food

The Power of Garlic

Garlic has many medicinal properties including being an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial food. Garlic also is known to lower LDL, the bad cholesterol, prevent atherosclerosis, also known as plaque build up in arteries and it can mildly lower blood pressure by dilating or expanding blood vessels. The slogan “food is medicine” is very prevalent here. 

I learned a lot about the benefits of eating garlic from my biochemistry teacher Dr. Gowsala at Bastyr University. Ever since then I’ve eaten garlic right at the first sign of getting sick and have prevented the cold every time except once. That’s one cold in 3 years! To understand how permeable garlic really is my teacher Dr. Gowsala had a student from years before take garlic cloves and put them inside their socks overnight (I know, a little weird) and in the morning, the student said they could taste the garlic in their mouth. Garlic is easily absorbed by the body, which might be why it’s so effective at aiding in infection, virus’s and inflammation. 

You’re probably wondering how to prepare it? It’s very easy. If you’re a garlic lover pick up a bulb of garlic and use as many cloves as you want. I usually do about a half bulb. Take the cloves, whole or cut in half and bake it in olive oil and sea salt for 5 minutes or so. If garlic isn’t your thing, find ways to dilute it but still incorporate it into different dishes like homemade hummus, quinoa salads, pasta’s and vegetable stir fry’s. 

Always purchase the fresh bulb of garlic versus a container of garlic or garlic in the spice isle. The fresher the garlic the more nutrient dense, quality garlic you’ll consume.

3 Food Groups to Buy Organic

If you’re going the organic route, here’s 3 food groups I would spend the extra money on by buying organic. Going organic does cost more up front but the long term health benefits are invaluable. 

1. PRODUCE

Fruits and vegetables have penetrable skins which means not only are pesticides and herbicides coated on the outside but carried into the membranes of fruits andvegetables. Although washing the outside of your fruit may remove some of these pesticides and herbicides, the body still ingests many toxic chemicals that shouldn’t be consumed in the human diet. 

List of fruits and vegetables to buy organic: 
Apples
Berries
Grapes
Peaches
Celery
Spinach
Bell Pepper
Potatoes
Cucumbers
Lettuce

List of fruits and vegetables that are lower in pesticides and okay to buy non-organic: 
Grapefruit
Pineapple
Mangoes
Onion
Avocado
Asparagus
Eggplant
Squash
Corn 

2. DAIRY

Animals raised on organic farms are not allowed to be fed antibiotics, the bovine human growth hormone (rbGH), or other artificial drugs. Animals are also not allowed to eat genetically modified foods (GMO’s). USDA certified organic dairy products ensure that the animal lived in a healthy environment, was fed organic feed, and often eat a wide variety of foods rather than animals raised in factory farms.

3. MEAT

USDA certified organic meat means that the animals were fed with 100% chemical free grasses or grains, the animals were never given antibiotics, growth hormones or fed other animal byproduct and the animals were given access to an outdoor environment. Another big reason to buy organic meat is that cloned meat is currently out on the market and the only way to know that you're not eating meat that was cloned is to buy organic. Cloning is a relatively new concept in food science and scientist don't know what the true health risks are so don't take the risk in eating meat that has been cloned! Always be a smart shopper and know that meat labeled as 100% “natural” does not mean it’s organic.