Garlic is a blood pressure-busting superfood (recipe included)
12/11/2020 / By Leslie Locklear / Comments
Garlic is a blood pressure-busting superfood (recipe included)

If you’re looking for a natural way to support your heart, look no further than the humble garlic.

A superfood in every sense of the word, this pungent-smelling relative of the onion is considered by many cultures across the world to be effective at preventing and treating different health conditions such as hypertension.

Garlic for heart health

According to scientists, garlic’s ability to significantly reduce your risk of developing hypertension largely stems from the presence of garlic sulfides and allicin.

Brighteon.TV

Allicin is a substance with the ability to relax the blood vessels, thereby reducing elevated blood pressure in certain individuals. One study even noted that garlic’s potency when it comes to reducing high blood in people was similar to that of first?line standard anti?hypertensive medications.

This is important because having consistently elevated blood pressure is a risk factor that has been linked to serious health issues such as heart disease, stroke, and sometimes even death.

It doesn’t stop there.

Garlic has also been shown to have other properties that can support or even promote good heart and blood health, such as reducing your cholesterol levels.

This ability, experts said, is more apparent in those with high cholesterol, noting that garlic supplements were able to reduce those individuals’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol by about 10 to 15 percent. It did not have any effect on the same individuals’ high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol levels.

Garlic was also shown to be quite effective at preventing the buildup of plaque or fat deposits in the blood vessels — a feat attributed to its capacity to reduce lipid content in the arterial membranes.

Not only that, but garlic was also found to have the ability to increase the amount of brown fat around the heart muscle, while at the same time, doing the opposite for its white counterpart.

Brown fat is a more active form of fat tissue and is known to produce energy, as well as help reduce the risk of heart calcification — a serious condition in which calcium deposits appear in the heart. White fat, on the other hand, is inactive and has actually been linked to increasing the risk for the said condition.

Aside from being effective against elevated blood pressure and other health issues related to the heart and blood circulation, other studies have also shown that this popular spice — a staple ingredient in many Mediterranean and Asian dishes — is also effective against other health problems.

For instance, garlic was found to be particularly effective at reducing the intensity and duration of colds, as well as combating infections from pathogens that cause issues such as acne and athlete’s foot, among others.

Garlic, as noted by earlier studies, is also surprisingly efficient, not just at removing lead from the body but also at addressing its side effects, such as irritability, headaches, deep tendon reflex, and systolic blood pressure.

In addition, garlic was also found to be quite impressive when it comes to supporting the body against the ravages of free radicals. This is largely due to its high levels of antioxidants. Because of this, garlic has been noted as being a potential tool against cognitive decline, brain deterioration and even certain cancers, all of which are believed to be caused by oxidative damage from free radicals in the environment. Not bad for an herb once dubbed by people as the “stinking rose.”

What’s the best way to take garlic?

Because of its profound health benefits, it’s not surprising to learn that people are keen on increasing their intake of this wonder herb, with garlic now being sold in the form of supplements formulated to give users all of its health benefits — but without its signature aroma.

For all the conveniences offered by supplements, however, taking garlic in its natural form is still the way to go — especially since a lot of its compounds are activated by actually physically mincing the actual garlic clove.

Lest you think otherwise, adding more garlic to your diet is incredibly easy since it lends itself well to different cuisines.

Bored with your usual mayonnaise? Go whip up an actual aioli with a ton of garlic and some olive oil. Thank us later. Want something light yet flavorful? Cook up an Aglio olio pasta for lunch. The choices are near-endless.

It goes without saying, however, that one must be careful not to increase his garlic intake in one fell swoop. This is because of reports in which some people experienced side effects such as headaches, dizziness, flatulence and stomach aches after eating too much garlic in one sitting.

Those who are currently taking blood-thinning medication and are planning to take garlic supplements meanwhile are advised to talk to their medical service providers before doing so since garlic is known to have a blood-thinning effect and may increase the medication’s effects.

With that said, here is a recipe that is sure to give your diet a much-needed garlicky kick:

Garlic-Olive Pasta

A light meal that’s heavy on flavor, this pasta dish — inspired by a recipe from the Bon Appetit kitchen — aside from being overflowing with heart-healthy garlic, is also is packed with antioxidant-rich parsley and olives, making it a dish that’s perfect for the health-conscious pasta lover.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. whole-grain fettuccine
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup organic extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 8 organic garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup finely chopped organic parsley
  • 1 cup pitted organic olives
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed organic red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted, grass-fed butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup organic basil leaves
  • 2 tsp. fresh organic lemon juice

Preparation:

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot according to package directions, stirring occasionally, until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot over a medium flame. Add garlic and cook, stirring and pressing down on the smashed cloves until they become golden and soft.
  3. Once the garlic is soft, add parsley and cook, stirring occasionally, until the parsley slightly darkens in color. At this point, add in the olives and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
  4. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the cooked pasta to the pot with sauce and add butter and half a cup of the pasta’s cooking liquid. Toss until each strand of pasta is coated. Remove the pan from heat and add in the basil, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  5. Taste the dish and season with salt if needed.
  6. Divide the pasta among bowls and drizzle with more oil before serving.

Every bit a superfood, garlic is overflowing with antioxidants and other phytochemicals that can help promote a healthy cardiovascular system as well as good overall health. Add it to your diet now in order to reap its potent health benefits.

Sources:

Bandolier.org.uk

VeryWellHealth.com

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

Spandidos-Publications.com

LPI.OregonState.edu

BusinessInsider.com.au

IFRJ.UPM.edu.my[PDF]

Health.ClevelandClinic.org

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