Health Benefits of Garlic and Nutrition

Garlic is beneficial to good health in one way or another. Get past the odor, and a world of good can be had from a daily regimen of fresh garlic or garlic supplements. Although not all of garlic’s health benefits have been proven in the laboratory, centuries of garlic consumption – and its pronounced use in natural medicine – point to an herb with a variety of healing properties and significant nutritive value.Garlic contains healthy amino acids and high levels of the constituent alliin, an amino acid derivative said to be responsible for the herb’s health benefits. Garlic contains trace minerals copper, zinc, germanium, selenium, iron and magnesium, vitamins A and C and several beneficial sulfuric compounds known to bind to heavy metals and toxins in the liver and transport them for elimination.For thousands of years, garlic has been used in natural medicine to treat a variety of viral, bacterial and fungal infections, and to minister to wounds, tumors and intestinal parasites. It may speed up metabolism and help burn fat and is hailed as a free radical fighting agent, an immune system booster and a heart-healthy food. Legend has it that garlic was reputed as effective in fighting the plague of the Middle Ages.Garlic odorWhen ingested, the predominant enzyme in garlic, allinase, reacts with alliin to form allicin, the compound responsible for garlic’s pronounced odor and antibacterial qualities. Garlic travels through the bloodstream and lungs making perspiration, breath and skin smell pungent. Shortly after consumption, the odor of garlic may stay with the body for up to 18 hours, even when odorless garlic pills are consumed.Garlic supplements – odorless garlicGarlic supplements are said to be as beneficial to good health as eating fresh garlic cloves. They’re more likely to be tolerated by garlic-sensitive individuals and more convenient to use than raw garlic. Garlic pills minimize taste and odor and come in a variety of forms, all of which claim to be effective. The most common forms of garlic supplements include:

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o Aged garlic extracto Odorless garlic pillso Garlic oil capsuleso Allicin-stabilized pillso Encapsulated powdered garlicIt is a source of ongoing controversy which form of garlic supplement is most effective and best absorbed by the system. It is said that a daily regimen of garlic must be continued for at least one month in order to achieve noticeable results. Odorless garlic supplements are considered inferior by some nutritionists as their allicin count may be diminished.Garlic and the heartUp until recently, it was alleged that garlic and garlic supplements helped to lower serum cholesterol levels. Notwithstanding the release of findings in 2007 that clinically dispute this claim, nutritionists and dieticians continue to believe that garlic is heart healthy and can lower homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is a type of amino acid, too high levels of which have been linked to diminished heart health. Garlic is also credited for reducing harmful plaque buildup on arterial walls.Blood and garlicNew research indicates that garlic may boost circulation by increasing levels of hydrogen sulphide in the blood, which is essential to healthy cell signaling (the transmission of information among cells). Garlic’s other benefits to blood include:o The sulfur compounds in garlic may reduce fatty substances in the blood, helping to modulate blood pressure and aid in symptoms of hypertension.*o Sulfur compounds in garlic, particularly ajoene, may help to slow platelet aggregation (clumping of blood vessels) and aid normal blood clotting. Garlic can be used in the same manner as low-dose aspirin to slow or stop platelet aggregation over time.o Garlic is often used as a blood thinner to improve circulation and reduce clots.Garlic and the immune systemGarlic stimulates white blood cell activity and may help the immune system fight infection and disease. Garlic, when taken internally, is said to be effective in fighting colds and flu and in the treatment of yeast infections.* Studies indicate that garlic may enhance the liver’s production of free-radical-fighting enzymes and may be effective against some forms of penicillin-resistant bacteria.Insulin and garlicStudies indicate that garlic may have the ability to increase insulin levels in the blood and stabilize blood sugar.Antioxidant / antimicrobial / antibacterial garlicGarlic is said to have powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial qualities. The antioxidants in garlic may protect cells against free radicals and inhibit the growth of a variety of tumors. Studies also show that garlic may block the formation of toxins formed while digesting food. Allicin, the compound responsible for garlic’s odor, is the herb’s primary antibacterial agent.Garlic was studied by Louis Pasteur for its antibiotic potential in the 19th Century and used by Albert Schweitzer in Africa in the 1950s to fight cholera, typhus and dysentery. During the First World War, garlic was used to treat battle wounds in the absence of antibiotics.Cholesterol and garlicIt was once thought that garlic played an essential role in lowering serum cholesterol levels in the blood. Findings which previously confirmed garlic as a cholesterol-lowering agent were reversed by clinical studies conducted in 2007. One study, published in the February 26, 2007 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, concluded that neither garlic supplements nor fresh garlic lowered the LDL cholesterol levels of 192 men and women aged 30 to 65 over a six-month period.Garlic and sexGarlic is purported to help maintain healthy testosterone levels in men and boost the libido of both men and women.Side effects of garlicGarlic is a natural blood thinner and inhibits clotting, so those with clotting disorders should consult a physician before beginning a regimen of garlic supplements or cloves. Garlic can irritate the digestive system, cause cramping, bloating, diarrhea and gas, and should be avoided by those allergic to sulfur.

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For more information on Garlic, visit www.VitaCost.com/Garlic*Statement not evaluated by the FDAReferences1. Onions and garlic everyday will keep doctor at bay. PTI – The Press Trust of India Ltd. Nov 4, 2007 pNA.2. Crushed. Women’s Health. June 2007 v4 i5 p30.3. Heart benefits of garlic identified. GP. Oct 19, 2007 p02.4. Spice for life. Joe Weider’s Muscle & Fitness. Nov 2007 v68 i11 p218 (1).5. Independent Nurse: Clinical – The health benefits of garlic. GP. Oct 1, 2007 p18.6. Beware vampires and viruses: garlic, the germ terminator. Jennifer Garfinkel. Psychology Today. Sept-Oct 2007 v40 i5 p24 (1).7. Study shows no benefits of garlic in treating cholesterol. AORN Journal. July 2007 v86 i1 p134 (1).8. Health and anti-aging benefits of aged garlic extract. Carmia Borek. Townsend Letter: The Examiner of Alternative Medicine. July 2007 i288 p72 (6).9. New study finds garlic ineffective, but don’t give up on it yet. Environmental Nutrition. June 2007 v30 i6 p3.10. Garlic and Cardiovascular Disease. Alternative Therapies in Women’s Health. May 1, 2007 pNA.11. Natural solutions. Natural Health. March 2007 v37 i3 p94 (1).12. A brilliant bulb: say no to the common cold with a daily dose of garlic and make your taste buds happy, too. Lia Huber. Natural Health. Feb 2007 v37 i2 p37 (5).13. Garlic: bad for breath, better for cholesterol. Men’s Health Advisor. May 2007 v9 i5 p6(1).14. Garlic. Patience Paradox. Teresa G. Odle. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Ed. Jacqueline L. Longe. 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2005. 4 vols. Updated July 1, 2006.

Fish Oil – It’s Health Benefits & Risks

As the name implies, fish oil is oil that is removed from the tissues of oily fish and is often recommended as part of a healthy diet program. Many nutritionists recommend that individuals each fish at least once a week, but emphasis must be placed on the importance of avoiding fish that contain certain harmful contaminants. In avoiding predatory fish, such as sharks and others, individuals will prevent the consumption of unhealthy substances which can accumulate due to the fish’s predatory lifestyle.

The benefits of fish oil are thought to be many, including a number of experts who believe that it’s consumption can help to regulate cholesterol. This problem affects many individuals and, if left untreated, can lead to more serious complications. The liver of fish, however, may contain dangerous levels of Vitamin A.

According to the American Heart Association, daily consumption of the proper amount of fish oil can be beneficial for patients suffering from coronary heart disease. In addition, the United States National Institute of Health recommends fish oil for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Once again, the institute reiterates the fact that high levels of omega-3 fatty acid intake may increase the risk of dangerous side effects, including a stroke.

In September 2005, Louisiana State University conducted a study that resulted in findings to support a theory that fish oil may prevent the brain from developing cognitive problems that are associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. This illness, which is common among the elderly, causes an individual to gradually lose his/her memory.

Apart from consuming fish on a daily basis, fish oil is available as dietary supplements and can may be purchased at many locations. In certain cases, fish oil may require a doctor’s prescription if the product is of pharmaceutical quality. It is important that individuals read the label and/or instructions carefully before using any medication and/or dietary supplement, including fish oil. It is also equally important that individuals inform their doctor of any current health problems and/or medications for which they are currently taking.

This article is to be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as professional medical advice. The information contained herein should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, a doctor’s recommendation . Prior to beginning any treatment regimen, including one that involves the use of fish oil, an individual who develops an illness of any type should consult a licensed physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Coffee – From Coffee Beans To Coffee Grinding

So, you are the happy owner of a coffee/espresso machine. But do you really know how to get the most out of it? Here are a few handy pointers that should help you to make the perfect espresso coffee time and time again.

Tip 1 – Let Your Coffee/espresso Machine fully Heat Up

The inner workings of your coffee machine that hold water items like the boiler are classically made of metal. Allowing this equipment to heat up by turning on your coffee machine at least 10 min preceding the 1st coffee will make a more steady heat for your coffees. Also use this time to heat your coffee cups before use, use the steam nozzle in hot water mode to fill the cups. Some coffee machines have built in cup heaters that take a few minutes to warm up.

Tip 2 – Use Fresh Water

With coffee, everything has to be fresh. Empty out your coffee machine water container every day when you are making your 1st coffee. You should use filtered water and you will definitely taste the difference. Using filtered water will also lengthen the life of your coffee machine; reducing calcification and lime scale build up.

Tip 3 – Use Fresh Coffee beans

If you do not have an automatic coffee machine that has a grinder built in then you will need to buy a separate one. Every time you use your coffee machine, only ever grind enough coffee beans for that measure of coffee. This will give you a glowing creme on top of your coffee or espresso. Store your beans in the freezer until it’s to use them, this will help them to hold their flavour.

Tip 4 – Use The Correct Grind And Correct Tamping

Talk to your coffee supplier about your coffee machine and make sure that he is giving you the correct ground coffee. If possible use your own grinder to attain the most favourable fineness. Gently pack your freshly ground coffee into the filter handle, do not pack to much or press to hard or you won’t reach a decent flow rate. A excellent rule of thumb is that it should take about 25 seconds for 30ml of coffee to be poured.

Tip 5 – Experiment

There are so many variables at work with a coffee machine that you will need to make a lot of coffees to truly realize the different coffees you can make. The temperature, the beans, the grind and the flow rate will all give diverse tasting coffees. You will know you are getting it right when your coffee machine produces a thick golden creme and a sweet, rich espresso coffee.

Buying Bar Stools

The bar stool has recently become one of the most sought after commodity in homes spanning the globe. What ever the design of your homes interior, there is a wide variety of bar stool designs available in shops, warehouse sales and on the net. If you take a bit of time to do some quality research you will in all probability find a good quality bar stool to meet your needs and comply with your interior design and maybe even find a good bargain as well and maybe the most practical of this would be the swivel bar stool.

As you have more than likely guessed, swivel bar stools are just bar stools that can turn in a 360 degree rotation; this allows you to change your position to accommodate almost any scenario. You can buy standard bar stools, just like to those found at the bar in a restaurant, or more unique bar stools with intricate styles. You must to make the decision in advance what you want to look out depending on the cash available; otherwise the choice open to you could prove staggering.

Think of the practical uses for your bar stool. The kind of people you will have occupying the stools and how long will they be on the bar stool once they are in through the door. If the bar stool is going to be utilized for any serious length of time, then buying a bar stool with a back rest and arms is very advisable.

Will you be able to use additional cushions on the bar stool and if not is there adequate padding in the stool itself? If you are buying the bar stools just for decoration aspect, you can pay more attention to the style than the functionality. However, if you are going to the extra cost of buying a bar stool with class, you may as well get a decent quality stool that can be used as additional seating if necessary.

Swivel bar stools can be utilized in many environments and are an extremely flexible form of seating. Many of you who choose to have them in there homes, bars, restaurants or kitchens. This can be a really good place for your family and friends to meet in the evening or after work to talk about how there day went. Bar Stools can also be used at the breakfast counter for light refreshments. Bar stools are great for any type of socializing, and they can really make your parties go with a huge bang.

This is mainly because all your guests will be on the same level whether they are sitting or standing. To often guests that feel the need to sit down are left out from conversations taking place over their heads, and the height of these bar stools remedies that problem. Bar stools are also perfect for use on your balcony, particularly if you have a solid balcony front that blocks your view when you are sitting low down.