Posts tagged ‘Anti-cancer’

Garlic: The Stinkiest Medicine?

Versatile and delicious, garlic makes most entrees taste better: soups, salads, breads, crackers, sauces, spreads, wraps, etc.  One thing, however, is important to remember when eating garlic: make sure whoever you are sleeping with eats as much of it as you do.

In 1609, Sir John Harrington wrote in The Englishman’s Doctor:

Garlic then have power to save from death

Bear with it though it maketh unsavory breath,

And scorn not garlic like some that think

It only maketh men wink and drink and stink.

We all know the havoc garlic wreaks upon one’s breath and body odor.  This unfortunate aroma cannot be cured by a breath mint or deodorant – it literally oozes out of your pores until the culprit leaves your system.  I am here to implore you not to let this annoyance keep you from embracing garlic in your diet.  There have been more scientific studies on garlic than almost any other food you can eat (over 200 human studies and at least 800 animal studies) and the results are astounding, strong and consistent: garlic has magnificent healing powers.

Heart Troubles? Try Garlic.

  • Studies show that garlic lowers total serum cholesterol levels and increases serum HDL cholesterol levels (which protects against heart disease).
  • Garlic has been shown to lower blood pressure – specifically lowering systolic pressure by 8 mm Hg and diastolic pressure by 5 mm Hg in patients with high blood pressure.
  • Garlic helps to inhibit harmful blood clotting (aggregation) as it prevents the clumping of platelets and lowers fibrinogen – a protein involved in blood clotting and linked with heart disease.
  • Garlic promotes healthy blood circulation, specifically increasing circulation to capillaries.
  • In a 1997 study, garlic has been shown to help protect the elasticity of the aorta – which an extremely important thing to protect!  This can help prevent an aortic aneurysm.

Cancer Troubles? Try Garlic.

  • Garlic has been shown to lower the risk of cancers of the colon, stomach and esophagus.  The theory is that garlic’s sulfur compounds help to control carcinogens.  One study of 41,000 women showed that one or more servings of garlic a week was linked with a 35% decrease in risk of colon cancer.
  • Allicin and other substances in garlic have been shown to protect colon cells from succumbing to the deleterious and toxic effects of cancer-causing chemicals as well as to actually stop the growth of already existing cancer cells.

Infection Troubles? Try Garlic.

  • Garlic has been called the “Russian penicillin” due to its antibacterial qualities.  Allicin is responsible for garlic’s antimicrobial activity, and has been demonstrated to be effective against common colds, flu, stomach viruses, Candida yeast, and also powerful pathogenic microbes such as tuberculosis and botulism.

Odor Troubles? Well…

  • Taking a long and hot bath may speed up the process of excreting the odor of garlic from the body.  Chewing on parsley, mint, basil and/or thyme may also help.

Many of the benefits of garlic are lost when it is heated – the raw form is the most medicinal.  Unfortunately the same substances in garlic that cause its foul and lingering odor are the ones that are largely responsible for its healing powers.  Garlic’s so-called volatile factors are probably responsible for its therapeutic properties.  These include the sulfur-containing compounds allicin, diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, etc.

Other Beneficial Substances in Garlic:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Manganese
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin C
  • Good source of the minerals phosphorous, iron, copper, potassium, and calcium.

Although garlic does leave a rather unfortunate odor after it is eaten, it is incredibly delicious!  Here are some yummy raw recipes to help you include more healing garlic in your life:

Finally, here is a lovely short video on the benefits of eating raw garlic (complete with calming background music):

Much love to all the stinky people!


June 15, 2010 at 6:47 pm 1 comment

The Avocado (What Will It Do Next?)

Perhaps because avocados are featured in our most recent video (Sweet Velvet Torte), I felt the desire to begin Vibrant Maine’s bi-weekly blogs with an ode to this creamy fruit.  Firstly, I love avocados.  I put them in almost everything: smoothies; salads; soups; nori rolls; pudding; raw pizza, and who could possibly forget… guacamole!  The taste alone is enough to make me keep coming back, but I also love to know what the foods I ingest are doing to help my body.  To that end I have done some research and put it together for you.  Enjoy!

Good for your heart:

  • Avocados are an extremely good source of monounsaturated fatty acids, specifically oleic acid and linoleic acid, which have been demonstrated to help lower harmful LDL cholesterol and raise healthy HDL cholesterol.

Avocados are a wonderful source of vitamin E, which has several health-promoting qualities, including:

  • As an antioxidant it helps protect cell membranes from damage – and is particularly helpful in protecting the cell membranes of neurons in the brain.
  • It has been shown to decrease the risk of cancer, heart disease, strokes, and viral infections.
  • It is an important nutrient for healthy, glowing skin – helpful both topically and when ingested.

Another wonderful nutrient avocados have in abundance is potassium:

  • A healthy balance of potassium and sodium in the body is essential for maintaining health.  Too much sodium (salt) and not enough potassium can lead to high blood pressure, cancer and heart disease.
  • As potassium is an electrolyte, it can be lost in large quantities through sweat; so it is important to replenish your body’s supply of potassium after exercise or a hot day.

How to use avocados:

  • Eat them frequently!  They are great in both entrees and desserts.  Also, try this simple trick:

Cut an avocado in half and remove the pit.  With a fork, pierce the avocado several times so that there are little holes evenly spaced throughout.  Squeeze a little lemon on top, sprinkle a little salt, and then grab a spoon and enjoy!  The hard avocado skin functions as a bowl.

  • Put them on your dry skin and hair!  What could be healthier for your absorbent skin than a raw food you would gladly eat?  The vitamin E in avocados makes it a wonderful facemask and hair-soothing tool.  Mash it up and smear it on as is or find some good natural recipes.

Avocado Mask for Dry Skin (David Wolfe, Eating for Beauty):

Puree one ripe avocado with 6-7 drops of a fresh-squeezed orange.  Add one tablespoon of hemp oil.  Massage this mixture into the face and neck.  This mask has excellent effects on any part of the skin.  After application, lie down and relax.  Rinse off with lukewarm water after 20-30 minutes.”

Even squirrels love avocados…!


February 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm Leave a comment

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