The Health & Fitness Digest - Jan 27

Is garlic the magic immunity-boosting pill?

I usually have an arsenal of natural supplements I keep in the fridge, and which I tap into when exposed to extreme stress (e.g. fatigue, travel, sleep deprivation, flu season, etc). This strategy has allowed me to stay 100% away from pharmaceuticals for more than 4 years.

One of my “go to” supplements to boost immunity when it is suppressed or when I’m in close proximity to people with the flu is garlic capsules. Garlic is one of the strongest immune-boosting compounds known to man, and all studies conducted on garlic have revealed that the immune-boosting effects are second to none. This recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition sheds some light on why garlic is such a strong immune-booster: compounds in garlic actually activate genes related to immunity and apoptosis (pre-programmed cell death, making room for fresh new cells). If you can handle it, raw garlic is best, since heating garlic breaks down the beneficial compounds. Garlic capsules also work very well. Another option is roasted garlic, which still retains more beneficial compounds vs. sliced or crushed sautéed garlic.

How much sugar you eat affects your taste buds, you can reverse that

Having trouble giving up sugar and sweet treats? This recent research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has revealed that “changes in consumption of simple sugars influence perceived sweet taste intensity”. This means that if you consciously and dutifully avoid sugary snacks and drinks for a certain period of time (3 months in the study), your perception of “sweetness” will change: many foods wills begin to taste “too sweet”, and certain foods which you would have considered not to be sweet (e.g. coconut) will start tasting sweeter. As a result, your overall consumption of calories from sugars will start to decline. Give it a try: it will be hard for the first few weeks, but if you last the 3 months, you will be rewarded. The opposite is also true: the more sugar you consume, the more you will crave as your taste buds will adjust and will start requesting sweeter and sweeter foods/drinks to get the taste satisfaction desired.

Once again, research reveals that full-fat dairy is far superior to low fat for weight loss and metabolic disease

As previous research has shown, this new research published in the Journal of Nutrition reveals that full fat dairy (but not low fat dairy) improves signs of metabolic syndrome (waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, fasting triglycerides, and fasting glucose). I’ve talked about this in the past: if you’re keen on losing weight, keeping diabetes and other diseases at bay, then ditch the low fat dairy (in which they replace the fat with sugar) and consume regular high quality (organic) dairy from grass-fed cows.



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