Many people avoid garlic because of its intense odor. Yet garlic is healthier than almost any other spice—it is even said to prevent heart disease—everything you need to know about the healing wonder bulb and the effect of garlic.
Garlic has been used in medicine since early times. Roman soldiers used the bulb on long marches to aid against an athlete’s foot. Also, in the Middle Ages, garlic was used as a remedy against diseases; it was believed that garlic would be effective against the plague. But in fact, garlic contains active substances that can support your health. What exactly makes it so beneficial?
The effect of garlic: the main active ingredient, allicin
Although several factors and science influence the positive effect of garlic, assuming that the interaction of various ingredients causes the health-promoting effect, allicin is nevertheless considered the main active ingredient.
Allicin is initially present in garlic in its precursor, the amino acid alliin. It is only when the garlic cells are injured by peeling, cutting or chopping that allicin is formed in interaction with the ambient air by degradation of the amino acid. This increases the level of two crucial antioxidants in the blood, which fight free radicals. Thus, cell damage is repaired, and their aging process is slowed. But that’s not all: garlic has various beneficial effects you may not have known about before.
Did you know? These nutrients are in garlic:
400 mg potassium
40 g calcium
25 mg magnesium
14 mg vitamin C
1,4 mg iron
What kind of medicinal benefits does garlic still have today?
Thanks to allicin, aging processes in our body can be curbed. However, there are several other positive effects that garlic carries. We have taken a closer look at the ten properties of garlic.
- Garlic strengthens the immune system.
Raw garlic is a natural antibiotic that helps to strengthen the immune system while also eradicating bacteria. A Cochrane study from the USA suggests that garlic can reduce the number of colds by 63 percent.
- Garlic strengthens your cardiovascular system.
- Thanks to its many secondary plant compounds, such as polyphenols or sulphides, garlic has a particularly healthy effect on our blood lipids. This, in turn, can prevent heart disease. Garlic can also have a blood pressure-lowering effect. The allicin contained in the bulb is also responsible for this.
- Garlic is antioxidant
The body produces highly reactive oxygen compounds called free radicals as a result of external factors like radiation, drugs, toxins in the environment, or stress. Antioxidants aid in the body’s fight against these radicals. These can cause cell damage and thus trigger disease. Garlic contains exceptionally high levels of antioxidants and, in this way, prevents this.
- Garlic strengthens bones
Garlic also contains exceptionally high levels of vitamins B6, C, zinc and manganese, strengthening bones and supporting bone formation and connective tissue.
- Garlic helps against hair loss.
Garlic also has a vasodilatory effect and thus provides better blood circulation to the scalp, stimulating hair growth. Making a garlic paste and gently massaging it onto the scalp is advised for this.
- Garlic has an antibacterial effect.
Garlic functions as a natural anti-inflammatory because of the allicin and other sulphides and can, for example, treat acne or dental issues.
- Garlic helps the intestine.
The sulphur compounds in garlic have germicidal properties and thus act against various parasites in our intestines without attacking the beneficial intestinal bacteria. Garlic is also said to boost digestion. A recent study even suggests that garlic would prevent cancer cells from growing in the tubers of colon cancer patients.
- Garlic makes you more efficient in sports.
The ingredient adenosine contained in garlic improves blood flow to your muscles, helping them to recover faster.
- all-rounder garlic: effect brain
Garlic has a high content of FruArg, a specific carbohydrate derivative, which can protect brain cells from damage. Thus, the tuber can, if necessary, prevent against age-related diseases such as dementia.
- Lose weight healthily with garlic.
Garlic is also said to help with weight loss; there are two reasons for this. First, garlic stimulates digestion and energy metabolism. At the same time, the miracle substance allicin ensures that blood sugar levels drop. As a result, blood sugar levels do not spike after a meal, and the body converts less energy into fat, thus preventing cravings.
Caution: Side effects of garlic:
Too much garlic can cause nausea and heartburn. In addition, garlic has a blood-thinning effect and can, therefore, strengthen the effect of blood-thinning drugs such as aspirin. Anyone suffering from blood clotting disorders should avoid excessive garlic consumption. And: After garlic consumption, the smell of breath and skin changes. It’s an annoying side effect.
Tip: To relieve the taste on the tongue, it may help to remove the sprouts of garlic before cooking. These oils contained in it are responsible for the dominant, long-lasting odor and bitter substances.
Beware of these side effects of garlic:
Too much garlic can cause nausea and heartburn. In addition, garlic has a blood-thinning effect and can, therefore, increase the effect of blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin. Anyone suffering from blood clotting disorders should avoid excessive garlic consumption. And: After garlic consumption, the smell of breath and skin changes. It’s an annoying side effect.
To alleviate the taste on the tongue, it can help remove the garlic shoot before cooking. These oils contained in it are responsible for the dominant long-lasting odour and bitter substances.
How to best prepare garlic
When you eat garlic raw, the allicin it contains can work best. If you heat garlic, valuable ingredients can be destroyed. But raw garlic is, of course, much more intense and aromatic than cooked, and the smell lasts much longer. An alternative to raw garlic is picking the bulb in oil to remove the zest.
But is pickled garlic healthy? The answer is clearly “yes”! When you pickle raw cloves in oil, you further enhance the health benefits. If you want to remove some of the garlic flavor, you can also boil it briefly in milk or water.
Unfortunately, the bulb loses most of its allicin when heated. If you must prepare it, cutting the garlic rather than crushing it is best because it releases sulfur compounds and breaks down the clove’s cells. You can also take high doses of garlic in capsules as an alternative to raw consumption.
How much garlic is healthy?
Just one clove of garlic a day can help you feel the positive effects. At the same time, a study from the University of Maryland says that you should not eat more than four cloves of garlic a day. If you take allicin as a medicine, the prescribed maximum amount is 5 mg daily.
- source: ottonova.de/picture:
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