Who Knew Garlic Had This Effect?

Eat garlic as a regular part of your diet, and it may help prevent prostate and other cancers. Not only does it give food a special zing, but also garlic seems to have broad anti-cancer effects throughout our bodies, according to new research from the National Cancer Institute.

Numerous studies in the laboratory involving cells and animals, as well as studies examining large human populations, have confirmed garlic's cancer-fighting powers, reports MSNBC. And it doesn't take much to do the trick. Less than a clove of garlic every day is enough to cut a man's risk of prostate cancer in half, when compared to men who eat no garlic. And that's not all. Garlic has also been shown to prevent cancers of the colon, stomach, and possibly breast.

Which just leaves this question: Is it better to consume garlic with food or as a pill supplement? That is currently being studied and the early results point to food. It seems whole garlic offers the best protection. Since very little garlic is needed for maximum benefit--as little as four to five cloves a week will suffice--researchers think adding a bit of garlic to your vegetable stir-fry or tucked in the roasted chicken may be better than popping a pill.

Cool Trick: When garlic is cooked, it can lose many of it's cancer-fighting enzymes. But you don't have to eat it raw to reap all the health benefits. Instead, do this: Peel and crush the garlic in a garlic press. Let the garlic rest for 15 minutes. Then cook it.

Can't stand garlic? There's good news! Onions also fight cancer in much the same way as garlic. MSNBC reports: "Studies have shown that while garlic, onions, scallions, and leeks contain slightly different compounds, the substances that block cancer-promoting enzymes, promote DNA repair and regulate the cell life cycle are found in all these foods."

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