One of the earliest treatments for disease and maintaining health was garlic. It has been used since the beginning of recorded history and was found in ancient Greek temples and in Egyptian pyramids. Ancient medical texts show that it was a prescribed treatment for many illnesses. Garlic was used by the working class to maintain their strength for jobs that involved heavy labour. During the first Olympic Games, athletes used it before they competed. It is naturally healthy and seniors can benefit by eating more of it.
- Prevents infections. Garlic has been shown to boost the immune system. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help to fight infections in seniors. At this time, research is being completed to show the effects of garlic on stomach ulcers which are caused by bacteria.
- Pain reliever. Because garlic is an anti-inflammatory it can help to ease chronic pain. Garlic has been shown to reduce the chemicals that cause inflammation and it also attacks free radicals.
- Helps your heart. Eating garlic can lower your cholesterol levels, which is especially helpful for those with limited mobility. It helps blood vessels to relax and expand, resulting in increased blood flow. This lowers your risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
- Nutrient dense. It provides vitamins C and B6 as well as minerals such as manganese, selenium and copper. Overall it is one of the most healthy items you can add to your diet.
Adding garlic to your meals can help to increase appetite in the elderly. It is flavourful and if you are on a salt restricted diet, this is one way to make meals less bland. National Garlic Day is on April 19th this year. Celebrate garlic by adding more to your meals or growing it in your garden. Your heart will thank you.