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14 Benefits of Garlic You Never Knew

14 Benefits of Garlic You Never Knew

Garlic is one of my favorite herbs. It is known for flavoring dishes, most notably pastas and breads. Beyond cooking, garlic is incredibly good for the body and contains many health benefits, so what’s not to love? (Just remember to pop in a few mints next time you indulge in garlicky goodness.)

History

Garlic hasn’t always been viewed in a positive light. Because of its popularity in Indian and Italian cooking, many English and American people once viewed garlic as a lower class herb, and would refuse to use it. With immigration on the rise, it wasn’t always popular. Garlic may be even more well known for its role in repelling vampires. However, garlic is now widely used in many different cuisines and can be found in a myriad of dishes around the world.

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    The Benefits

    1. Colon, Stomach, and Rectal Cancer Prevention

    Garlic can improve your chances of avoiding these three types of cancer. However, be warned: garlic supplements don’t do the trick, so make sure you’re getting your garlic from the real thing.

    2. Cold Protection

    Because of its antioxidant-rich nature, garlic can arm you against colds. Even if you end up catching a cold, adding more garlic to your diet can improve your symptoms and help get the cold moving out of your system.

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    3. Regulates Blood Sugar

    Diabetics have turned to garlic to help regulate their blood sugar levels. Garlic naturally helps in the production of insulin in the body.

    4. Reduces Acne

    While it doesn’t do much good for this internally, rubbing a slice of garlic on your skin can help clear up acne. For best results, do this right before bed and wash it off in the morning.

    5. Hair Growth

    This is another external use for garlic. It has been shown to improve growth in places of hair loss on the scalp. Squeeze some garlic over your scalp, and gently massage.

    6. Tick Bite Prevention

    Scientists have found that people who regularly include garlic in their diets suffer significantly fewer tick bites than their non-garlic eating counterparts.

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    7. Treats High Blood Pressure

    People who suffer from high blood pressure may find some help in eating garlic.

    8. Psoriasis Treatment

    Due to its anti-inflammatory nature, rubbing garlic on skin that’s affected by psoriasis may reduce symptoms. If used often enough, garlic may reduce the severity and frequency of outbreaks.

    9. Tames Cold Sores

    Because of the anti-inflammatory properties mentioned above, garlic is also known to get rid of cold sores. Placing a small piece of garlic directly on a cold sore has been shown to reduce the size of the sore.

    10. Splinter Removal

    Garlic has been proven to coax splinters out easily. Cut a small piece of garlic and place it directly over a splinter, securing it with a bandage.

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    11. Soothe Toothaches

    Placing a small sliver of garlic directly on an aching tooth can help soothe the pain.

    12. Fights Allergies

    Garlic can help ease the severity of allergies, especially those that affect the airways. Garlic helps reduce inflammation of airways and soothe areas of irritation.

    13. Combats Hip Osteoarthritis

    Eating garlic, and related foods such as onions and leeks, can help reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip, and slow down its progression.

    14. Prevents Weight Gain

    Garlic can help stop weight gain by changing the way fat cells in the body are made.

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    What Amount is Enough?

    Some of the benefits of garlic involve eating it, while others require you to use the herb externally. The external uses involve very small amounts of garlic, and some, such as the treatment of psoriasis, depends on the size of the affected area. For internal uses, many recommend eating about one clove a day. Luckily, garlic is easy to include in many foods, so get creative and enjoy the benefits!

    Featured photo credit: David Goehring via photopin.com

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    Maggie Heath

    Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on May 21, 2020

    The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

    The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

    You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

    Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

    Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

    An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

    Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

    1. The Paleo Diet

    The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

    The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

    In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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    How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

    The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

    With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

    It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

    Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

    2. Whole30

    The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

    With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

    During the month you are eliminating:

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    • sugar
    • alcohol
    • legumes
    • grains
    • dairy
    • soy

    Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

    At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

    Finding Out How Food Impacts You

    Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

    With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

    This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

    3. The Mediterranean Diet

    The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

    For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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    With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

    • Fruits & vegetables
    • Whole grains
    • Legumes & nuts
    • Replacing butter with olive oil
    • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
    • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
    • Moderate amounts of red wine

    Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

    Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

    With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

    4. The Alkaline Diet

    The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

    The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

    Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

    The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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    People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

    One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

    Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

    There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

    The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

    What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

    The Big Takeaway:

    Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

    Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

    Reference

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