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How Garlic Can Help Protect Against Cancer and Disease

A list of natural methods of reducing cholesterol was featured in the Express. Prominent on the list was garlic. This is not surprising. Eating a clove or two of fresh garlic a day may indeed keep the doctor away. 

Garlic may improve cardiovascular health and circulation. It protects against clotting, retards plaque, improves lipids and reduces blood pressure. In addition, garlic may be effective against drug-resistant bacteria.

Garlic’s immune-boosting, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties are also well documented. Garlic is rich in manganese, calcium, phosphorus, selenium and vitamins B6 and C, so it’s beneficial for your bones as well as your thyroid.
It’s thought that much of garlic’s therapeutic effect comes from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which are also what give it its characteristic smell. Like many natural foods, garlic provides myriad benefits throughout your body. One of garlic’s most amazing properties is the ability to ward off colon cancer

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. but, like many types of cancer, it is often preventable. Garlic has been shown to kill cancer cells in laboratory studies, as well as shown promise when consumed via your diet. One study showed that women who regularly ate garlic (along with fruits and vegetables) had a 35 percent lower risk of colon cancer.

Those who consume high amounts of raw garlic also appear to have a lower risk of stomach and colorectal cancers. Furthermore, among people with inoperable forms of colorectal, liver or pancreatic cancer, taking an extract of aged garlic for six months helped to improve immune function, which suggests it may be useful for helping your immune system during times of stress or illness.

When you add raw garlic in your diet, the fresh clove must be crushed or chopped in order to stimulate the release of an enzyme called allinase, which in turn catalyzes the formation of allicin. Allicin, in turn, rapidly breaks down to form a number of different organosulfur compounds. So to "activate" garlic's medicinal properties, compress a fresh clove with a spoon prior to swallowing it, chop it finely to add to a salad or put it through your juicer to add to your vegetable juice.

Colon cancer doesn't typically develop overnight, which means you have a chance to make changes that can potentially prevent cancer from developing in the first place. Most of us actually carry around microscopic cancer cell clusters in our bodies all the time. Today can be the day you start making healthy changes to lower your risk of this potentially deadly disease. 

One of the first steps is to eat more vegetables. Vegetables contain an array of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds that are very difficult to get anywhere else — like magnesium. Also, avoid processed meats in particular and processed foods in general. Instead, consume only whole and nourishing foods that have been sustainably sourced. 

Both excessive alcohol intake and smoking are associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. When it comes to alcohol, I generally define "moderate" alcohol intake (which is allowed in the beginner phase of my nutrition plan) as a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer or 1 ounce of hard liquor, with a meal, per day. As you progress further in the nutrition plan, I do recommend eliminating all forms of alcohol. If you're a smoker, you can find tips for kicking the cigarette habit here
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