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SUPERFOODS - The Many Health Benefits of Garlic For Your Voice & General Health
Garlic is good for your voice? YES.
Allium sativum, commonly known as
, is the bulb of a plant in the lily family and a species in the onion genus, Allium.
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According to historians, garlic was once considered an aphrodisiac in India -- despite the foul odor.[/caption]
For centuries, garlic has been considered a superfood and put to use as a potent organic remedy for everything from preventing cancer to reducing blood pressure and fungal infections. Ancient Egyptians even used it as currency.
When consumed on a daily basis (in the recommended daily amounts), this ultra-flavorful member of the onion family can help keep your voice and body healthy enough to fight everything from the common cold to vampires...so the legend tells says.
Garlic is packed full of vital nutrients, vitamins, and minerals - in fact, it is one of the most well-rounded superfoods on the planet - so we picked out our favorite health benefits of garlic to help keep your body and
1. Immune Booster
One clove contains 5 mg of calcium, 2 mg of potassium, and more than 100 sulfuric compounds powerful enough to eliminate bacteria and infection. A single 1 oz. serving of garlic yields 23% of the recommended daily amount of manganese, 17% of vitamin B6, 15% of vitamin C, and 6% of the recommended daily amount of selenium (essential for immune health).
Garlic can not only help prevent a cold, but also decrease the length of your cold. According to a 2001
, the average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%.
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Garlic is most beneficial when consumed in raw form. Heat from cooking can inactivate the sulfur enzymes that help fight bacteria.[/caption]
2. Antioxidant Power
The antioxidant properties of hail from the compounds allyl cysteine, alliin, allicin, and allyl disulfide. In addition to these free-radical fighting compounds, g
arlic is loaded with vitamin C and selenium. Selenium nutrition is important for good antioxidant protection.
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The recommended dosage of garlic from Drugs.com: 2 to 5 g of fresh raw garlic; 0.4 to 1.2 g of dried garlic powder; 2 to 5 mg garlic oil; 300 to 1,000 mg of garlic extract. The recommendations for allicin and alliin consumption are 4 to 12 mg of alliin or approximately 2 to 5 mg of allicin.[/caption]
3. Antibacterial & Antiviral Properties
Garlic has been studied extensively for its application to treat bacterial and viral infections, particularly upper respiratory tract infections that can attack wreak havoc on your voice.
When garlic is chopped or crushed it releases the enzyme alliinase, which then converts to allicin, a compound that not only gives garlic its pungent odor but antibacterial and antiviral properties. Garlic's ability to help fight bacteria and infection can also help keep you from getting voice-harming bacterial or viral infections. It may sound disgusting, but sucking on a clove of raw garlic is one way to kill bacteria in your mouth and keep your voice healthy!
4. Treat Athlete's Foot
Why are we talking about athlete's foot on a voice blog?
Well, if you work at a music venue you may have noticed that packs of new socks are often on a touring band's rider. Why? Laundry can be an impossible task while on the road and after sweating profusely on stage for hours, sharing venue showers, and walking around rarely-cleaned venues, musicians can be just as susceptible to athlete's foot as athletes hitting the gym every day (sometimes more).
So if you find yourself getting funky "musician's foot", garlic can be an effective, cheap, and easy-to-find remedy to kill the fungal infection. Just rub raw garlic on the infected area just as you would a topical cream. We recommend applying the garlic outside, however - since your band-mates may not be keen on rubbing raw garlic on yourself on the tour bus.
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Garlic's antimicrobial properties come from its compound, ajoene, which has been found to be effective in fighting off the fungus that causes athlete’s foot.[/caption]
5. Heart Health & Blood Pressure Control
Garlic's allicin compound aids in lowering blood pressure by inhibiting the activity of the protein angiotensin II, which is responsible for increasing blood pressure.
In regards to the heart, garlic has an abundance of benefits. The bulb's antioxidant properties help fight off cell-damaging free radicals, garlic's sulphur compounds can also help prevent atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries), and the compound ajoene can help prevent clotting. Garlic can also aid in maintaining your arteries' elasticity - making it easier on the heart and arteries to do their job getting blood to the body.
Maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system should be on everyone's agenda, but for those of us in high-stress occupations, keeping your blood pressure maintained can not only help your body get through a rigorous work schedule, but ward off serious health problems.
Consult with a physician before introducing garlic, or any foods or supplements, into your diet. Do not exceed the recommended daily amount or doctor-recommended dosage.
6. Allergy Relief
Garlic is high in quercetin, an antioxidant that helps prevent cells from releasing histamine.
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Garlic's effects on allergies are due primarily to garlic's ability to inhibit the activity of certain enzymes which generate inflammatory prostaglandins and thromboxanes.[/caption]
Conclusion: Garlic is pretty much the ultimate culinary superfood. It tastes great, but for those of us who use our voices professionally, it can also help fight upper respiratory infections, kill bacteria, treat "musician's foot", fight off the common cold, and boost the immune system.
More tips for your vocal health at
Thu, May 14, 2015 @ 9:34 AM MDT
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