Garlic Can Help Fight Cold

On Monday, we talked about how great vitamin C is for the immune system and how it can help you get over a cold or the flu. Today, we are looking at a slightly less known home remedy: garlic. Grandmothers have been swearing by garlic for a cold for decades. But, we wanted to learn more about the science behind the claims.

Allicin, containing the sulfur that gives garlic its taste and smell, has medicinal properties that aid heart health and the immune system. The allicin is released when the garlic is crushed or chewed — which is why garlic smells more “garlicky” when it’s sliced rather than whole. Crushing it before eating will get you the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to how much allicin you’ll get. Additionally, it is most potent before the garlic is cooked. Garlic has additional antimicrobial properties that could increase its benefits but can interact with medications.

In studies, people who ate raw garlic daily for three months were 63 percent less likely to get a cold, and their colds were 70 percent shorter. However, it is unclear if garlic needs to be eaten daily for a long time to see the results. It is possible that eating raw garlic just when you have a cold wouldn’t be beneficial.  

People who have bleeding problems, have just had surgery or take blood thinners, vitamin E or ginkgo should avoid garlic. Additionally, people with blood sugar concerns should speak to their doctor before dramatically increasing the amount of garlic that they eat as it may lower blood sugar more than they would like. Some people are sensitive to garlic and experience digestive problems. While this might not be a problem you’ve noticed when ingesting it in dishes occasionally, it might become evident if you start eating it daily.  

Because allicin is found in higher quantities when the garlic is raw, we suggest adding crushed fresh garlic to homemade salad dressings. This gives you multiple benefits: it will add a lot of flavor to your dressing, an extra health boost and it incentivizes eating salad daily! We like homemade dressing more than store-bought because you know exactly what went into it and can easily avoid hidden sugar. Here is the recipe for our favorite dressing.

If you have a cold, we hope you feel well soon. If you are trying to stave one off, we hope this works for you. Winter is a rough time for health. But, with any luck, you’re having a happy and healthy winter, and this trick can help you keep feeling great!
February 19, 2020
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