Garlic has been used from ancient times for flavoring food and for medicinal purposes. The bulb of garlic grows underground and is the most used part of the plant. Bulbs are divided into cloves and consumed raw or cooked. Garlic plant is native to central Asia. Health Benefits of Garlic are enormous.
Garlic has a spicy and pungent flavor. It is used as a condiment to flavor various recipes. It is highly nutritious and has very fewer calories. It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese.
Garlic contains Allicin, the active ingredient in garlic. It has strong medicinal properties. It contains highly valued sulfur compounds.
Garlic has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and anti-bacterial properties. It is used to improve cholesterol level, reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system, skin infections, detoxification, improve bone health and prevent cancer.
Nutritional value of garlic
Garlic cloves are highly rich in vitamins and minerals. It is low in calorie and fat. It is the best source of vitamin B6. Eating a little amount of garlic daily keeps you fit and provide your body all the beneficial vitamins.
A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving contains:
- Carbohydrate – 45g
- Sugars – 1.4g
- Dietary fibers – 2.9g
- Omega –3 fatty acid – 27.2mg
- Protein – 8.6g
- Vitamin A – 12.2 IU
- Vitamin C – 42.2 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 1.7mg
- Vitamin K – 2.3mcg
- Folate – 4.1mcg
- Calcium – 246mg
- Iron – 2.3mg
- Magnesium – 34.0 mg
- Phosphorus – 208mg
- Selenium – 19.3mcg
- Water – 79.7g
Health Benefits of garlic
1. Immunity booster
Garlic acts as an antioxidant which benefits the immune system. It is helpful in combating sickness. A daily dose of garlic keeps away cold, coughs and flu. It also fights chest infections.
If suffering from cold, drink garlic tea with a touch of honey and ginger.
2. Maintains blood pressure
One of the most important health benefits of Garlic is its effectiveness in controlling Blood pressure! Heart attacks and heart strokes are biggest killers. The active compound of garlic, allicin, is effective in reducing the blood pressure. Garlic supplements are much effective than the drug prescribed for hypertension.
3. Lower risk of heart disease
High cholesterol level clogs the arteries. The oxidation of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is prevented by antioxidant properties of garlic, thus reducing the levels of cholesterol. Amongst other health benefits, Garlic has the ability to dissolve blood clots, lowering the risk of heart diseases.
4. Prevent Alzheimer’s disease
Free radicals in the body cause oxidative damage which contributes to the aging process. Garlic protects the body from cell damage. This may help in the prevention of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Garlic protects the body against heavy metal toxicity. The sulfur compounds in the garlic reduce the metal toxicity. It purifies blood which is helpful in treating acne, flushing out toxins.
6. Improve bone health
Garlic increases estrogens level in females, thus improving bone health. Garlic has high concentrations of manganese, which contains enzymes that facilitate the formation of bones and bone metabolism. Garlic is rich in vitamins, minerals and has antioxidants which all add in improving the bone health.
7. Prevent infections
Allicin in garlic is a sulfur-containing compound which acts as a natural antibiotic. It helps to get rid of microbes including worms and yeast. It works effectively for kids having tapeworms or ringworms infections. It also combats mouth cavity.
8. Prevent cancer risks
Garlic has anti-cancerous properties. It inhibits the growth of tumors by increasing the production of hydrogen sulfide. It prevents the risk of colon, breast, pancreatic, stomach cancer.
9. Improves performance
In ancient times, garlic was used to reduce fatigue. It enhances the work capacity of a person. High doses of minerals and vitamins present in garlic keep a person energetic. Consuming garlic is beneficial for athletes, boosting their energy.
10. Lose weight
Garlic has fewer calories and is rich in nutrients. They eliminate the fat cells, thus reducing weight. Garlic along with ginger can be consumed with morning lime juice. It’s quite effective and gives positive results.
Tips to include garlic in your diet
To enjoy the maximum health benefits of garlic is to consume it raw or crushed. The effect of allicin only forms when garlic is crushed raw. Do not crush after cooking as it will do no good to your body. Eat only 2-3 cloves of garlic, it keeps you healthy. Overdose may cause burning effects,
Here are some tips how you can include garlic in your diet.
- You can crush garlic and make a paste. It can be applied to a different kind of bread, creating garlic bread or garlic toast.
- You can include garlic in your soups and sauces, enjoying the spicy taste.
- Garlic can also be used to flavor oils.
- Grated garlic pieces can be used as salad dressings.
- Garlic can be used to flavor fish sauces, chilies, and fried eatables.
- You can directly take a shot of garlic along with sugar in the form of medicine.
Do not consume garlic directly. Always take advice from doctors before consuming it. The pungent smell of garlic is also not suited to many. Few things you should take before consuming garlic:
1. Patients suffering from asthma should not consume garlic.
2. Do not intake garlic before any medical or surgical operation.
3. Do not consume more than 2-3 garlic cloves per day.
4. If you are suffering from heart problems then you should consult your doctor before consuming it.
5. Do not directly apply garlic on your skin, especially sensitive skin. It may cause a burning effect. Many people are also allergic to garlic. Consult your doctor before applying garlic.
Bottom Line: Garlic has high levels of Allicin, a Sulfur compound which is responsible for enormous health benefits of Garlic.