Avoid Eating Garlic At All Costs If You Have This Medical Condition

One of the oldest known horticultural crops, minced, thinly sliced, or powdered garlic is a staple in many households nowadays. There's evidence suggesting the use of this seasoning as far back as Babylonian times, some 4,500 years ago. You can have them oven-roasted, as part of flavorful curries, or even make butter with them. They really are one of the most versatile foods. 

Perhaps you've only ever heard people tell you to eat garlic. The pungent and spicy bulbs covered by a thin white layer of skin are praised for their many health benefits, chief of which is boosting your immunity. Additional garlic-related health benefits include lowering your blood pressure levels, improving cholesterol levels, combating heart disease, protecting against oxidative stress and corresponding cognitive decline, improving bone health, and even helping you live longer. 

But there is one medical condition that will not benefit from consuming garlic: lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease characterized by an overactive immune system that attacks a person's tissues and organs. Everything from the joints, skin, and kidneys to the blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs can be affected because of the condition. Why should someone with lupus steer clear of garlic?

The immunity-boosting benefit of garlic could be damaging to someone with lupus

The same reason why garlic relieves a sore throat is the same reason someone with lupus should avoid eating the stuff. Allicin, ajoene, and thiosulfinates, the substances in this spice that are associated with boosting immunity (by improving your white blood cell count) and helping you fight off a cold, can work detrimentally in the system of someone who already has an overactive immune system. 

Although a tiny amount of the herb is unlikely to harm you, experts recommend making a mental note not to use garlic in your cooking if you have lupus or autoimmune diseases with a pre-lupus stage. You could experience an exacerbation of your flares, such as fatigue and muscle and joint pain, if you consume the stuff. 

Alfalfa and alfalfa sprouts are another herb you should avoid if you have this medical condition. They work somewhat similarly to the way garlic works by stimulating your immune system. Lupus aside, there might be other instances when you may want to leave those bulbs of garlic in the fridge and not include them in your dishes (and no, we're not referring to garlic breath). 

Other reasons to avoid eating garlic

People with an intolerance to fructan (a kind of carb found plentifully in garlic) might experience bloating if they consume this herb. 

Additionally, if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and you're looking for foods to eat and foods to avoid for acid reflux, garlic should go into the "no" pile. The theory is that allicin found in garlic could increase stomach acidity and lead to heartburn. If you have a bleeding disorder or you're going in for surgery, it is advised that you skip the garlic. Garlic is a known blood thinner, and could potentially lead to more bleeding.

Additionally, you should avoid eating this herb if you have a garlic allergy. If you're wondering what a garlic allergy is, it usually manifests as hives, itching, skin discoloration, swelling in your mouth, throat, and tongue, difficulty breathing, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, and even anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening. Although garlic allergies are rare, you might be predisposed to them if you have a family history of allergies to the spice or if you have an allergic reaction to similar herbs like onions, chives, or leeks. Having asthma or eczema as medical conditions also puts you at risk. Some foods can have a host of health benefits but can still be problematic for certain health conditions, much like how not avoiding avocados can mess with this particular medical condition