Health & Wellness

5 Reasons To Eat Raw Garlic

January 10, 2018
raw garlic, health benefits

Not only does raw garlic ward off vampires but this inexpensive superfood can dramatically improve your overall health explains, Selma Ricardo, a Mississauga nutritionist.

“It’s such an inexpensive way to fight off and prevent a whole laundry list of ailments especially during cold and flu seasons,” she says. Ricardo recommends eating one raw clove a day for preventing colds and flus and up to three raw cloves a day if you’re sick or starting to get sick.

According to Ricardo, eating raw garlic releases allicin -an active sulphur compound which is responsible for garlic’s anti-bacterial and immune-boosting powers.

raw garlic, allicin

Eating raw garlic releases allicin which Mississauga Nutritionist Selma Ricardo says has many health benefits

Maybe you’re not too keen on chomping down on raw clove but according to Ricardo making the sacrifice can help improve the following:

Boost the immune system: Garlic’s antioxidants – compounds that improve cellular function – help the body kill unwanted bacteria and keep virus’ away explains Ricardo. Garlic is also a natural decongestant which alleviates nasal congestion when you’re stuffed up. “Garlic is rich in vitamin C, enzymes and minerals all compounds that contribute to a strong immune system,” Ricardo says.  Along with eating raw cloves, the Mississauga nutritionist suggests steeping chopped garlic into your favourite tea. “You can add a bit of natural honey too which soothes the throat and can also cut some of the intense garlic taste,” she says.

Fight acne: Ricardo explains that garlic has anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties that kill and prevent the growth of bacteria on the skin. Garlic is also praised for reducing swelling and inflammation.”It can be used topically by rubbing crushed garlic on affected areas and washing it off with cold water after five minutes, or you can ingest garlic three times a day,” Ricardo says.

Lower blood pressure:  Ricardo says the allicin and sulphur content in garlic is also associated with lowering blood pressure. Some research suggests that garlic can relax muscles and dilate blood vessels which improves blood flow and decreases vascular resistance. While some reports suggest that garlic can also prevent heart attacks and strokes, Ricardo says there is not enough evidence to support this claim. “There is promising research concerning the relationship between garlic and blood pressure levels everything else is speculative.”

Experts like Selma Ricardo believe that garlic can reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.

Reduce Inflammation: Ricardo believes garlic has anti-inflammatory properties which can help with sore muscles and inflamed joints. A U.S. study identified four sulphuric compounds in garlic that helped cut inflammation significantly. “You can rub garlic oil in the affected areas for optimal results but ingesting raw garlic will also help,” she says.

Act as a hair loss treatment:  Apparently, garlic improves blood circulation in the scalp which can improve hair loss by strengthening the hair roots. Ricardo explains that sulphur is the main structural component of many amino acids like keratin, which is pretty much what hair is made of. “The stinkier the garlic the better it is for your hair because the strong stench indicates that the garlic has a higher sulphur content,” she says.  Garlic also contains other important nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium. All these ingredients contribute to hair growth. “To target specific thinning spots rub a raw clove into the affected area, wait about an hour and massage the same spots with some olive oil. Put a sleeping cap on and wash your hair in the morning.,” Ricardo says.”

garlic hair loss, thinning hair

Garlic may prevent or improve the appearance of thinning hair says, Selma Ricardo.

Selma reminds us of the importance of eating garlic raw rather than cooked. She says temperatures above 60 degrees Celsius destroy the allicin in garlic. “If you wish to add it to a meal, add it at the very end once you’ve removed whatever you’re cooking from the stove.”

What about a garlic pill instead?

We all know that garlic’s health benefits all stem from allicin and Ricardo says allicin is only released by chewing or mincing the herb. “It’s challenging to get the same allicin levels from a garlic pill,” she says.

garlic pill, garlic, blood pressure, natural remedy

Mississauga nutritionist, Selma Ricardo, says garlic pills are not as effective as consuming raw garlic.

What about bad garlic breath?

Eating raw garlic can give you bad breath for maybe up to two days.

Even if you brush your teeth after eating it, garlic compounds make their way into your lungs sabotaging your breath from there.

Selma says eating certain foods after consuming garlic will help neutralize the odour, even from your lungs. “Lettuce, apples and chewing mint leaves will help, I’ve also heard that lemon juice and green tea may also reduce your garlic breath.”

garlic breath, bad breath, remove bad breath

Eating garlic can give you bad breath. Selma Ricardo suggests eating apples and chewing on mint leaves to get rid of the stench

I have never been turned off from eating raw garlic, it love the taste and it makes a great garnish and Selma agrees. “It’s quite flavourful, and knowing that it’s improving our health is an added bonus too,” she says.

I apologize to my boyfriend in advance for all of the garlic I’m going to eat.

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  • Reply Nicole Watts January 11, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    I love the fact that it works to ward off vampires! LOL! That cracked me up! As an esthetician I will have to tell my acne clients about garlic!

  • Reply Yvonne January 11, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Love raw garlic! So many benefits to our health and wellbeing. And believe it or not, my husband doesn’t mind the smell. LOL

  • Reply Kyla Matton Osborne January 11, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    I love garlic, but I must admit I’m not a fan of eating it raw. My parents used to make a juice for their health that had tomatoes, raw garlic, and olive oil in it. The health benefits were great, but the smell was overwhelming!
    Kyla Matton Osborne recently posted…5 Basic Health Care Tips: Save Money & Improve Your Health in the New YearMy Profile

  • Reply Doreen January 11, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    I love garlic! I hardly cook without it but I tried eating a raw one, I just couldn’t. I will to just to learn to eat it because I see it can help lower my high blood pressure. Great info! Thanks for sharing

  • Reply Rhonda January 12, 2018 at 1:47 am

    I love garlic and I try to add some of it to nearly every meal. But yes, I’ve hated the bad breath after eating it. Love seeing these benefits though.

  • Reply Anissa January 12, 2018 at 2:04 am

    I knew about all of the he’s benefits except acne. I wish I was aware of this when I was a teenager!

    • Reply Anissa January 12, 2018 at 2:04 am

      I meant to say health benefits..

  • Reply Linda Kane January 17, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    I have tried garlic for Acne and it has helped. I just take a raw clove, cut it in half and apply the “open” part on certain areas like a spot treater and it helps. The only thing that is a little off-putting is the garlic smell but Its worth it, at least for me. Thanks for a very informative, witty, funny and easy-to-follow post 🙂

  • Reply Linda Kane January 17, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    I have tried garlic for Acne and it has helped. I just take a raw clove, cut it in half and apply the “open” part on certain areas like a spot treater and it helps. The only thing that is a little off-putting is the garlic smell but Its worth it, at least for me. Thanks for a very informative, witty, funny and easy-to-follow post 🙂

  • Reply Eric Gamble January 23, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Ha I love that you apologized to your boyfriend at the end. I guess I better apologize to Darcee cause i am going to make her rub garlic on my slightly thinning spot on the back of my head and then going to make her give me a scalp massage with olive oil. I can only imagine how your hands will feel coated in EVOO.
    I always knew the benefits to the cardiovascular system but I had no idea about the hair loss. Guess it makes sense. May have to move into an italian neighborhood so they dont notice the scent on me.
    Eric Gamble recently posted…A Simple Guide For The Common Travel EnthusiastMy Profile

  • Reply Ashley January 23, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    I love raw garlic!! My husband does not love that I love it! Lol I’ll be trying some of the anti bad breath ideas!… I also didn’t know about the hair loss part!… That must be why my hair is still sooooo full! 🙂 great list of benefits!!

  • Reply TheHappyFoodKitchen January 24, 2018 at 11:32 am

    I love raw garlic in a salad dressing – so much flavour. And now I know having the lettuce in there stops any bad breath yay!

  • Reply Dennis Lipinski January 24, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    I have used garlic oil for inflammation and it helps me a lot. Garlic is such an amazing spice not only does it taste great but it has so many benefits for the human body. And yes absolutely, you should eat the cloved raw. Maybe over a salad or some pasta but always raw!

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