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How can garlic help our immune system?

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Many studies have looked into the health benefits of garlic, particularly the immune system.

Read below and find out why you should consume garlic during the Coronavirus pandemic, and try the yummy immune boosting broth included in the article today!

Garlic contains allicin – a property which is released when you cut into the vegetable. This, along with the antioxidants inside the vegetable, helps to fight off infection and support the immune system which protects and fights against things like cold and flu. 

Studies show that taking aged garlic reduced the severity of cold and flu symptoms and that these symptoms also went away quicker. Their overall conclusion from this was that garlic boosted participant’s immune cell function. Another study found that garlic reduced the frequency of colds in adults but not the duration.

How much should I consume?

Two to three garlic cloves a day would be the minimum amount you could take for it to have a positive effect on your body. It is to be noted that too much garlic can cause some digestive upset in some individuals. 

The evidence suggests that raw or aged garlic is most effective in boosting the immune system and fighting off colds. 

Below are some tips to increase the health benefits of garlic when cooking: 

  • Crush or slice your garlic before eating it as this increases the allicin content 
  • Before cooking, allow the garlic to stand for a few minutes as this can help prevent the loss of its medical properties 
  • Using more garlic than normal can compensate for the effects of cooking. 

10 Minute Immune Boosting Broth

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free mellow white miso
  • 8 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and grated ginger
  • 1 scallion (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and grated horseradish root
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil OR coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar (with the “mother”)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Place the water into a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. While your water is boiling, grate the garlic, ginger, and horseradish on a Microplane grater.
  3. Place into a medium bowl along with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Once the water is steaming, add 1/2 cup of water to the bowl and whisk until the mixture is smooth and there are no visible clumps of miso.
  5. Transfer this mixture to the pot and remove it from the heat.
  6. Stir to combine and serve.

Eating right is a start, and there are other things you can do to protect you and your family from viruses. 

Isha Patel, BSc Nutrition

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