by The Welthi Bureau 23rd November, 2019
Garlic, belonging to the allium (onion) family, is a popular and necessary ingredient in cooking for its strong aroma and delicious taste. It is not just for the flavour and taste but for its many health benefits that garlic is widely used across the world.
There is documentary evidence that garlic was used by many civilisations including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans, Greeks and Chinese for its health benefits.
Scientists say that much of the health benefits are caused by sulphur compounds, the famous one called allicin, which is formed when garlic is subjected to pressure like crushing, chopping or chewing. The sulphur compounds bestow the medicinal properties to garlic when it is fresh.
It is learnt that Hippocrates (460-370 BC) known as “Father of Western Medicine” promoted the use of garlic to treat respiratory problems, parasites, poor digestion and fatigue.
Garlic has very few calories and is highly nutritious. A clove of garlic contains manganese, vitamin B6, Vitamin B1, Vitamin C, Selenium, fiber, decent amount of potassium, iron, copper, phosphorous. It is rich in vitamin C.
Garlic supplements boost the immune system. According to a study, intake of garlic supplement daily over a few weeks reduced the number of colds by 63 per cent. It was also found that high dose of aged garlic extract reduced the number of days one suffered with cold or flu by 61 per cent. However, more research is needed in this area as the evidence is insufficient.
REDUCES HARDENING OF ARTERIES:
As one ages, the arteries seem to lose their ability to stretch and contract. Garlic supplement seems to reduce the hardening of arteries if taken daily. Surprisingly, these supplements seem to be more effective in women than in men when taken for four years continuously.
CHOLESTEROL, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE:
Consumption of garlic seems to reduce systolic blood pressure by 7-9mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 4-6 mmHg in those people suffering from high blood pressure. Garlic tends to lower the total and LDL cholesterol. However, garlic seems to have no significant effect on triglyceride levels.
Garlic seems to reduce pre-meal blood sugar levels in people with or without diabetes. In those having diabetes, it seems to work best if taken for a period of 3 months.
ANTI-BACTERIAL AND ANTI-PARASITIC PROPERTIES:
For nearly 7,000 years, garlic has proven history of being used an antibiotic to treat bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections. Studies show diluted garlic extract can have effect on children suffering from tapeworm infections. When applied to area suffering from fungal infection, it provides relief from skin ailments like eczema. It is also effective in treating fu gal infection like athlete’s foot.
PREVENTION OF CANCER: According to a study conducted in China, people who ate raw garlic at least twice a week during 7-year study period were found to have 44 per cent lower risk of developing lung cancer. Similarly, men who eat about one clove of garlic daily seem to be at 50 per cent lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
FOR SKIN AND HAIR:
Garlic protects the skin from the influence of free radicals and slows down the depletion of collagen that leads to loss of elasticity in skin. Many people know about the wonders of onion in preventing hair loss and garlic is no less in saving your thinning hair. Rubbing crushed garlic extract on the scalp or massaging with garlic-infused oil can prevent hair loss.
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