Garlic Consumption a Key to Longevity?
To me garlic is not stinky and pungent. To me garlic is aromatic and a strong healer. I eat tons of garlic! I try to eat it everyday and I try to consume it mostly raw. Everytime I unwrap a clove of garlic I remember a story my mom told me about my Great Great Aunt and her long life with garlic. This woman consumed several cloves of garlic a day, apparently the smell of garlic would seep through her pores and be on her breath. She was stinky but she lived into her 90's healthy and doctor free. I am sure that her garlic consumption gave her the longevity that we would all love. This is not new news of course...several books have been written about garlic and it is sometimes referred to as "the stinking rose".
The source of the stench and bite of garlic is exactly what makes it so good for us - sulfer compounds. Garlic is in the Allicin family along with leeks and onions. Scientists are very interested in Allicin in regards to cardiovascular health, cancer, and bacterial issues. Garlic is excellent for the cardiovascular system and our blood as well as being very powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. The reason books have been written on garlic alone is no mystery. I was very happy to find a lot of info about garlic as a cancer fighter. It is truly stunning how much garlic can shave down the chance of getting cancer. I am taking the following stats from a study of Southern European populations (Galeone C, Pelucchi C et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition):
Study participants consuming the most garlic had a 39% reduced risk for cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, 57% reduced risk for esophageal cancer, 26% reduced risk for colorectal cancer, 44% reduced risk for laryngeal cancer, 10% reduced risk for breast cancer, 22% reduced risk for ovarian cancer, 19% reduced risk for prostate cancer, and 31% reduced risk for renal cell cancer, compared to those eating the least garlic. Similarly, those eating the most onions showed an 84% reduced risk for cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, 88% reduced risk for esophageal cancer, 56% reduced risk for colorectal cancer, 83% reduced risk for laryngeal cancer, 25% reduced risk for breast cancer, 73% reduced risk for ovarian cancer, 71% reduced risk for prostate cancer, and 38% reduced risk for renal cell cancer, compared to those eating the least onions.
Eating garlic raw is the best way to get the benefits. Some people may be sensitive to this so make sure to check with your doctor before starting daily consumption. I put raw garlic in anything you can think of or sometimes just pop a clove in my mouth and eat it!