Yet Another Endorsement For Onions And Garlic
Patricia Zifferblatt | January 15, 2007

We at Better Life often call onions and garlic "smelly roses" because of their distinctive smells when they’re raw or being chopped. We also revere both onions and garlic because of what they do to enhance tastes and flavors in special recipes. And now we can again state that not only are these two vegetables flavor and taste enhancers, we can also state that they can be associated with a decrease in cases of several types of cancer.

In the November 2006 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, data from Italian and Swiss case-controlled studies has shown an inverse association between the frequency of use of allium vegetables and the risk of several common cancers--the more allium vegetables people used, the fewer cancers they developed.

What are allium vegetables? Allium refers to the perennial bulbous plants in the onion genus, which has about 1250 species and is one of the largest plant genera in the world. Some species are decorative, such as those tall purple globe-shaped flowers that look like giant purple dandelions gone to seed, but we’re more interested in the ones used in food. In addition to the many types of onions and garlic, the Allium genus includes shallots, leeks, and chives.

Down through history, both onions and garlic have been used for a variety of illnesses and conditions: upper respiratory infections, infectious diseases such as cholera, bacterial infections, coronary artery disease, and of course, warding off vampires. While many of these uses are still open to discussion among researchers, science has proven the wisdom of using allium vegetables for better health: onions and garlic contain antioxidant chemical compounds considered by many researchers to be cancer fighters.

In the above-mentioned article, Italian and Swiss researchers followed previous studies done in China, and again reconfirmed the benefits of regular consumption of both onions and garlic for their protective role against several common cancers, mainly cancers of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, and large bowel. It must be noted also that both garlic and onions were part of a healthier lifestyle of the people studied.

So next time you get a whiff of the smelly roses, stop, smell, taste, and enjoy, knowing you’re doing something good for your body. Include more onions and garlic in foods or as supplements in your daily diet. If your family complains about your garlic breath, you can use the “deodorized” garlic supplements available through quality manufacturers.
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