Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Your Fitness Partner says: "Don't Forget the Garlic!"

Garlic has long been considered one of the most valuable and revered herbs in history. From warding off evil to curing ailments, it has been coveted by an eclectic mix of cultural and religious groups dating as far back as the Egyptian periods before Christ and has expanded as a staple in cooking in regions across the world. Garlic is loaded with nutritional value most notably vitamins B6 and C, manganese and other minerals, and can improve the health of the heart and the circulatory system as well as kill bacteria and destroy fungus. Its benefits are endless. In fact, it is said that because Louis Pasteur deemed garlic an effective germicide, it was used during WW1 to treat and prevent infection in wounds.

So what is it about garlic that makes it so effective? There are two sulfurous compounds in garlic each possessing their own benefits. Allicin, which has both antibiotic and antifungal properties, has the most powerful medicinal value and is produced when garlic is finely minced or crushed but degrades quickly especially when cooked or microwaved. For best results it should be added to food just after it is cooked. Less powerful and volatile than allicin are diallyl sulfides which are also released when garlic is finely chopped or crushed but stand up better to cooking. Diallyl sulfides are attributed to a strong cardiovascular system, lowering "bad" cholesterol, and boosting the immune system. To reap the benefits of this compound, garlic must be eaten more often throughout the day since it breaks down quickly within the body.

A tip from The Bootcamp Express.

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