To improve your chances of avoiding or surviving Covid-19, it’s important to strengthen your immune system as well as reducing or eliminating any pre-existing conditions you may have.  One of the best foods you can eat to help you do that is garlic.

Garlic is in the Allium family, along with onions, scallions, chives, leeks and shallots.  When you crush or chop garlic, it releases beneficial sulfur compounds like allicin, and it has been used throughout the world for centuries to prevent and treat a wide range of conditions and diseases.  It is probably the most widely researched medicinal plant and studies have confirmed many of the health benefits it offers, including:

Lower blood pressure.  A meta-analysis including 20 clinical trials has shown that garlic produces significant reductions in blood pressure in people with hypertension.  The sulfur-containing compounds in garlic help relax the blood vessels, which seems to be an important factor in reducing blood pressure and improving overall heart health.

Protection from cancer.  Many of the compounds in garlic have anticancer properties.  They have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors and slow the growth rate of cancer cells, as well as helping to kill cancer cells.

Immune support.  The allicin in garlic helps boost the immune system.  Regular consumption of garlic has been shown to reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms as well as the length of time those symptoms last.

Antibiotic and antimicrobial.  Allicin can kill bacteria, fungus as well as viruses including cold and flu.  It has even been shown to reduce the growth of bacteria in raw meat like hamburger.

Brain health.  The antioxidants in garlic help protect against cell damage and aging, thereby reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.  Garlic is also a prebiotic which feeds the good bacteria in the gut.  Gut health is directly connected to the immune system as well as brain function.

Bone health.  Garlic increases estrogen in women and helps prevent osteoarthritis, which is the breakdown of joint cartilage and bone.

Flavor.  A key component of healthy cooking is flavor, and fresh garlic improves the taste of many foods, from vegetables to dressings, sauces, meats, pasta, and grains.  Please note that the health benefits are highest in raw garlic, so when you can’t serve it raw like in salad dressings, add it near the end of the cooking process if possible.

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