Cold Busters: Build Immunity With Garlic


It’s that time of year again, folks. The weather is getting colder, we are spending more time inside, and are exposed to more people and more germs. Which means more colds. Well, you do not have to succumb if you start building your immune system now–eating the right foods, getting enough sleep and exercise….you know, the usual things. In this ongoing series, I will give you some ideas on how to build your immunity BEFORE you get the cold and, if you already have one, how to get RID of it. Lots of helpful hints and great recipes, too! Let’s get started!

Garlic is a great immunity booster. It contains allicin, a chemical compound which is found to help the body fight bacteria and viruses.  Allicin is released when garlic is finely chopped or crushed. In order to derive the most benefit from garlic’s medicinal properties, it is best to eat it raw. Of course, many of us cringe at the thought of garlic’s pungent taste, not to mention odor. Here are some ideas to lessen the pain!

  • Add some crushed garlic to butter or margarine.
  • Add minced garlic to salad dressings. I often put some chopped garlic in my vinaigrette dressing
    and it adds a nice spicy punch.  Truthfully, you could probably add minced or chopped garlic to just about any salad dressing and it would enhance its flavor.
  • Make an olive oil bread dip and add finely chopped garlic.
    To make: combine 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil with 1/4 tsp. each: salt, paprika, garlic and onion powder. Add the garlic and stir.
  •  If you just can’t stomach the taste of raw garlic, try this: add the garlic right after you have cooked your dish. For example, if you are making the chicken soup above, put in the garlic at the end as it is finished cooking. This will cut down on the sharpness of the garlic without destroying the properties of the allicin.

If you are brave and eat the garlic raw, try chewing on some mint, parsley or fennel seeds (which are shown to help fight congestion, anyway) as breath fresheners.

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