Health Benefits of Garlic

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Health is god’s greatest gift to us. It is a sad reality that diseases, ailments, abnormalities are a part of our routines. The occurrence of ailments has increased tremendously over the past few decades. The reason for this can be attributed to the ever increasing pollution, extensive use of pesticides, poor quality of food stuffs, extensive consumption of processed foods, relying on the junk food and a hectic schedule.  We are so engrossed in meeting our professional commitments that we have almost forgotten to pay attention to ourselves. It is a serious issue in today’s time; health has become a secondary thing. But maintaining a health although seems difficult, is actually a very simple task. All you need is a perfect ingredient on your menu. A lot has been said about wonder fruits and vegetables and over here one such marvelous gift of nature will be discussed i.e. garlic.

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It might interest you to know that humans started using garlic almost 7000 years ago and even till today garlic is a very commonly used condiment in many of the cuisines all over the world. Surprisingly, still most of the people do not know its true medicinal values. Humans have been using garlic as a medicinal agent for thousands of years but somehow with the advent of science and allopath the use of this magic plant was lost somewhere. But as the side effects with chemical drugs increased, scientist turned towards nature for help.   A lot of researches and studies have been done to extract this bulb’s medicinal properties. There are uncountable health benefits of garlic out of which the most prominent will be highlighted here.

Garlic, whole plant, is beneficial but the most used part is its bulb. The cloves of garlic are very nutritious and it here that all the taste and most of medicinal properties are saturated. In order to understand the health benefits of garlic let us first look at the nutrition profile of this bulb.

About 100 grams of garlic provides the following essential nutrients : –

Minerals : –

Manganese about 73 percent

Copper about 33 percent

Selenium about 26 percent

Iron about 21 percent

Calcium about 18 percent

Vitamins :

Vitamin B 6 i.e. pyridoxine about 95 percent

Vitamin C about 52 percent

The best part is that Garlic contains no cholesterol.

The percent here indicates the percentage required as per the Recommended Daily Allowance i.e. RDA)

Well looking at the above nutritional chart explains why this simple looking bulbous condiment is so healthy. In addition to the above mentioned nutrients the garlic cloves also contain other minerals, vitamins, electrolytes and fibers.

It is important here to note that besides being health food garlic also has a lot of medicinal properties. The bulb is rich I sulfur based compounds namely allyl propyl disulfide, diallyl di-slufide and dially tri-sulfide. On consumption these sulfuric compounds get converted to allicin, after a series of enzymatic reactions, which is the main active principle in garlic.

The following are some of the health benefits of garlic

  • Cholesterol : -

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Garlic has been used very popularly since years for bringing down the blood cholesterol levels. The main active moiety here is allicin which is discussed above. The compound allicin is known to inhibit a very important enzyme found in the human liver called HMG CoA reducatse. This is a crucial enzyme in the melvalonate pathway which is responsible for the production of cholesterol in the human body. This garlic is very beneficial in bringing down the LDL levels in the body.

  • Anti-oxidant : -

Garlic contains a good amount of Vitamin C which is a very powerful anti-oxidant. In addition it also contains other anti oxidants. Anti oxidants protect the body from the disastrous effects of free radicals which are formed during various metabolic processes in the body. Thus garlic helps to boost the immune system of an individual.

  • Acne :

Garlic has been used since ages to cure skin infections and problems of which the most prominent one is acne. Garlic clove when rubbed on the skin or when crushed and applied on the affected has been seen to cure the acne. Garlic has anti bacterial properties as well as is rich in anti oxidants hence it inhibits the growth of acne.

  • Heart : -

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Garlic is often called as a blood thinner. The science behind it is that it prevents platelets aggregation and also tends to show some fibrinolytic property within the blood vessels. Also, the allicin compound helps in the release of nitric oxide which serves the purpose of relaxing the blood vessel walls. It also prevents cholesterol formation thereby helping in preventing events like Atherosclerosis i.e. hardening of the arteries due to deposition of fat. Thus garlic helps in preventing the risks of stroke, Coronary artery diseases, peripheral vascular disease and even blood pressure.

  • Hair : -

Severe hair fall can also be taken care off with garlic as it is rich in sulfur containing compounds. Rub the garlic cloves on the scalp regularly and this will prevent further hair fall.

The only drawback garlic has is odor. Garlic, in the body, is broken down to allyl methyl sulfide which is volatile in nature and it escapes into the sweat. It also passes into the lungs. Thus a person eating garlic on a regular basis tends to have a stinky mouth and sweat. A way to avoid this is to have garlic with milk. You can have some milk after you have had your intake of garlic which should not be more than 2 to 3 cloves.  It is better to mix garlic with milk in your mouth and then swallow it. This has shown to significantly control the bad breath.

Hope this information will help you in leading a healthier life. Incorporate a bit of garlic in your daily menu and this will cover up for some of your negligence towards your health.

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