With the Twilight movies, vampires are once again getting into the spotlight. A vampire film gives health writers an excuse to share the health properties of garlic, a food traditionally taboo in the vampire world. While Twilight writer Stephenie Meyer wasn’t interested in garlic, fangs, or reflections when sharing her stories to the world, people, human people, need to be aware of the benefits of the pungent bulb: garlic is good for the heart.
A study from the Emory University School of Medicine in the US relates that a compound found in garlic, diallyl sulphide, lowers the production of reactive oxygen species. These molecules are destructive forces in the cellular world.
Scientists tested the compound diallyl trisulfide on mice at risk of heart damage from blocked coronary arteries. Treatment just before blood flow was restored reduced the amount of heart tissue damaged by 61%.
Garlic, as we all know, likely can cause damage to our love life due to the harsh odor of the food. Ironically, Mother Nature doesn’t confuse biological heart health with relational heart health—or maybe she just has a twisted sense of humor? Unfortunately foods with sulfur often stink, despite having a list of health benefits. Researchers have found that garlic supports our blood pressure in a second and totally different way. The polysulfides (sulfur compounds) in garlic, once inside our red blood cells (RBCs), can be further converted by our RBCs into a gas called hydrogen sulfide (H2S). H2S helps control our blood pressure by triggering dilation of our blood vessels. When the space inside our blood vessels expands, our blood pressure gets reduced.
Okay, so we understand that garlic does many good things for the body. But so what?
Health articles are meant to give us food for thought (no pun intended). If you Google garlic, you will also find some articles that tell us that garlic might be toxic for the brain. We are then left with the thought that health experts never really know what is good for us and we should just keep eating what we normally eat.
These days, with health and wellness being trendy, it is easy to find reports about things that are supposed to lower our cholesterol, decrease blood pressure, and prevent cancer. Although we really haven’t gained much research on vampire prevention; strangely, after all these years, garlic and stakes have stuck as the universal remedy.
I propose someone create a new health publication, website, or magazine called “vampire health” and it will basically tell us what foods we should set goals to consume because the research is overwhelmingly in favor of them and we would be remiss to leave them out of our diet. Perhaps an alternative publication on health, not a publication on alternative health, is what we need. Alternative health has become so popular that the line between alternative and mainstream has become blurred. We need something more to help sort through all the knowledge that is out there. If only there was a definitive source for health (or anything for that matter). Even Consumer Reports which I used to think as the definitive source for product reviews has been masked by Yelp, CNET, and internet forums. It would be too bold to have a publication called “definitive health” because someone could find a flaw in it. But “vampire health” is a different story, because very few can find flaws in the health of vampires, which is the point of the publication—we don’t know much about vampires. Never mind that they are fictional characters, they still need guidelines to follow, such as no garlic.
Humans need guidelines too, and the hardest thing seems to be to “strongly encourage” them, to the point where people will listen and take action. Dr. Oz can do a million shows about substantial stuff, but it still is just one source of media in the mix that becomes part of the buzz. A definitive health publication probably couldn’t work in a practical world anyway, because then the medium would become too powerful and evil could result (like vampires).
I suppose what I am trying to say is that we need to take action in our health by eating foods known to be rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Oh and garlic is good for you.