The other day my fiancé asked me to Google something on his phone for him. I opened up his Google and saw his most recent search ” Why is raw garlic good for you?” I giggled at the fact that he was spending part of his day researching garlic.
What sparked my interest, however, was the word “Raw”. I know garlic is good for you, and I add garlic to almost all of my dishes, but raw garlic? Was there a difference? I immediately started researching and was surprised with what I found.
In order to get the full health benefits of garlic…
…You need to eat it RAW.
Now, eating cooked garlic will still give give you some of the nutrients and vitamins, but if you really want to reap the benefits of garlic’s super powers you need to eat it R.A.W.
Let me explain…
Raw garlic contains a compound called allicin → the super hero that holds all of the healing powers found in garlic and which also gives garlic its very distinct flavor and aroma. Allicin is only released when the clove is crushed, chopped, minced, etc.
TIP: Once you crush/cut up the garlic make sure to wait 10 minutes. The oxygen will help activate the Allicin further and will ensure that you get the maximum benefits!
So you’re telling me eating an entire roasted garlic head for dinner is completely pointless? (True story; and no, I don’t recommend eating that much in one sitting. Trust me, you WILL repel vampires and probably anyone within 10 feet of you for a good week or more).
Garlic’s list of benefits seems to be never ending, but some of the the major ones include:
- Immunity support
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced inflammation
- A cancer fighting food
- Vampires and mosquitos repellent. Booyah!
Okay, so this isn’t exactly beauty related, but I am going to include this in the list because let’s face it, the flu can really takes a toll on us physically. When I’m sick, I look like someone from the Walking Dead.
It’s very important to keep yourself protected during flu and cold season. Allicin (our superhero) increases your immune system like craaazy and helps your body fight off the common cold. Think of garlic as your natural flu vaccine. One of the best ways to prevent yourself from catching the cold is to eat it daily. If you do happen to catch a cold, eating raw garlic can help shorten the duration of your sickness.
A clove a day keeps the wrinkles at bay
Allicin contains one of the most powerful antioxidant found in all natural foods. This antioxidant, in addition to vitamins and minerals, helps protect our bodies against free radicals and toxins which are known to cause premature aging, fine lines, and wrinkles.
So what if you’re sweat constantly smells like garlic? That’s a small price to pay for eternal youth. Right?!
The cure for the dreaded zit
Garlic has antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties which help kill acne causing bacteria. Using garlic topically can also help dry out your pimple (thanks to the sulphur compound found inside), and can help aid in reducing the redness and inflammation that occurs thanks to the volcano that casually popped up on your forehead right before your first date.
Always remember to dilute garlic with equal parts water to prevent burning your skin or create an equal parts garlic and honey mask!
Eating raw garlic regularly will aid in growing healthy and strong hair. In addition, rubbing garlic oil (or a clove of garlic) on your scalp will help increase blood flow to your scalp which will help with thinning hair. Garlic is also known to help tremendously with dandruff! You can find awesome DIY hair masks here.
Nothing like walking around with garlic bread head!
Oh the dreaded cold sore. If you’re someone that’s prone to getting them, then you know that an outbreak can cause you to hide and never leave your house until you’re cleared up. Here’s some good news for you….Garlic to the rescue! Rubbing a clove on a cold sore may not feel feel the best; but will help heel the sore more quickly. I’ve read reviews from people stating that garlic helped cure their cold sores overnight. I’m not sure if this is true or not, but it doesn’t hurt to try!
How much should I consume?
Scientists recommend around 2 -5 cloves a day. To avoid the dreaded garlic stink, you can divide it up and use it throughout the day. If you’re sick, however, go ahead and double up on the dosage.
I would recommend starting with one clove and working your way up. It can cause indigestion and stomach pain if you’re not used to it.
How should I eat it?
Remember to keep it raw and wait 10 minutes before eating to get the full benefits.
If you can stomach it, go ahead and pop a clove in your mouth and go to chow town. If this idea makes you want to throw up in your mouth (I don’t blame you), try chopping up the cloves and adding honey, which will help mask the taste. Try adding it to salads, salad dressings, or throwing it in soup once it’s finished cooking.
My favorite way to eat garlic is with avocado toast (duh!). I slice up a clove of garlic, layer it on top of my toasted Ezekiel bread, add mashed up avocado, season it with whatever I currently have in the pantry (usually salt, pepper, and some red pepper flakes), and top it off with a slice of tomato. YUM!