11 Simple Steps for a Healthier & Happier ’11: Step 7

1/7/11: GARLIC

Nature’s tasty medicine

Many people think of winter as “cold and flu season,” but it doesn’t have to be.  With a few key medicinal foods on hand, you can easily avoid most bugs, and feel confident that you know how to shorten their duration if you do catch one.  Garlic, a member of the allium family, is one of those foods. And since my computer does not (yet) transmit scents across the world wide web, I can safely sing garlic’s praises while chomping on a clove.

Yes, it may give you that less-than-desirable smelling breath, but isn’t that a small price to pay for staying healthy?  Think of the strength of that aroma as equivalent to the potency of the medicine, because this is an impressive list.


  • is anti-bacterial (including bacteria which have become antibiotic-resistant!)
  • is anti-viral,
  • is anti-fungal,
  • is anti-inflammatory,
  • may help improve iron metabolism,
  • is a good source of manganese, selenium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6,
  • supports heart health by lowering triglycerides and total cholesterol,
  • keeps blood pressure in check, and
  • may help reduce the formation of fat cells.

Craving garlic bread, yet?  You can even increase the health benefits from garlic by letting it sit (5-10 minutes) after you’ve chopped it or crushed it, and by eating it raw or only slightly cooked.

Here are some ideas to help increase your garlic consumption, use it as medicine and even grow your own stash.


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