The best valentine you can give yourself… GARLIC!
February is known as the month of love, filled with hearts and chocolate and other goodies. But February is also American Heart Month - yes your heart gets its own month to celebrate cardiovascular health and high blood pressure awareness.
No, it’s not as exciting as sharing a day with your beloved, but loving yourself enough to take care of your heart, the main thing that keeps you going, is much better than flowers and chocolate.
Since we are a huge proponent of garlic, we thought we’d share why and how adding garlic in the form of pure allicin, can help your heart and blood health.
Garlic has long been associated with numerous health benefits. From getting rid of the common cold to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Garlic contains vitamins C and B6, manganese and selenium, but it’s the chemical in garlic, allicin, which is proven to be responsible for all the positive effects.
Research has shown a reduction in blood pressure as a result of taking garlic extracts such as Allimax with 100% pure standardized allicin. Results were due to getting more of the active compounds than normally found within one or two cloves of garlic you cook with. One single capsule of Allimax is the equivalent of eating 34 cloves of garlic.
Research has also shown that allicin improves cholesterol levels, which lowers the risk of heart disease. Allicin supplements seem to reduce total and LDL cholesterol, particularly in those who have high cholesterol. Studies also point to the fact that garlic inhibits platelet aggregation and increases antioxidant status.
Since 1993, 44% of clinical trials have indicated a reduction in total cholesterol, with the most profound effect being garlic’s ability to reduce the ability of platelets to aggregate.
Researchers investigated the effects of garlic extract supplementation on the blood lipid (fat) profile of patients with high blood cholesterol. Their study was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
The study involved 23 volunteers, all with high cholesterol; 13 of them also had high blood pressure. They were divided into two groups:
- The high-cholesterol normotensive group (normal blood pressure).
- The high-cholesterol hypertensive group (high blood pressure).
They took garlic extract supplements for 4 months and were regularly checked for blood lipid parameters, as well as kidney and liver function.
At the end of the 4 months, the researchers concluded "...garlic extract supplementation improves blood lipid profile, strengthens blood antioxidant potential, and causes significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
It also leads to a decrease in the level of oxidation product (MDA) in the blood samples, which demonstrates reduced oxidation reactions in the body."
In other words, the garlic extract supplements reduced high cholesterol levels, and also blood pressure in the patients with hypertension.
On a side note, did you know according to experts, the people of ancient India thought garlic to be an aphrodisiac? The upper Indian classes avoided garlic because they despised its strong odor, but monks, widows, kids and those who had taken a vow or were fasting, could not eat garlic because of its stimulant qualities. Hmmm…
So, add some garlic to your diet. Don’t want to eat a bunch that may scare away your valentine, open a capsule of Allimax and add that to your food. Not only will you be helping to keep your heart healthy, you may just find yourself with an added spring in your step…wink, wink.