnips and rutabagas. They combine well with a protein such as lamb, chicken, eggs, sardines or cheese. OR they combine well with a complex high quality carbohydrate/ starch such as quinoa, millet, amaranth, rice or blue or yellow corn.

Juice your carrots

Whilst on a Nutritional Balancing Program, and indeed if you are not, carrot juice is a delicious treat to enjoy.

  • Drink 300-350ml of fresh organic carrot juice daily. This is not essential on NB, however you will be providing your body with a burst of nutrients especially calcium which will speed your healing! Don’t drink more than this as you will be interrupting your digestion and unbalancing your blood glucose levels!
  • Make and drink your carrot juice as fresh as possible to gain the most goodness. It lasts well for 24 hours in the fridge. Purchasing a home juicer is worth the extra health you will obtain. There is no need to pay hundreds of dollars for a top quality juicer. The best things to look out for are cold-pressed juices, and ones that actually juice- don’t blend. You want the juice to be extracted and the fibre to be separated out. I give all our carrot fibre to our chooks!
  • You can purchase carrot juice from some health food shops, and supermarkets. Try and get one with no additives, and one that hasn’t been pasteurised for maximum benefit.
  • Please don’t give carrot juice (and definitely not fruit juices) to children under age 10. It is very sweet and young children are usually fast oxidisers and cannot handle the extra carbohydrates.
  • Drink your carrot juice 1.5 hours after a meal, and 15 minutes before a meal. The liquid will dilute your stomach digestive enzymes and inhibit proper digestion of your food if you drink it close to or with a meal. Drink it alone.

Carrot juice a day

So with so much goodness, and such a lovely sweet flavour, how could you NOT incorporate carrots into your daily lives? A carrot juice a day is a great afternoon snack, and a large serve of carrots every second day will serve you and your body well.

Of course, you could make thick carrot soup. But how do you make gold soup? You put 24 carrots in it!

 

Happy Healing!

Sari