One of the widely used flavoring agents, Garlic is loaded with goodness. It is widely used in Ayurveda for its medicinal benefits. It is consumed to prevent and treat a wide range of ailments and diseases. Garlic is loaded with vitamins and minerals like manganese, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and other antioxidants, including allicin. Study shows that eating garlic may relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. Load up freshly grated garlic in your daily diet and experience the following health benefits.
1. Garlic Regulates Blood Pressure
2. Garlic May Boost Immunity
3. Garlic May Help Lower Cholesterol
4. Garlic For Heart Health
5. Garlic Adds New Flavour
6. Garlic Reduces Risk Of Lung Cancer
7. Garlic As Antibiotic
8. Garlic Can Help Bone Strength
9. Try This Garlic Recipe
10. FAQs On Garlic
Garlic Regulates Blood Pressure
Studies reveal that consuming garlic as part of the food or taking garlic extract as an additional supplement form can help treat blood pressure. According to the National Institutes of Health, garlic seems to be able to modestly reduce blood pressure. “Garlic belongs to the allium family and allium refers to a group of plants that contains onions, scallions, leeks, and shallots.
It contains phytochemicals like allicin and organosulfur compounds,” says Daljit Kaur, Chief Dietitian, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi. She adds that the active ingredient allicin reduces blood lipids and plaque formation. “It has been observed that high doses of garlic help to control blood pressure, and it can be highly beneficial for patients suffering from high blood pressure or what we call hypertension,” says Kaur.
Pro Tip: Always go for garlic in fresh form. Take time to cut or crush them yourself. This adds a whole lot of taste to your food.
Garlic May Boost Immunity
Garlic is rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, iron, manganese, calcium which makes garlic a magical immunity booster. “Clinical research has shown that garlic possesses significant antiviral activity, and it can be used prophylactically in the prevention of viral infections in humans,” says Kaur who adds that garlic’s antiviral properties may work in two ways: one is by blocking the entry of viruses into cells, and another way is by strengthening the immune response so that it can effectively fight off potential invaders. Overall, garlic can help us to improve our immune system.
Pro Tip: Wrap the entire garlic bulb in a damp paper towel and microwave for 15-20 seconds. Rub lightly with the paper towel and the cloves should easily pop out of their skins.
Garlic May Help Lower Cholesterol
A number of human studies have shown that raw garlic favorably affects important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Consumption has been shown to decrease total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglyceride levels.
An intake of half to one clove of garlic per day lowers cholesterol levels by approximately 10%. “Garlic supplements can reduce total and LDL cholesterol, especially in those who have high cholesterol levels in their body. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides may not seem to be affected,” explains Kaur.
Pro Tip: A single bulb of garlic usually contains between ten and twenty individual cloves of garlic. Look for the number of cloves to pick up the finest garlic bulb.
Garlic For Heart Health
Garlic and garlic supplements may have positive effects on heart health by preventing cell damage, regulating cholesterol and lowering blood pressure, reveals a study. “Some compounds in garlic (and onions) have been shown to reduce the stickiness of our platelets, and it also contains anti-clotting properties,” suggests Kaur who says garlic can help reduce the amount of soft plaque in the arteries which is more likely to cause a blockage that leads to a heart attack.
Pro Tip: Do not overcook or brown the garlic while cooking. If overcooked, it will give a bitter and unpleasant taste.
Garlic Adds New Flavour
Garlic has a strong flavor that spreads through the dish. It is considered as a superstar ingredient that adds a nutritional punch and a wholesome flavor. “An impressive benefit of garlic is that it makes foods taste great. Garlic has low calories, and it is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese. It contains an adequate amount of various other nutrients as well,” feels Kaur. It is the perfect ingredient to add to your recipe if you are looking for some flavourful addition.
Pro Tip: When preparing garlic for cooking, check for any green sprouts from the center of the garlic clove and remove them. These sprouts add an unpleasant bitterness.
Garlic Reduces Risk Of Lung Cancer
Garlic has a host of antioxidants that help to prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. “Garlic antioxidants have several other benefits too. It not only benefits blood vessels and reduces inflammation, but it may soak up the damaging free radicals that can lead to diseases like cancer,” says Kaur.
The study suggests that garlic reduces the risk of lung cancer by 44 percent. It states that even smokers could reduce the risk of getting affected by lung cancer by 30% by consuming raw garlic which acts as a protective factor against the deadly disease.
Pro Tip: Store garlic in a cool, dark, and dry location. If the cloves sprout, they can still be used, and the sprouts can be used for salads.
Garlic As Antibiotic
Kick the stubborn cold with a sip of garlic tea. Chew some 2-3 raw garlic or mix honey with some garlic tea and sip through the day to fight your cold and flu. Studies have shown that garlic reduces the risk of becoming sick and the severity of the symptoms. For kids and babies, a pot made with crushed garlic helps to relieve a stuffy nose.
Pro Tip: Select big, plump and firm garlic-tight silky skins with their paper-like covering intact, not spongy, soft, or shriveled.
Garlic Can Help Bone Strength
During menopause, many women lose a great volume of estrogen which collapses several of the estrogen-dependent systems which include bones. Garlic consumption helps in the production of estrogen and thereby it minimizes bone loss. Garlic also helps with a number of other menopausal and post-menopausal issues and strongly supports women’s health.
Pro Tip: If cooking garlic with other ingredients that take longer to cook, such as onions, start cooking those ingredients and allow them to start to cook before adding the garlic.
Try This Garlic Recipe
What You Need:
- ½ cup butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons grated garlic
- 1 tablespoon herbs
- 1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a small pan melt butter over medium heat and mix with garlic pieces and dried herbs.
- Brush a generous volume of butter mixture over the Italian bread.
- Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes, until lightly toasted. Remove from heat.
- Serve hot with a mayo dip!
FAQs On Garlic
Q. What Is The Best Way To Use Garlic?
A. Raw garlic contains Allicin, which is a blood-thinning agent and reduces cholesterol levels. Thus, the best way to consume garlic is by eating raw garlic on an empty stomach.
Q. Can Garlic Be Consumed Every Day?
A. Garlic can cause bad breath, a burning sensation in the mouth or stomach, heartburn, gas and nausea when consumed daily. Despite being loaded with benefits, raw garlic should not be consumed daily.
Q. Which Is The Best Time To Eat Garlic?
A. Garlic on an empty stomach is very effective for preventing and curing different diseases. Studies have shown that garlic if eaten on an empty stomach acts as a powerful antibiotic.
Also Read: 10 lesser known facts about garlic