Garlic is a plant with multiple therapeutic qualities known since antiquity, having a series of beneficial effects for the human body. In addition to the special role it has in the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system, garlic has a strong antibiotic effect, contributes to the digestion process and offers protection against carcinogenic agents. Research has shown that garlic destroys bacteria and viruses better than the popular antibiotics, penicillin and tetracycline.
Garlic is the most powerful natural antibiotic known
Garlic has been known since ancient times as a miracle medicinal plant. The Sumerians and other Mediterranean peoples highly valued it for its ability to fight infections. An Egyptian inscription dating from 1500 BC describes the use of garlic for 22 diseases.
Sometimes we avoid it before meetings where we want to leave a good impression, because of the unpleasant smell of the breath that persists a few hours after consuming it. Sometimes we avoid it because of the sensitivity we can have in our stomach because of it; arsenic, which is found in small quantities in its core, is what can cause well-known burns. Even so, garlic can be consumed with confidence, if we remove the core, because a large part of its healing properties are maintained.
One ounce (28 grams) of garlic contains:
Manganese: 23% of the daily requirement
Vitamin B6: 17% of the daily requirement
Vitamin C: 15% of the daily requirement
Selenium: 6% of the daily requirement
Fiber: 1 gram.
It also contains decent amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1.
Garlic also contains other nutrients. In fact, it contains pretty much everything we need.
Garlic lowers blood sugar, blood pressure and is a natural antioxidant
One milligram of garlic has the same strength as twenty-five units of penicillin. garlic is one of the richest sources of organic germanium and selenium (vital in preventing heart disease and many forms of cancer). Garlic contains the substance ajoena that “dilutes” the blood, thus preventing potentially dangerous clots.
Doctors have found garlic to be the safest and most promising way to combat hypertension. No one knows exactly why. Some doctors believe that garlic dilates the arteries, lowering the pressure. It removes infections of various kinds and, therefore, reduces the increased tension.
Garlic meets all the requirements of a perfect therapeutic agent for reducing blood pressure:
It is absolutely safe.
It has no negative side effects; no dosage limitation was found.
The blood pressure is gradually reduced – over a period of time – without any unexpected drop that could shock the body
It does not interact with the effect of the medicines that the patient takes at the doctor’s recommendation.
Garlic can be a useful way to lower blood sugar and thus control diabetes.
In conclusion: it is good to have garlic in the house. Garlic is low in calories and very rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese. It also contains traces of various other nutrients. It is all the better when we buy it directly from the market or we grow it in the garden, let it be as natural as possible, not the big and beautiful purchased from supermarkets. When it looks too good to be true… it really is.
Garlic, the pungent and flavorful herb, has long been celebrated not only for its culinary uses but also for its numerous health benefits. Often referred to as the “stinking rose,” garlic has been utilized for centuries in various cultures for both its exceptional flavor and its potential healing properties. This article will delve into the many aspects of garlic, exploring its historical significance, culinary applications, and, most importantly, its remarkable health benefits.
Garlic’s history is rich and diverse, with its roots tracing back to ancient civilizations. Garlic was used extensively in ancient Egypt, where it was regarded as a symbol of strength and incorporated into the diets of laborers to boost their stamina. Similarly, in ancient Greece and Rome, garlic was believed to have medicinal properties and was often given to soldiers to enhance their resilience on the battlefield.
Garlic’s role extended beyond the Mediterranean. In Asian countries such as China and India, garlic was employed for its therapeutic properties, featured prominently in traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda. The pungent bulb was considered a valuable remedy for various ailments, and its use spread through trade routes to Europe and the rest of the world.
One of the most celebrated aspects of garlic is its culinary versatility. It is a key ingredient in countless dishes worldwide and is cherished for its unique flavor. Whether it’s added to pasta sauces, salad dressings, or sautéed with vegetables, garlic can transform a simple meal into a gastronomic delight. Its ability to impart depth and complexity to dishes makes it a staple in kitchens across the globe.
Roasted garlic, in particular, is a revelation. By simply roasting garlic cloves in the oven, they become soft, sweet, and mellow, losing their sharp pungency while developing a rich, caramelized flavor. Roasted garlic can be used as a spread, mixed into dips, or even added to mashed potatoes, enhancing the taste of a wide range of dishes.
Health Benefits of Garlic
Beyond its culinary appeal, garlic is celebrated for its numerous health benefits. It contains a range of compounds that contribute to its medicinal properties. Here are some of the key health benefits associated with garlic:
- Heart Health: Garlic is known for its potential to promote heart health. Allicin, a compound present in garlic, has been shown to help lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels. These effects can reduce the risk of heart disease and improve overall cardiovascular health.
- Antioxidant Properties: Garlic contains antioxidants that can help protect the body against oxidative stress. Antioxidants combat harmful free radicals in the body, which are linked to various chronic diseases and aging.
- Immune System Support: Garlic has been traditionally used to boost the immune system. It is believed to help the body fight off infections and illnesses, making it a valuable addition to one’s diet, especially during flu seasons.
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects: The anti-inflammatory properties of garlic may help reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is associated with various diseases, including arthritis and certain types of cancer.
- Antimicrobial and Antifungal Properties: Garlic has natural antimicrobial and antifungal properties, which can help combat various infections. It has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for ailments like the common cold and flu.
- Improved Digestion: Garlic can aid in digestion by promoting the production of digestive enzymes. It may also help alleviate symptoms of indigestion and bloating.
- Cancer Prevention: Some studies suggest that garlic may have a role in cancer prevention, particularly in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer, such as stomach and colorectal cancer.
- Weight Management: Garlic can aid in weight management by helping to regulate metabolism and reduce unhealthy fat accumulation.
- Detoxification: Garlic supports the body’s natural detoxification processes by helping to eliminate toxins and heavy metals.
- Improved Bone Health: Garlic may contribute to better bone health by increasing estrogen levels in females, which is crucial for maintaining bone density.
How to Incorporate Garlic into Your Diet
Incorporating garlic into your diet is easy and enjoyable. Here are some ideas to make the most of this remarkable food:
- Fresh Garlic: Use fresh garlic cloves in your cooking by finely chopping or crushing them to release their flavor. Add them to sauces, soups, and stir-fries for a burst of taste.
- Roasted Garlic: Roast whole garlic bulbs in the oven, then squeeze the soft, caramelized cloves out and spread them on bread or use them as a flavor enhancer in various dishes.
- Garlic Infused Oils: Make your own garlic-infused olive oil by heating olive oil with garlic cloves. This oil can be used as a dipping sauce for bread, in salad dressings, or as a cooking oil.
- Garlic Supplements: If you find it challenging to consume garlic regularly, consider garlic supplements, which are available in various forms such as capsules and tablets. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before taking supplements, as they may interact with certain medications.
- Garlic in Salads: Minced or crushed garlic can add a zesty kick to your salads. Just a small amount can make a big difference in the overall flavor.
- Homemade Salsas and Dips: Create homemade salsas, hummus, or guacamole with garlic to enhance their taste and nutritional value.
- Marinades and Rubs: Incorporate garlic into marinades and rubs for meats and vegetables before grilling or roasting. The garlic will infuse the dish with a delightful flavor.
Garlic Precautions and Side Effects
While garlic is generally safe for most people, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:
- Garlic Allergies: Some individuals may be allergic to garlic and experience symptoms like skin rashes, digestive issues, or respiratory problems. If you suspect you have a garlic allergy, it’s best to avoid it and consult a healthcare professional.
- Digestive Distress: Eating excessive amounts of raw garlic may cause digestive discomfort, including heartburn, gas, and bloating. Cooking garlic can help mitigate these issues.
- Medication Interactions: Garlic supplements can interact with certain medications, particularly blood thinners. If you’re taking medication, consult with a healthcare provider before adding garlic supplements to your regimen.
- Bad Breath: Garlic’s pungent aroma can lead to temporary bad breath, which can be a concern for some people.
Garlic is more than just a flavorful herb; it is a nutritional powerhouse with an array of health benefits. Its historical significance, culinary versatility, and potential to promote heart health, support the immune system, and combat inflammation make it a true “miracle food.” Whether you enjoy it in your favorite recipes or choose to harness its benefits through supplements, garlic can be a valuable addition to your daily routine. Just remember to use it in moderation, be mindful of potential allergies or interactions with medications, and savor its distinct flavor and numerous health advantages.