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Garlic's surprising health benefits

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Did you know garlic is one of the most powerful antibiotics on the planet?

Today, researchers are imagefinding that garlic is the strongest health enhancing food we can consume on a daily basis, without other side effects, other than smelling like garlic. One of garlic's most potent healthy benefits includes its ability to improve the body's immune cell activity. In other words, the antioxidants produced from eating garlic will help strengthen the immune system, which helps fight off colds, viruses, and even CANCER. Yes, the big ?C?!!!

Research has shown that this wonderfully tasty bulb can retard cancer cells as a type of natural chemotherapy, and is now at the top of the American National Cancer Institute's list of potential cancer-preventative foods.

The effects of garlic are greatest when it is chopped, chewed, or bruised, because it brings out the powerful sulfur compound, allicin. It is said that 1 milligram of allicin has the potency of 15 standard units of penicillin. As you may have heard, anti-biotics are being over prescribed, and there effects are not as reliable as they once were because we are building a tolerance to them. Perhaps garlic could be a solution to this growing problem.

Other effects of garlic include its ability to equalize the body's blood pressure, whether it is low or high. It can also help thin the blood, similar to the effects of aspirin.  For people preparing for surgery, garlic should be consumed to spike the strength of their immune system and to thin the blood to reduce the risks of blood clots after surgery. Research has recently shown that garlic even has an inhibiting effect on MRSA, which is very common in hospitals, and most often affects surgical patients.

So what about odorless garlic supplemental pills?  Unfortunately, if a garlic supplement is odorless it is useless. The health promoting chemical, allicin, is highly diluted when it is put into pill form. British scientists have found a way to extract the allicin from the garlic and concentrate it into a pill called Alli-C. This is not an odorless pill and it has the effects of 20 to 30 fresh, crushed garlic cloves. Other than the Alli-C supplement, eating fresh garlic in daily meals will enhance the immune system, help with weight control, and provide the body with many other health promoting effects.  

Coming from an Italian heritage, garlic has always been used in my family, not just for cooking, but also for home remedies. I am still a firm believer in these remedies today. Weather I am using it in my daily meals or just chopping down on a clove at the first sign of cold, FRESH garlic is ALWAYS in my house. Add garlic to more of the meals you make at home, or even try some of the remedies listed in this link, and see for yourself how strong this little bulb can be!

Contributed by Krista Magnoli, PTA - The West Palm Beach Physical Therapy Center 

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