How Garlic Can Save Your Life
Do you suffer from high blood pressure?
Then it’s time to start falling in love with garlic!
With a long history of use spanning thousands of years, garlic has been a staple food in many parts of the world. In many cultures, garlic is simply a must-have on the dining table, but this ancient food is more than just a condiment – its healing properties could save your life. In honor of
World Hypertension Day on 17th May, we explore garlic’s powerful health benefits.
Inaugurated in May 2005, World Hypertension Day aims to make the public aware of this silent killer, and works on preventing and controlling it. This year, the theme is “Know Your Numbers” and The International Society of Hypertension has set a challenge to screen over one million adults, encouraging all nations to achieve this target by contributing data between 17-24 May.
What’s the Big Deal?
Hypertension (blood pressure) is a serious condition. Left unchecked, it can damage your blood vessels, your heart, and your brain, increasing your risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease and stroke. However, the good news is that small changes to your diet, such as including garlic for example, can have a positive impact on your health and reduce your risk of hypertension and its associated conditions.
In a study published in 2013, scientists discovered that garlic extracts effectively lower total cholesterol levels. It also improves the blood’s antioxidant status, if taken for longer than 2 months. A total of 23 volunteers participated in the study, 13 of which were evaluated as hypertensive. After supplementing their diets with garlic, the hypertensive group’s systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels were significantly lowered.
The researchers concluded that “Garlic extract supplementation improves blood lipid profile, strengthens blood antioxidant potential, and causes significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures. It also leads to a decrease in the level of oxidation product (MDA) in the blood samples, which demonstrates reduced oxidation reactions in the body.”
But maybe you’re not a huge fan of garlic? Here are some recipes to help ease it into your heart!
Add Garlic Oil to Your Salad
The antioxidants in garlic makes it a nutritious and flavorsome ingredient to add to your food. Garlic infused oil is an easy way of including this healthy ingredient in your diet. Better yet, making garlic oil is simple!
- Finely chop as many or as few garlic cloves as you like, depending how strong you want the flavor to be.
- Heat up the chopped cloves in the oil of your choice, until it becomes translucent and opaque.
- Allow to cool and place in a glass jar or bottle.
- You can store the garlic infused oil for up to two weeks and use it everyday.
Make a Hearty Chicken Soup
- Preparation Time: 10 minutes
- Cooking Time: 1 hour
- Serving Size: 6
- 1 1/2 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil.
- 2 chicken thighs
- 2 chicken drumsticks
- 1 medium-hot red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 6 ounces yellow split peas, rinsed
- 2 ½ cups chicken stock
- 1/2 can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- To garnish:Roughly chopped fresh coriander
For more about hypertension (blood pressure) look at Health and Life magazine’s
September 2015 issue
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Season the chicken thighs and drumsticks and brown them on all sides. Once browned, transfer them to a bowl.
- Turn down the heat and add the chili, ginger, and garlic to the pan. Stir occasionally and cook until softened.
- Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander and the split peas and return the chicken to the pan.
- Add the stock and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes until the split peas are tender and the chicken is separating from the bone.
- Remove the chicken pieces and shred the meat (throw away the skins and bones).
- Add the chicken and the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
- Season to taste with lemon juice and salt.
- Serve in warm bowls sprinkled with coriander.
- 1/4 cup un-popped popcorn
- 1/4 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of salt
- Place the popcorn into a brown paper lunch bag (the kernels should cover the bottom of the bag in one layer).
- Drizzle the oil and salt over the kernels. Fold the top of the bag over twice and place it upright in the microwave.
- Cook at 100% power for 2 minutes (microwave power levels may vary; popcorn is ready when the pops are about 5 seconds apart).
- Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and add the parmesan, garlic powder and salt; toss until the popcorn is evenly coated.
- Best served immediate.
- Makes around 7½ cups of popcorn.