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The Odor That May Save Your Life

Have you ever felt self-conscious when your breath smells because of something you ate, such as garlic?

Well if you have, do not feel bad because the benefits are worth the smell! I will never forget the negative correlation I had with garlic during my younger years. I recall being afraid to tell my mom I was getting sick because whether we were sneezing, coughing, or looking a little pale, mother would never fail to have us chew up the garlic, and soon after, clear the aftertaste with an apple. She would tell us that the properties in garlic would help prevent a cold and other sicknesses. I disliked the taste of garlic and most of all, the smell that stayed in my breath and system soon after.

I was sure mother was only fibbing and only trying to practice an old traditional herb legend, or maybe, was so terrible she would torture us. Now, that I am an adult, and have done my own research, I realize mother was not exactly wrong- neither were the ancestors that believed in properties of plant foods such as garlic. My mother was right in saying that garlic could reduce sickness.

Garlic, a member of the lily family, originated in Central Asia and is possibly the most popular herb in most cuisines around the world! Garlic can be used in a variety of soups, salads, dressings, dips, entrees and vegetable dishes giving you that unique and distinct flavor. Better yet, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, garlic may protect against many illnesses such as heart disease, and may reduce the risk of skin, colon, stomach, lung and prostate cancer. In laboratory studies, research also shows that the properties in garlic have shown the ability to slow or stop the growth of tumors in prostate, bladder, colon, and stomach tissue.

Garlic has strong antimicrobial action that fights against bacteria and viruses and it also has anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties. According to Human Nutrition Center in Beltsville and the University of Arkansas, garlic is the number one vegetable with the highest source of antioxidants. With all the aforementioned properties garlic has, and some I have failed to mention, garlic is reported to stimulate the immune system and enhance activity of white-blood cells that will destroy cancer cells!

No wonder its potency can help prevent many diseases and cancer!

Since learning all of this, I make it a custom to add garlic in all my favorite dishes, whether the garlic is fresh or powdered. I add it to soups, other veggies, legumes, sprinkle it over salads, and if I feel that I may catch a cold, I gain the courage to take a whole garlic clove and chew it up and have chaser afterward! Sure enough, what you teach your kids may stay with them long-term.

So go ahead! Enjoy some good food with garlic. Even if you do not like the smell, the benefits are worth it!

Anything mentioned in this article is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat any ailment. Before making any dietary changes or physical activity changes, consult your primary doctor.

-Elena Silva

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