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7 Surprising Benefits Of Garlic (With Recipe)

7 Surprising Benefits Of Garlic (With Recipe)

Recently, I was at volleyball tournament and a friend said to me, “Did you have garlic for breakfast?” Obviously she could tell from the smell.

I told her I did. And indeed I love garlic, not without good reasons.

Garlic can make a bland dish bold and delicious.

Next time you are in the mood for pasta, try this simple and delicious dish. Simply cook your angel hair pasta according to the directions on the package. Right after you drain the water, throw pasta back into the original pan you cooked it in. Add fresh minced garlic or minced garlic from a jar, 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, and grated or shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese. Mix and eat. It will smell and taste delicious!

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There are also many surprisingly healthy benefits of eating garlic.

According to Medical Daily“The spice is a highly nutritious vegetable with very few calories, containing trace amounts of other nutrients that contribute to its universal status of a powerful, beneficial healer.”

1. Can help treat acne

Raw garlic can be used to treat blemishes. It’s a topical aid. Simply cut a garlic clove and gently rub on your pimple. “Allicin, the organic compound in garlic, has the ability to stop the damaging effects of radicals and kill bacteria.”

2. Helps us get our antioxidants

According to Huffpost Living, “Here’s a reason to crush a few garlic cloves into your next meal — garlic is a great source of antioxidants, which we know play an important role for our health. Next time you are making pasta, after you drain the water, put in a splash of olive oil and a teaspoon or so of fresh minced garlic, mix well and enjoy a flavorful dish while getting healthy antioxidants at the same time.

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3. Can help lower blood pressure

Medical Daily states that “A garlic supplement a day may keep your blood pressure at bay. Its active compounds can significantly reduce blood pressure comparable to the effects of prescribed drugs.” An added benefit of taking a supplement is you won’t  have the “garlic” breath that fresh garlic can give.

4. Can help fight off colds and flus

No one wants the flu or a nasty cold. We try different approaches, but have you ever tried garlic? Huffpost Living asserts, “The food’s antioxidants can help your immune system run well; in addition to simply eating it, you could also try steeping garlic into a tea by steeping chopped garlic in hot water. Add a bit of natural honey to soothe your throat and cut some of the intense garlic taste.”

5. Could help reduce the risk of certain cancers

According to Healthy Body Now, “Several population studies show an association between increased intake of garlic and reduced risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas, and breast cancer.” They believe to get the most benefit from garlic, you should eat it raw and crushed.

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6. A source of high nutrition but low in calories

It’s wonderful when we can find food that is high in nutrition but low in calories. According to Authority Nutrition, Garlic is low in calories and very rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and manganese. It also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients.” 

7. Can improve cholesterol levels

Many people are watching their cholesterol levels. According to Authority Nutrition, “For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplementation appears to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10-15%.”

In conclusion, garlic is inexpensive to buy, delicious in its taste, and has many healthful benefits to offer. So, next time you are at the store, pick up some garlic and add spice and betterment to you life.

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Featured photo credit: Garlic!/Jeffreyw via flickr.com

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Tomi Rues

Adjunct college teacher, notebook/journal designer, author

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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