If you want a simple way to increase the disease-fighting power of your meals, be generous with your use of high-quality herbs and spices. This applies year-round, but as cold and flu season nears, you may want to consider spicing things up more than you might normally.
There is no shortage of research showing that herbs and spices are among the healthiest you can consume. And they’re a “secret weapon” that just about everyone can take advantage of, regardless of your budget.
Garlic in particular has long been hailed for its healing powers, especially against infectious diseases like cold and flu.
This is likely due to its immune boosting effects. Fresh garlic is also a potent antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal agent. But its therapeutic effects may go much further than that.
Garlic—An All-Around Health Boosting Herb
The featured article in Medical News Today contains an impressive list of garlic’s historical use as a natural medicine, and modern research to back up the wisdom of such antiquated claims. Green Med Info has also assembled a list of studies demonstrating more than 150 beneficial health effects of garlic! For example, studies show that regular consumption of (primarily raw) garlic:
May be effective against drug-resistant bacteria
Reduces risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke
Helps normalize your cholesterol and blood pressure
Protects against cancer, including brain, lung, and prostate cancer
Reduces risk of osteoarthritis
It’s thought that much of garlic’s therapeutic effect comes from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which are also what give it its characteristic smell. Other health-promoting compounds include oligosaccharides, arginine-rich proteins, selenium and flavonoids.
Research has revealed that as allicin digests in your body, it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts with dangerous free radicals faster than any other known compound.
This is one of the reasons why I named garlic as one of the top seven anti-aging foods you can consume. Garlic is also a triple threat against infections, offering antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.