Garlic has made a name for itself by fighting off vampires. Whether or not there is any truth to that legend, garlic contains

Pictured is the garlic plant in full bloom with its delicate white flowers

Garlic Plant in Full Bloom

properties that may provide heart benefits, protection from cancer and defense against viral infection. Known as “the stinking rose” because of positive attributes that come with a pungent odor through the skin and on the breath, garlic has enormous healthful advantages and there are ways to deal with the odor.

First, garlic makes a flavorful addition when chopped and included in pasta meals, vegetable dishes, beef, poultry, fish and other food choices. Its pleasant taste is immediately noticeable and its powerful ingredients apparent. Indeed, if you’ve ever finished off a nice Italian meal that featured garlic rolls or bread, you can sometimes just feel the garlic ooze out of your blood and into the skin. Its strength may explain the powers it has to fight disease.

This strength may help keep blood vessels open. Garlic holds the promise of preventing arterial damage with age to combat hardening of the arteries that leads to heart disease. Garlic may reduce the so-called “bad” cholesterol, known as LDL cholesterol, in the blood that forms plaques in the arteries. It may also improve levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, which cleans the bloodstream of excess cholesterol, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Garlic contains allicin, a compound that may have antiviral properties. People who include garlic in their regular diets often avoid common colds or recover from colds faster than others. Garlic also provides antioxidants that fight free radicals, which cause cell damage to leads to cancer and other diseases. The ingredients in garlic may boost immunity to protect the body.

Because it tastes great and offers wonderful health benefits, how is a person supposed to enjoy garlic while worrying about bad breath or body odor? Fresh parsley may be one remedy that gets rid of the breath. Garlic recipes often include parsley, including garlic butter used to spread on garlic bread. Chewing on cardamom seeds has been known to avoid bad breath from garlic. Gargling or sipping lemon juice is another

Pictured is a partially opened pod of garlic full of medium to large size cloves

Fresh Garlic Pod with Separating Cloves

method. Of course, mouthwash and brushing and flossing your teeth after a meal also help.

Lemon juice may also work when rubbed on your hands to reduce the odor that comes from the skin. Some people preparing garlic in meals wash their hands with soap and water afterwards and rub them along stainless steel faucets or utensils. The sulfur in garlic is believed to rub off on the steel.

Got the Blues?  You Are What You Eat

Food has the amazing ability to enhance your moods. Certain foods can excite you to help with motivation. Others can provide relaxation when you need it. That’s because many foods contain substances that break down during the digestive process to affect neurotransmitters, the chemicals in

Cold water, salmon is good for your heart and good for your mood.

Salmon for a Good Mood and Heart

the brain’s network that regulate moods. As a result, your emotions and behaviors can change.

A lack of certain nutrients may cause blue moods or even depression. Researchers, for example, have found deficiencies of omega-3 fatty acids in some people with depression and mood swings, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If you’re feeling down, you might try cold-water fish, such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines or herring, which contain rich amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts and flaxseeds also have omega-3s.

Deficiencies in folic acid, a B complex vitamin, may lead to depression. A lack of folic acid lowers serotonin levels in the brain and may cause sad feelings. Eating green vegetables and fruit, which contain folic acid, may improve your moods. Low levels of selenium may result in anxiety, depression or irritability. Selenium, an antioxidant that researchers believe also fights certain cancers, can be found in whole grains, legumes, beef, poultry, fish, Brazil nuts and walnuts.

Foods can also be used to help you through your daily routine. Ever wonder why folks throughout the generations have started their morning with meat and eggs for breakfast? It’s because dairy products and meat, along with fish and poultry, are rich in protein. High-protein foods help boost energy, but protein also breaks down into amino acids to improve mental alertness. Tyrosine, an amino acid from protein, travels from the bloodstream to the brain where it helps increase levels of neurotransmitters, including dopamine and epinephrine, which lift moods to improve your

Roast turkey is an excellent source of the relaxant, tryptophan.

Turkey - A Great Midnight Snack

concentration.

Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as whole grain bread and pasta, potatoes, rice and corn, work best for moods during an evening meal or when you want to relax. Carbohydrates help release more tryptophan, an amino acid, into the brain where it converts into serotonin. An increase in serotonin levels provides you with calming effects and even improves your sleeping patterns.   If  you don’t eat carbs, you can get even more relaxing tryptophan from turkey meat.  See another Jerry Shaw article on controlling your moods naturally, this one through exercise.