It’s very important to have a well balanced diet, focusing on many fruits and vegetables, for optimal health. Did you know that garlic, which serves as an antioxidant, has been shown to help stomach and abdominal pains and cancer, as well as lowering your blood lipids and blood pressure?
Garlic contains many sulfides, one of which is alliin. When garlic bulbs are crushed, alliin is converted into another compound known as allicin. Allicin seems to be one of the main active compounds in garlic, giving the root its health benefits.
Eating the cloves, or consuming garlic as a powder, has been shown to have health benefits; however, eating the cloves has been shown to provide the best effects. Cooking a clove of garlic or cutting it changes the amount and type of the garlic’s active compounds and because of this, some people suggest eating it raw.
Eating large amounts of garlic, especially raw, may irritate your gastrointestinal tract/stomach, causing upset stomach and gas. Using a couple of cloves in your pasta sauce, salad dressing or on garlic bread, should not be a problem or cause you distress. Noted side effects from consuming garlic include: garlic breath, body odor, gas, GI distress, and it may inhibit blood clotting.