The Benefits of Garlic and Having Smelly Breath

One of the most commonly used spices, garlic is known for its immense health benefits.  It is identified for its pungent smell and distinct flavor.  Throughout history, benefits of garlic have been used for both medical and cooking purposes. Garlic is a species of the onion family, and has a sulphur bearing compound known by the name of Allicin, which gives most of the medicinal qualities to this super food. 

Health Benefits of Garlic

Why is Garlic Good for You?

  •  Helps Reduce the Risk of Heart Attacks and Stroke – Garlic helps to increase our HDL (good) cholesterol levels and prevents LDL (bad) cholesterol from building up on arterial walls. This reduces the chances of plaque forming in our arteries. It has also been discovered to lower cholesterol by as much as 9% in people who eat 2 cloves of garlic per day.

One of the benefits of garlic is that it protects the aorta which is the heart blood vessel that maintains blood pressure. A poor diet, age and environmental factors such as smoking can damage the aorta, causing it to stiffen. Garlic keeps the aorta flexible so it functions properly. Two or three cloves of garlic a day cut the risk of subsequent heart attacks in half, in heart patients.

  • Helps Prevent Cancer – From years of various researches, garlic has proven to have the ability to reduce the formation of cancerous cells.  Garlic is shown to actually block cancer causing compounds forming, and slow the growth of tumors, even reducing the tumor size by half. It is especially helpful in blocking oesophagal, stomach, prostate, bladder and breast cancer.

The ten best groups of anti-cancer foods include: citrus fruits and berries, vegetables, garlic and onions, green tea, omega 3 essential fatty acids, olive oil, tomatoes, soy products, red wine and dark chocolate.

  • Boosts the Immune System and Prevents Colds – It is no surprise that the presence of so many antioxidants in garlic boosts the immune system in general and can therefore protect the body from most kinds of fungi, bacterial and viral attacks. Garlic is rich in Vitamin C, B6 and the minerals selenium and manganese, all of which are associated with immune system boosting as well as other benefits.

At the first sign of a cold, chop up 4 cloves of raw garlic and eat it as is, or use it as a garnish in soups. To clear sinuses, melt some butter and add minced garlic cloves, and then spread on toast.

Other Benefits of Garlic 

Garlic helps with the digestive system in that it aids in the elimination of noxious waste matter from the human body and stimulates peristaltic action and the secretion of the digestive juices. Crushed garlic cloves can be mixed in either water or milk and taken for all types of disorders of the digestive system

If you have an ear infection, wrap a small piece of garlic in tissue, and insert it in the ear, leaving it throughout the night if possible. The pain is almost immediately removed and the infection tends to start clearing up overnight.

Some History Facts

  • Builders of the ancient pyramids were said to eat garlic daily for improved endurance and strength.
  • Roman emperors couldn’t eat enough of garlic, as it was considered as an antidote to potential poison attacks which were very popular at the time.
  •  Europeans once considered garlic as a powerful ward against demons, werewolves and vampires. To protect themselves from these demons, garlic was hanged on windows, door key holes and even on themselves.

Disadvantages of Garlic

It is well known that by eating garlic, a very distinct odor is noticeable.  To neutralize the garlic smell from your breath can be quite tricky. Even if you clean your mouth thoroughly, the sulfuric compounds from the garlic will still be exhaled from your lungs, still making your breath smell of garlic for some time.

However there are a few ways to help with garlic breath:

  1. Try chewing parsley after eating garlic. You may have noticed that many recipes that include garlic also include parsley, as it neutralizes the odors of garlic
  2.  Use cardamom, mint or anise seeds are similar to parsley in that they help neutralize or mask the garlic odor.
  3. Drink lots of tea, especially green tea and peppermint tea, as they contain polyphenols that reduce the volatile sulfur compounds that the garlic produces.

Garlic Side Effects

Garlic can cause a number of side effects, Due to the fact that garlic causes anti-clotting and blood thinning, it can pose a risk to those on anti-coagulant drugs. People who are about to have surgery and also women who are expecting to deliver, should also avoid garlic consumption.

Diabetics should also take caution as garlic can cause the lowering of blood sugar levels. Garlic can also cause heart burns and stomach irritations

It is always best to consult your physician if you are going to use garlic in your daily diet.

How to 'Choose' and 'Use' Your Garlic

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Great Garlic Recipes

Spicy Garlic Shrimp


12 shrimp (Jumbo sized, peeled, deveined, & tails intact)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves (crushed with the side of a knife)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon steak seasoning

1 teaspoon lemon, zest of

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)


1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.

2. Add olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and shrimp.

3. Season with grill seasoning or salt & pepper.

4. Cook shrimp 3 minutes or until just pink.

5. Toss with lemon zest, juice, & chopped parsley.

6. Remove shrimp to a serving platter, leaving the garlic cloves in the pan.

Servings:  2

Approx. calories 150 per serving

Oven-Fried Garlic Chicken


2/3 cup breadcrumbs

2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

5 tablespoons butter or 5 tablespoons margarine

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 lbs chicken, cut up


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a shallow bowl, blend together bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.

3. In a small saucepan, heat butter and garlic over very low heat until butter melts.

4. Remove from heat.

5. Brush chicken pieces with garlic butter, then roll in bread crumb mixture to coat.

6. Place chicken skin side up on a large foil-lined baking sheet.

7. Mix together any remaining crumb mixture and butter and sprinkle over chicken.

8. Place in oven and bake 1 hour.

Servings:  4

Approx. calories 1000 per serving