8 Amazing Benefits of Garlic: By N. Steele RN, BSN,MPH

8 benefits of garlic

Garlic has been known as a miracle herb. It has been used for thousands of years by the ancients. Tightly knit together are cloves each sheltered in its white wrapping. A delight to remove before releasing the aromatic smell. Garlic has been utilized for various purposes. These include a vegetable for culinary purposes and for herbal remedies. Garlic has also been found to be a great source of sulfur.

Garlic has many benefits If it had been created in the laboratory instead of by nature, it would probably be a high-priced prescription drug.

A Common Saying everyone knows. That's just how good it really is…

Garlic is one of the oldest known medicinal plants, and it's been credited with fighting heart disease, lowering blood pressure, and helping to fight off colds.

In fact, garlic has been used medicinally for at least 3,000 years, but until relatively recently its benefits were considered little more than folklore. According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Nov. 28, 1990;264:2614), the therapeutic roles of garlic have been described in more than 1,000 scientific studies.

Most of the modern research on garlic has been focused on its ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well as offer protection against strokes and heart disease.

Garlic is classified as both an herb and a vegetable. It can be found in products ranging from ice cream to dry rubs; the versatility of this herb is seemingly endless.

Extensive tests on humans have concluded that a regular intake of garlic can:

Lower total cholesterol (but raise the good-type HDL cholesterol)

Produce more "natural killer" cells in the blood that will tackle infections and tumors

Lower blood pressure

Reduce the risk of blood clots (which are responsible for most heart attacks and strokes)

Destroy infection-causing viruses and bacteria.

Protection of The Liver From Toxic Substances

Garlic activates the cells of the liver and thereby protects the liver from toxic substances; it also rejuvenates a tired liver and promotes its normal functioning.

Improvement of Blood Circulation

When allicin is heated in the process of cooking the garlic, a substance called ajoene is formed. This substance has a suppressive effect on thrombi and blood cholesterol, so it is effective for the treatment of atherosclerosis and thrombosis

Regulation of Stomach Function

Allicin promotes the secretion of gastric juices by stimulating the mucous membranes of the stomach; furthermore, it combines with proteins which can reduce excessive activity of the stomach. In addition, allicin regulates the functioning of the stomach by activating the large intestine and thus cures both constipation and diarrhea.

Promotion of Insulin Secretion

Allicin combines with vitamin B1 (thiamine) to activate the function of the pancreas and thus promote insulin secretion. As a result, garlic is effective in the prevention or the cure of diabetes that is caused by a lack of insulin or by the defective functioning of the pancreas

Normalization of Blood Circulation

Allicin combines with vitamin B1 (thiamine) to activate the function of the pancreas and thus promote insulin secretion. As a result, garlic is effective in the prevention or the cure of diabetes that is caused by a lack of insulin or by the defective functioning of the pancreas.

Cancer Prevention

Indeed, the first scientific report to study garlic and cancer was performed in the 1950s. Scientists injected allicin, an active ingredient from garlic, into mice suffering from cancer. Mice receiving the injection survived more than 6 months whereas those which did not receive the injection only survived 2 months. Research has also shown that garlic can be beneficial in reducing the risk of stomach cancer especially if consumed regularly. According to Milner (1996), evidence of garlic anticancer potential was discovered in China where cancer mortality risk was much lower in persons who consumed 20 g of garlic per day than those who consumed only 1g per day. This may seem like a lot to some as garlic has a pungent smell. However, consider the overall benefits and risk reduction for better health. Special compounds are responsible for the anticancer properties and are released when crushed.

Cardiovascular Benefit

The heart is a powerful organ that is responsible for distributing blood throughout the body, thus giving nutrients to the various cells that are the building blocks of life. Nutrition plays an integral part in how this organ regulates blood flow. Western diet has contributed negatively to disrupting the blood flow through blood vessels thereby causing various diseases such as stroke and high blood pressure. According to JON (2014), garlic supplement has been effective in reducing blood pressure in Systolic 7-16mmhg and 5-9mmhg(diastolic) when aged garlic extract was used. Therefore it concluded that garlic has the capability of cardiovascular protection based on the results of reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol. This is great news for persons who are at risk for developing heart disease and would love to utilize an alternative path to eating healthy.

Immunity Booster

Your body is designed to ward off invaders when attacked by viruses and bacteria. Your immune system works hard to keep your body at the optimum level of health. Inflammation is a normal response when pathogens are destroyed and for normal wound healing. However, there are times when inflammation can become chronic and wreak havoc on the system. Garlic has been shown to improve immune response to invaders and help reduce inflammation. In relation to colds and flu, garlic has played an integral part in reducing the risk of people getting sick, especially during the flu season. Studies have shown that aged garlic extract (AGE) may enhance immune cell function and may be responsible for the reduced severity of colds and flu reported. This is great news as this easily accessible plant can be grown right in your backyard.

Tips for cooking with garlic:

Before cooking, remove the exterior skin of the clove. There are many ways to do this: strike the bulb with the broad side of a kitchen knife, use a rubber garlic rolling tube, soak the garlic in lukewarm water for 30 minutes or dip the cloves into boiling water for 30 seconds.

After skinning the garlic, select a cooking method that will result in the appropriate flavor. It can be sautéed to create a nutty, savory taste; poached to create a mild flavor; oven-roasted to bring out the nutty flavor with a caramelized quality; fried to create a crisp exterior; or grilled to create a soft, smoky flavor.

Garlic is very sensitive to heat and will burn easily, especially when sautéing. Expose the garlic to heat just until the oil sizzles and then remove it. When cooking garlic with onions, start the onions first. They will take longer to cook.

Garlic Dosage

Consuming the right amount of garlic for the day is important. It has been noted that garlic at the recommended dose does not affect your platelet function. Those are cells responsible for clotting blood if you get a cut on your skin. according to research, about 4.2g (1 2/5 clove)was consumed by 15 volunteers over a week, and they concluded that there was no impairment noted for the platelet cells. According to the American Botanical Council, 4g per day of the minced garlic bulb is ideal for consumption, in terms of infusion of 4g in 150 ml of water, tincture 1:5(g/ml):20ml. With all herbal food, however, it is good to consume in moderation. 

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