Garlic In Your Diet
Garlic In Your Diet – Garlic, an essential ingredient in many cuisines, not only enhances the flavor of many dishes but also provides a host of well documented health benefits as well. Touted as a ‘nature’s wonder drug’, nature’s antibiotic, nature’s penicillin, it can be easily incorporated into your daily diet either raw or cooked with meals or as health supplements. A daily dose of garlic is a great natural remedy to improve your health. Being pungent in flavor and warm in nature makes it especially good as a spring, fall, and winter diet supplement. Crushing garlic releases allicin, the main active medicinal sulfur compound of garlic.
1. Anti-bacteria, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. Good for preventing and treating lung infections. It has been traditionally used to treat coughs and colds. Eating the raw herb or taking garlic capsules may help to prevent catching the flu during the flu epidemic. Boiling the bulb in vinegar and taking one or two cloves daily is a traditional Chinese remedy for lung abscess. Having antibiotic properties makes it suitable for treating intestinal infections but without damaging the healthful intestinal flora. Due to its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, it can be used effectively to treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot or ringworm. Crushed raw garlic applied topically on the infected area might cause slight irritation. A better option might be garlic gel with the added advantage of being odorless. Taking garlic on a daily basis combats infections (another example is recurrent yeast infections) and boosts the immune system.
2. Beneficial to the cardiovascular system. It helps to prevent platelets in blood from sticking together, lessen the risk of blood clot formation and enhances the removal of plague from the blood vessels thus benefiting the heart. It helps to prevent hardening of arteries by reducing fatty deposits on its walls and lowering high blood pressure and can be used to suppress production of harmful LDL cholesterol in the liver. Taking garlic capsules to assist in lowering high blood pressure might be more suitable than the raw herb with its pungent and spicy flavor and its warm nature, which might be too stimulating for people with high blood pressure. Aged garlic extract being rich in antioxidants, is beneficial to the cardiovascular system.
3. Anti-cancer properties. In places where consumption of garlic is high, there is a notable decrease in the risk of stomach and colon cancer. Flavonoids found in the bulb gives it its anti-cancer properties. It is a very rich source of selenium which is needed to produce the potent antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase, a carcinogen inhibiting substance.
4. Digestion. The herb stimulates the stomach lining to be more active in producing digestive enzymes, aiding in the digestion of food especially fatty foodstuff.