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Using Herbs and Spices

garlic and rosemary
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Alison Miksch

Garlic has earned fame as a powerful health helper. It's rich in organosulfur compounds with high levels of antioxidant activity and releases the antibiotic allicin when chopped or crushed. British researchers recently reviewed all clinical trials published since 1993 on garlic's effects on cardiovascular disease and concluded that, despite some mixed findings, science suggests that garlic reduces cholesterol and thins the blood, lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke; and increases levels of disease-fighting antioxidants in the body. Research also suggests that garlic may help fight cancer. According to a study from Annamalai University in India, it's especially powerful when combined with the chemicals in tomatoes.

Spice Up Your Diet

Sprinkle chopped or crushed garlic on pizza; add it to salsas, sauces, and marinades; or roast whole cloves and spread on a crusty loaf of bread instead of butter.

Try: Tomato Salad

Instead of: potato salad

Slim-down recipe: Chop and seed six fresh tomatoes (approximately 2 pounds), mix with 1 tablespoon olive oil, two minced cloves of garlic, and red wine vinegar to taste (makes approximately four 1-cup servings).

You save: 292 calories, 17 fat grams.

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