National Garlic Day: Nutritionist’s Top 4 Health and Wellness Benefits of Garlic

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health and wellness benefits of garlic

Garlic… a staple in many dishes across the world. Garlic adds so much flavor and character to even the simplest of foods. Pasta too bland? Throw some garlic in it. Need the perfect flavoring for your protein of choice? Throw some garlic in it. Want to add a kick to your veggies or side dishes, or ward off vampires? Throw some garlic in it. 

While many of us can agree that garlic makes everything taste better, did you know that it also has some potent health benefits too? 

Dr. Vikki Petersen, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Chiropractor and Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, highlights the incredible health benefits of adding garlic to your diet:  

“Garlic is part of the allium family along with onions, shallots, chives, leeks and green onions. The allium family is high in beneficial sulfur compounds, giving them a unique aroma and flavor to your food. Beyond flavor (and perhaps warding off vampires!), garlic should be a daily addition to your diet because of all the health benefits it provides, including boosting immunity, decreasing the risk of cancer, reducing inflammation, reducing blood sugar, and protecting your heart,” says Dr. Petersen. 

Here are Dr. Vikki Petersen’s top 4 health and wellness benefits of garlic:

Benefit #1: Boosts your immune system and fights cancer
Garlic can help boost your immune system to help avoid and fight off viruses (like the common cold and Covid-19) and can even reduce the risk of cancer. The chemical compounds (flavonols) and sulfur compounds have known anti-viral and tumor inhibition properties.

Benefit #2: Garlic is rich in antioxidants 
Garlic is very rich in antioxidants and, therefore, lessens the effect of oxidative damage, which is tied to premature aging, DNA damage and diseases of the brain including Alzheimer’s and dementia. This is one food that promotes both good physical and mental health!

Benefit #3: Garlic has natural anti-inflammatory abilities
This is important because the degenerative diseases that many Americans are dying from, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity and more, are all driven by inflammation. Garlic acts to reduce inflammatory proteins, and as such can help ward off aches and pains in the body, fight depression and sadness, and even help combat brain fog.

Benefit #4: Garlic is low in calorie and adds incredible flavor 
Not only is garlic a low-calorie option, but it also adds delicious flavor to healthy foods you want to eat more of, including vegetables, beans and whole (gluten-free) grains. (E.g. hummus, homemade salad dressing, roasted vegetables, sauteed vegetables, and more). Want just about anything to taste better? Throw some garlic on it!

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