Saturday, May 12, 2012

Garlic - Raw Garlic Recipes and Health Benefits


The health benefits of garlic are well documented. Millions of people eat garlic, however, most people only eat it cooked. Fewer people actually eat raw garlic, yet eating garlic raw is the way to maximise garlic's health benefits. Taking garlic supplements does not have the same potency as eating raw garlic recipes.
Garlic, of course, is rich in protein, vitamins A, B and C, and essential minerals, including iron, calcium and selenium. Garlic's medicinal role in treating illness has been described in over 1000 scientific studies, and modern research into the health benefits of garlic have shown it to be beneficial in a wide variety of conditions, including high blood pressure, the common cold, cancer, as well as bacterial and fungal infections.
The ingredient in garlic which is responsible for its healing properties is called allicin. However, it is only when garlic sustains damage that allicin is released and becomes active. So when raw garlic is cut, crushed or bruised, allicin is released. Just as with other nutrients, though, allicin is destroyed by heat and unfortunately, it breaks down quickly once released. Therefore, to get all the garlic health benefits, it is best eaten raw and immediately after being prepared.
Raw garlic recipes are easy. For many years I cooked with garlic until I realised I was missing out on its health benefits. So, I began adding garlic right at the end of the cooking process. For example, I would crush garlic onto my soup or a stir-fry after it was ladled into my bowl. Similarly, I would crush raw garlic onto buttered toast before I added my gently fried egg, fried in coconut oil, of course. Raw tomatoes on toast with rock salt, fresh basil and crushed raw garlic is delicious, much like a bruschetta. Moreover, I would make such raw garlic recipes and feed them to my kids at the first signs of a sore throat, and their sore throat would always disappear. You don't need much. Start with just a quarter of a clove crushed and build it up as you become accustomed to the taste. You can still cook with garlic for flavour. But for its health benefits, add raw garlic to your dishes.
I have advised many patients to try the simple raw garlic recipes when they have tried many other things, including antibiotics, to knock their respiratory infections on the head. The amazement of people when they experience the positive effects of eating raw garlic when suffering from such infections has led to many a convert. Their concerns over garlic breath paled into insignificance when measured against the health benefits. Besides, there are many easy and cheap ways to mask garlic breath, including eating fresh parsley and other fresh herbs, such as peppermint, spearmint, cardamom seeds and coriander leaves. You can also suck a lemon wedge sprinkled with salt. Alternatively there are flavoured mints, chewing gums, mouth washes and drinking green tea.
So go ahead! Kill off those cold and flu bugs and get the maximum garlic health benefits by eating it raw. Start today. Making raw garlic recipes is easy. No recipe books are required. Just crush it onto your lunch or dinner for optimum good health. Enjoy!
Sue Beilby is a freelance writer, Registered Nurse and hypnotherapist with more than 30 years of experience as a health care professional. As a mother of four, she also has wide child rearing experience.

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