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10 Spices, Spreads and Oils for Your Healthy Kitchen


Unless you've got fangs and an unrelenting hankering for human blood, it's not a bad idea to try adding more garlic to your diet. Many people shy away from this stinky herb out of fear of persistent bad breath, but the health benefits of eating garlic far outweigh the odorous oral consequences. (Just remember to buy breath mints whenever you pick up any garlic cloves at the market.)

So what are these benefits? Garlic is a natural anti-clotting agent, and it can also lower blood pressure and cholesterol. This, in turn, can reduce the chance of having a stroke or developing heart disease. Garlic also has antibacterial properties. In fact, garlic juice has slowed the growth of several microorganisms in lab tests [source: Rinzler]. Perhaps most amazingly, garlic has the power to prevent cancer cells from growing, and people who frequently eat it are less likely to develop colon and stomach cancers [source: Hepfer]. This pungent herb even works as an ironic antiflatulent.

Best of all, adding a bit of garlic to your diet is easy. It makes an excellent accent to just about any salad or pasta, and you can even sprinkle a bit of crushed garlic into some ground beef for a savory hamburger.