Pregnancy: One can also benefit from garlic during pregnancy. According to a study done by doctors in a London hospital, garlic supplementation may help weight-gain for babies that may be at risk for low birth weight. The study also found that the chance of other at-birth risk factors could be reduced, such as pre-eclampsia, which is associated with hypertension.
The list of studies involving garlic and our health could go on and on. Continuous research is being done showing the association between garlic and improved memory and learning function, as well as findings that show it can help prevent the onset of "stress-induced hyperglycemia". Recently, it has also been studied and found to help in detoxification of bodily systems, by increasing the levels of antioxidants in the body and decreasing the formation of toxic compounds.
So we see the many areas that garlic can help us, but what should we do now? Begin ingesting six cloves a day? First of all, one should never make changes to their lifestyle in regards to their health without consulting a physician first. Your doctor needs to know if you plan to begin supplementing garlic. If you are taking medication for high blood pressure or are scheduled for surgery, garlic intake can affect both of these things, due to its blood thinning and anticoagulative properties, so it is a must to consult with your physician before making any changes or additions.
Once you know it will be beneficial to you to add garlic, how should you do it? Well, most people simply like to add it to their food, but there are guidelines you should remember. One tends to reap more of garlic's benefits if it is chopped or cut. It can be added at the end of cooking, so it doesn't lose too many of its beneficial properties. Although cooking can destroy some sulfur compounds in garlic (and it is these compounds that are beneficial) it can also change the structure of some into other beneficial compounds, so you still receive the benefits of garlic, even with cooking.
Whether raw or cooked, garlic is beneficial. But some people cannot tolerate the taste or the garlic breath and therefore prefer to add garlic to their diet via supplements. So how much garlic is enough? If you are taking a supplement, ask your pharmacist or read the label. If you are adding fresh garlic to your food, start with a little at a time as too much garlic can upset your stomach if you are not used to it.
Even starting with a little can bring you health benefits. Not only will you enjoy the zing added to your food, you can enjoy knowing you're doing something good for yourself.