Had I not tried it I never would have believed it could work. In fact, if someone had suggested the idea to me I would have laughed, dismissing them as some kind of nut, hippie or new age "tree hugger." ME? What could this possibly do for me? I am healthy, big, strong and young. I am invincible. Or so I thought.
The problem, you see, is that from time I would get annoying colds or sinus infections. The fact that I was developing these infections made one thing clear: I was not as strong as I supposed. These maladies were not devastating but they did decrease the quality of my workouts and therefore limit the amount of intensity that I could exert in the gym.
Less intensity equals less muscle growth. So, it was clear that these biological disturbances were more than annoying; they were robbing me of potential gains. In other words, I was not getting as big as I could; I was not reaching my potential.
So when someone had suggested the "radical" idea to me and told me of the benefits they had experienced I decided to some research, and what I learned was surprising.
What exactly am I talking about? What could work so well and yet be so inexpensive? I am talking about garlic in general and two special recipes in particular. Three things are great about these recipes: cost, effectiveness and they are really easy to make. The recipes are below.
Magic Garlic Soup
4 cups water
1 large clove garlic
1 pkg Chicken noodle soup
Put 4 cups of spring water in a soup pot. Add one large clove of garlic cut into six sections. Put the lid on the pot and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling add 1 package of chicken noodle soup mix [preferably salt free]. Turn the stove burner down to simmer. Simmer with lid on for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand with lid off for five minutes before serving.
Another recipe that I find tastes very good and that also has immune system boosting properties is Garlicky roasted vegetables. The recipe is below:
Garlicky Roasted Vegetables
6 carrots, peeled and quartered
6 parsnips, peeled and quartered
6 shallots, peeled and halved
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into 6-8 wedges
1 large garlic bulb, broken into cloves and peeled
1 tbs dried rosemary, or 3 tbs fresh, chopped
1 tbs dried thyme, or 3 tbs fresh
4 tbs olive oil
Oven: Preheat oven to 400?F. Combine all the vegetables in roasting pan, drizzle with oil and stir to coat. Roast for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Great with meat, chicken and fish.
BBQ: Turn barbeque to medium. Combine all the vegetables into a tinfoil bag, drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat. Roast for about 30 minutes or until tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Great with meat, chicken and fish.
I enjoy this recipe because it tastes very good when done on the BBQ. The garlic provides good immune system boosting ingredients, and the olive oil is a great source of healthy fats, which serve to stimulate testosterone production. The spices of thyme and rosemary offset the smell of the garlic, which also goes a long way to reducing "garlic breath."
Although I am not going to go in depth into the science behind garlics immune system boosting properties, garlic is well known as a natural antibiotic. In fact, it can help lower bad cholesterol and its antioxidants may help prevent plaque deposits and partially restore arties to health (Carper, 1997).
Another thing to consider is this: In petri dishes during experiments garlic was shown to destroy cancer cells!
Its abilities at promoting health are so great that for those unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with tumorous lesions, a diet high in garlic and other antioxidants is recommended by physicians.
Now of course, this does not suggest that the internal environment of the human organism is similar to that of a petri dish or that garlic can kill cancer cells in the body; it is only to suggest that garlic, aside from its flavoring abilities, does possess some powerful abilities when it comes to fending off diseases and viruses. This alone should make it worthy of any serious bodybuilders attention.
I find these recipes especially helpful in the wintertime. When supplementing with glutamine powder and garlic I find that the sinus infections and colds to which I am constantly prone very rarely rear their ugly heads. It is true, however, that these are not the only recipes that you may use to boost your immune system.
In the wintertime it is also good to increase the amount of good fats that you ingest, so as to provide an additional buffer against colds and viruses floating around in the air. When viruses and illness abound you must ensure that your body is not lacking anything that could help it mount a defense against such bugs.
For this reason in the winter I always eat plenty of italian foods, high in good fats, carbohydrates and garlic. It should be noted that garlic powder would not yield the same results. Real fresh garlic must be used in these recipes and in other recipes calling for garlic.
A lot of people believe that by eating large amounts of garlic they will begin to smell like garlic. They believe this because it is commonly held that the garlic can somehow go through someone's skin pores. In response to that I say this: Reverse osmosis is an impossible phenomenon and garlic will not come through your skin. It can't. It's impossible. So don't worry.
In fact, bodybuilders take in excessive amounts of protein and this can lead to flatulence resulting from protein breakdown in the gut. Farting is not very popular with significant others, so eating garlic will assist in reducing the amount of flatulence that occurs. This makes eating garlic a win-win situation. On the one hand it boosts the immune system, and on the other it may even help you get a little closer a little more often to your significant other because you wont be farting like a blast furnace!
I am not suggesting that you become as fanatical about garlic as the Garlic Guru Tom Reed, but I do suggest that incorporating garlic into your dietary regimen may help prevent annoying colds and illness, which may result from intense exercise.
Doing this, you may avoid having to take unnecessary time off from the gym, and the sessions that you do have you can focus on exerting maximum intensity rather than focusing on whatever illness your currently fighting.
ReferencesCarper, J. (1997). Miracle Cures. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
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