Garlic mashed potatoes are a popular side dish, and if you make a pot at home you’ll be a lot better off than ordering at restaurants where you never know what questionable ingredients are mixed in with the good ones. Garlic is good for your blood pressure and heart health, so it’s possible to overlook its pungent aroma. But there’s a type of mashed potato even better for your blood pressure than garlic mashed potatoes – and spicier too.
Garlic and cayenne pepper mashed potatoes.
I sampled this by accident one night when my boyfriend decided to add random spices to the mashed potatoes. We had a baggie of powdered cayenne pepper from Albertson’s and a few cloves of garlic on hand. All (or most) of these items were added to a big pot of mashed potatoes.
The potatoes tasted so good we scarfed them up. I wanted to finish the entire plate, but I was 3/4th of the way through when I started sweating from the overabundance of garlic and cayenne pepper. If I’d had high blood pressure before dinner, I certainly didn’t have it now! And I felt happy-woozy, almost high. So did my boyfriend. I’m not kidding! The “hangover” lasted til the next morning for both of us. The takeaway from this experience? Garlic, cayenne pepper and other healthy spices really work and should be handled with care. (After doing some research, I found many supplement manufacturers sell garlic and cayenne pepper capsules.)
This wooziness was a result of too much of a good thing. Don’t try this at home – just add a small amount of cayenne pepper or garlic to food if you’re improvising, and follow recipes exactly. WARNING: Garlic and cayenne pepper are blood thinners and may make blood-thinning medications and aspirin stronger, increasing the risk of bleeding.
There are a few formal recipes for foods containing cayenne pepper and garlic. Try Spicy Garlic Shrimp to pique your appetite.
Facts about Garlic
Creating bad breath and contraindications re blood thinning medications aside, there’s a lot to love about this vegetable. Yes, garlic is officially classified as a vegetable belonging to the onion family. Most people think of it as a spice or flavoring because it’s not eaten alone. Garlic (Allium sativum) is packed with nutrients despite its small size. An ounce of fresh garlic contains manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, fiber and selenium. The most important nutrient, allicin, is a strong natural regulator of blood pressure.
Fresh garlic delivers more benefits than garlic supplements, so stick to the real thing. If you must take a supplement, read reviews from other users to ensure you buy a product made with real garlic.
Garlic Health Benefits
Garlic is an everyday ingredient in Italian, Chinese, Indian and Thai cooking. It enhances the flavor of risotto, chicken marsala, Chinese-style barbecued spareribs and other dishes. It tastes great, and can be used as a home remedy for everything from colds and allergies to arthritis.
- Got a stuffy nose or chest congestion? Sip on some garlic-chicken broth to dissolve the phlegm in days instead of weeks. Better yet, eat garlic-infused foods regularly to stave off colds and flus.
- Allicin, allyl cysteine, allyl disulfide and alliin, the potent antioxidants in garlic, may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. By destroying free radicals and keeping oxidative stress at a minimum, garlic keeps cognitive function sharp as you age.
- The antioxidants in garlic reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and promote bone health. A substance in garlic called diallyl disulfide protects cartilage from damage, and helps joints to move better.
Cayenne Pepper Health Benefits
Cayenne pepper lowers blood pressure, bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Add a dash to scrambled eggs, salads, soups and main dishes to spice things up while keeping your cardiovascular system running efficiently. Trendy culinary ideas include Chicken Tortilla Soup.
Like garlic, cayenne pepper offers over a dozen other health benefits to keep you strong and inflammation-free the natural way.
- Cayenne pepper breaks up congestion in the nose, throat and chest, putting an end to pesky colds sooner. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to hot lemon tea and drink liberally. Prescription allergy medicine and over the counter decongestants dry you out and make you feel woozy; cayenne pepper gets rid of mucus without the side effects of Benadryl and other medications.
- If you suffer from migraines, capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne pepper, has been found to exhaust the pain-signaling neurotransmitter Substance P. Add cayenne pepper powder (or chopped up cayenne peppers) to meals and shakes to prevent migraines or lessen the pain if you already have a headache.
- Cayenne pepper revs up your metabolism and burns fat. If you’re looking for a safe, natural appetite suppressant, use more cayenne pepper in food or add it to your morning smoothie.
Adding garlic and cayenne pepper to your diet (together or separately) aids your day-to-day health and their anti-inflammatory properties reduce your chances of developing cancer. If you are on any medication (even over-the-counter medicine), check with your doctor before making cayenne pepper or garlic a regular part of your diet.
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