Caregivers can help senior loved ones stay healthy without the risk of adding extra medications to the mix by turning to everyday foods with noted health benefits. Garlic falls within this category–although Centennial caregivers and their senior loved ones may not be aware of the surprisingly lengthy list of often overlooked health benefits associated with this aromatic bulb vegetable.
1. Treating Skin Infections
The antibacterial and antiviral properties of garlic can help with some skin infections common among seniors like ringworm and athlete’s foot. Ajoene is the chemical in garlic that’s believed to help ease such infections. Apply the juice from crushed cloves to the affected area.
2. Preventing Blood Clots
The ajoene in garlic also has anti-clotting properties that can prevent blood clots. Consuming a crushed pod daily on an empty stomach should be enough to benefit seniors susceptible to developing heart disease or suffering a stroke.
3. Controlling Blood Pressure
The allicin in garlic blocks a protein linked to spiked blood pressure in seniors. It also helps keep blood pressure in check when consumed in daily meals or as a pod of raw garlic taken on an empty stomach with a glass of water to dilute the taste.
4. Improving Heart Health
Articles slowly lose elasticity with age, which increases the risk of heart attacks for seniors. Sulfur-containing compounds in garlic can prevent blood vessels from becoming too constricted while also helping to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
5. Reducing ‘Bad’ Cholesterol Levels
LDL (bad) cholesterol levels can naturally decrease over time with a daily dose of garlic in either raw or cooked form. The allicin in garlic may also help lower triglycerides, a type of fat found in the body that’s beneficial in smaller amounts, but unhealthy when levels are higher.
6. Curbing Allergies
Diallyl sulphide and thiacremonone are a few of the key compounds in garlic that may provide relief for seniors who suffer from seasonal allergies. Garlic has been shown to help reduce the inflammation of the nasal passages that tends to make allergies especially irritating.
As a leading provider of senior care in Centennial, Home Care Assistance makes senior health and wellness a top priority. To learn more about how we can help your loved one maintain optimal wellbeing, give us a call at (303) 957-3100 and request a free in-home consultation with a dedicated Care Manager.