The Power of Garlic

Garlic is an extremely powerful herb AND vegetable (in case you were wondering, like I was, what it classifies as), and has been used medicinally in many societies throughout history. Ancient Egyptian texts hold evidence that garlic was fed in large amounts to the working class, presumabely to garuntee their ability to work harder and longer. The most important medical text of the era included garlic as a prescription for a variety of ailments, including abnormal growths, circulatory issues, and parasitic infestations. InAncient Greece, garlic formed an important part of the military diet due to its association with strength and health. It was even fed in large quantities to the first Olympians in history! Hippocrates, who was widely seen as the father of medicine, advocated eating garlic as it helps cleanse the body and assists one in healing pulminary issues.

Today, garlic is still used by natural healers, and widely considered one of the best flavor enhancers to cook with! You may be nervous about eating garlic because of the smell, but have no fear! I eat an abnormally large amount of garlic and I promise I still have friends.

So, you are now probably thinking, what’s so great about garlic? I’d be glad to share with you some of the benefits:

1. Garlic contains a lot of vitamin C, which we all know has many health benefits. It’s an antioxidant, which is great for your skin in countless ways, it improves the body’s iron absorption abilities, it treats the common cold as well as the not-so-common scurvy, and even has been shown to reduce the chances of certain types of breast and mouth cancer!

2. It has been used throughout time to treat impotency with, ehm, you’re ‘little man,’ guys. Of course, you don’t have that problem, but for future reference or maybe for a friend…

3. It can reduce your LDL, the bad cholesterol, and therefore helps with cardiovascular disease and its prevention altogether.

4. It strengthens your immune system! It’s that time of year folks, the time where everyone seems to be getting sick. Don’t be ‘everyone,’ be a healthy YOU! Eat garlic! It may sound dreadful, but eating a few cloves or even a head of garlic as soon as you feel yourself getting sick will knock any unwelcome visitors right out of your body.

5. It has antibacterial properties, and so any fungal or bacterial vaginal infections will say bye bye with a good old dose of garlic. When Crushed, minced, chopped, or broken in any way, garlic release Acillin, which is a natural antibiotic. The Acillin also helps with hair loss! Looking to regrow? Rub some freshly chopped garlic cloves over your scalp! (Tip: Mince the garlic and let it sit 15 minutes before you eat it, this lets the antibacterial enzymes become activated and therefore it is even more effective.)

6. With ample amounts of vitamin B6, garlic has been shown to help with cancer prevention of many types.

7. Enhancing the level of insulin in the blood helps the blood sugar levels stay balanced in your body, and garlic does just that!

8. With its high level of antioxidants, garlic can also help clear up your acne. Eating it is effective, but if you’re looking for a natural topical treatment, chopped garlic cloves can do the trick! (Tip: Tea bags are also high in antioxidants and can also help when applied topically. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, and can also be effective in reducing the size and redness of any zits.)

9. Apparently, it has even been shown to help in weight loss! If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, add a little garlic to your diet everyday and watch your fat stores shrink.

10. Got an eye sore of a cold sore? Apply some crushed or chopped garlic directly on it and watch it disappear!

*Don’t be fooled – garlic powder and tablets do NOT posses all of these health benefits. To get all the good things garlic has to offer, you must use fresh garlic. I know it’s more work, but it’s infinitely worth it; it even tastes better!

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a note on carrots

I’d say this is pretty close to common knowledge now, but just in case you haven’t heard yet, there’s no such thing as baby carrots. To make baby carrots, food companies buy big carrots and put them through all sorts of processes to make them look the way they do, including soaking them in (an FDA approved amount of) chlorine to clean them. It’s less chlorine than you would put in your pool, so it is safe to eat them still, but the more natural root would just be to buy your own big carrots and cut them up yourself. Not only does cutting out the middle man (probably) save some of the nutrients in your carrots, but carrots also taste fresher when you peel and cut them yourself. Just don’t forget to wash them!

US Food

So, what’s the deal with this:¬†http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/banned-ingredients-still-legal-u-132100120.html? Apparently, this list of eight ingredients have been banned in food production around the world for various reasons, including them being carcinogenic (cancer-causing), increased risk of hypothyroidism, or even nervous system disorders.

fda-chickens-contain-arsenicDo you really want these things in your food? Most of the time, they are kept in the food for vain reasons, such as speeding up the bleaching of flour, making chickens appear pinker (therefore, fresher), or increasing production in order to earn more. Yes, we all know the United States is a capitalistic country with often questionable and/of materialistic motives, but are we really so shallow as to risk the lives of millions of our citizens in order to make a few extra bucks or have our cakes be bright pink? Apparently some people are.

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Use your agency to act out against this, eat local, don’t buy pre-packaged and processed foods, and try and keep everything going into your mouth natural. Not only will this help your health, but if everyone begins localizing their lives, our Earth environment might even take a turn for the better.

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