I love using food as a preventative tool. We often forget food is medicine. It may not work like they tell us in school how a medicines efficacy is determined. What they don’t tell us is over time we may prevent disease by choosing good quality fresh foods…especially veggies and fruits. Garlic is one of them.
Basically, garlic contains allin and the enzyme allicinase which convers allin to the beneficial component allicin. Allicin is thought to be possibly effective in the prevention of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Two of our biggest leaders towards heart disease.
It also has an anti-thrombotic effect meaning it helps thin your blood. This can be beneficial in preventing clots. Although, beware if you are on warfarin or another anticoagulant and you begin consuming unusual for your amounts of garlic this may make your blood to thin increasing your risk for bleeding.
Just how to do you get the most out allicin benefits from your garlic? Use a garlic press and let the garlic sit 10 minutes before use. The press helps the make the allicinase a little bit more active increasing the amount of allicin. Fresh garlic typically contains 1% allin. Garlic is easy to add to many dishes. Here’s a few suggestions of dishes you can add freshly pressed garlic to.
- Scrambled eggs
- Spaghetti sauce
- Stir fry’s
- Salad dressings
Using Garlic for high cholesterol prevention: A few options have been used in clinical trials.
- One fresh garlic clove per day (approximately 4g). Remember to use your garlic press for max benefit.
- Garlic extract 600-1200mg divided into 3 doses. The studies used a 1.3% allin containing powder.
Using Garlic for high blood pressure prevention: Studies have used garlic extract 600-900mg per day.
Below is a recommended product from Pharmaca containing 1.6% allin. Please let me know if you have any questions as to whether or not you should be taking garlic supplements.
Resources: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Search allicin. Accessed 1/9/16
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