Christopher Ranch’s California Garlic Blog

It’s no mystery that fresh garlic is one of the most popular, versatile ingredients ever. What remains relatively unknown, however, are the distinct flavor, quality and health differences associated with varying garlic varieties. Christopher Ranch, a family farm in Gilroy, Calif., grows a California heirloom garlic that is a leader in each category. All Garlic Is Not Created Equal. We’ll show you why.

Forever Young – Garlic Is Among 8 “Stay-Young Foods”

Move over Botox and facelifts.

Hello, grapefruit, almonds, avocados and garlic.

Why pay for chemicals and surgery, when there are various healthful foods and beverages that can also help prevent aging, in addition to strengthening your health, increasing your energy and improving your mood?

In the book – “Eat This, Not That! 2010: The No Diet Weight Loss Solution”, authors David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding identify eight foods – eggs, green tea, garlic, grapefruit, Greek yogurt, avocado, bell peppers and almonds – which can help accomplish all four, according to a recent article – “8 Perfect Stay-Young Foods” – on Yahoo! Health.

With the holidays – and copious amounts of food – looming ahead, I’m all ears.

So, what, exactly, makes these foods so nutritious and beneficial?

Eggs – Considered a great food for weight loss, one egg contains only 72 calories, but 6.3 grams of high-quality protein and valuable vitamins, including B12, A and E. A study in the International Journal of Obesity concluded that those on a calorie-regulated diet who are obese/overweight, can drop weight 65% quicker by substituting eggs for bagels for breakfast. Not to mention, people consuming four eggs per week had considerably reduced cholesterol levels than those consuming less than one.

Green Tea – If you’re looking to extend your lifespan, drink up. A 2006 article published in the Amercian Medical Association, which tracked more than 40,000 Japanese adults for a decade, concluded that after seven years, participants who drank five or more cups of tea daily, were “26% less likely to die of any cause, compared with those who averaged less than a cup.” Longer lives can likely be attributed to catechins, the antioxidants found in tea plant leaves, which also are believed to help reduce weight by jump-starting metabolism, according to a separate study.

Bell Peppers – Immune system looking for a boost? Bell peppers, especially the colorful red, yellow and orange peppers, can help bolster immune capabilities, enhance communication between cells, fight sun damage and lower risk of cancer in several forms, due to carotenoids, a powerful antioxidant that is responsible for the vegetable’s bright colors. Chili peppers also are equipped with carotenoids and vitamin C, as well as capsaicins, which studies suggest can battle headaches and arthritis and strengthen metabolism.

Avocados – This rich fruit plays a role in minimizing risk of heart disease, as the good fats avocados store – monounsaturated fats – can help lower cholesterol, reduce the likelihood of stroke and heart disease and decrease additional fats in your bloodstream. You don’t hear “good fat” associated with many foods, so eat up!

Garlic – Garlic is a natural medicinal healer for (what seems like) nearly all medical conditions – especially cardiovascular disease. It is allicin, the sulfur compound in garlic, which is believed responsible for its medical benefits, including its antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidant capabilities. Allicin is not present until garlic is chewed, crushed, cut, smashed, etc., but once the compound is released, fresh garlic can then begin fighting heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cancers, strokes, etc.

Almonds – What’d you say? Exactly. If you’re like me, and suffer from temporary CRS (can’t remember – insert explicative), a dose of almonds might be what the doctor ordered. Eating one ounce of almonds – or 23 nuts – daily, generates almost nine grams of oleic acid – a monounsaturated fat believed responsible for numerous health boons, including strengthened memory. Almonds also can help fight hunger, since nearly one-quarter of an almond’s calories are comprised of fiber and protein.

Grapefruit – New Year’s is right around the corner, and losing weight always seems to be the most common resolution. If this sounds familiar, start stocking up on grapefruit, as the fruit has proven powerful in weight reduction. For example, in an experiment at the California-based Scripps Clinic that observed 100 obese people, participants who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost 3.6 pounds – on average – during the 12-week trial. Many lost at least 10 pounds, while the controlled group only shed 1/2 pound. Grapefruit, according to the test results, also can enhance the body’s ability to metabolize sugar, seeing as those who consumed the fruit also experienced a drop in insulin levels.

Greek Yogurt – If overeating is a concern, Greek yogurt is likely a good idea, as its protein saturation causes the snack to appease your hunger, more like a meal. Furthermore, a single cup boasts nearly a quarter of your day’s suggested calcium intake. A plus, considering tests indicate people on calcium-heavy diets eliminate body weight more rapidly, with one study citing that those on such diets “lost 70 percent more body weight than those on a calorie-restricted diet alone.”

* Information attributed to “8 Perfect Stay-Young Foods” article

Heading to the grocery store. Checklist looks like:
1.) Eggs
2.) Green Tea
3.) California Heirloom Garlic
4.) Grapefruit
5.) Greek yogurt
6.) Avocado
7.) Bell Peppers
8.) Almonds

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