Get the benefits of the amazing power of garlic!

Garlic is full of therapeutic effects for our body. For instance, it has antibiotic, hypotensive and antioxidant properties, among others. However, it is not easy to take because of its strong smell and taste. Nevertheless, there are alternatives so that we can take advantage of its benefits.

Garlic is an enormously popular ingredient in cooking, not only for its taste and smell but also for its culinary richness since it stands out for its medicinal properties. Garlic is apparently native to the Asian continent, and its harvest extends worldwide thanks to the ability this plant has to adapt to very different climate conditions and its outstanding therapeutic action. Its benefits were widely known to ancient civilizations: the Egyptians considered it a strong energizer and gave it as food to the builders of the pyramids; the Greeks gave it to marathon athletes; in the Middle Ages, it was used as an antiseptic; and during the First World War, it was used to disinfect wounds.

The secret of its success

Raw garlic contains alliin. If garlic is crushed or cut, this substance becomes allicin, which is the compound responsible for most of its beneficial effects. Allicin is a very unstable compound and practically disappears if we cook garlic or even if we dehydrate it. Just by chewing raw garlic, allicin and other components are rapidly metabolized and distributed throughout the body with relevant biological effects.

What benefits does it have?

  • It contains antioxidants that protect from the harmful effect that free radicals have on cells. Some studies show that antioxidants contained in garlic may help prevent some dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
  • It is beneficial for your heart. It helps reduce cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, and has vasodilator effects, enhancing blood flow in arteries.
  • It is a powerful natural antibiotic. It helps eliminate harmful bacteria from the intestine.
  • It may help us prevent and tackle the symptoms of flu or colds by increasing our body’s defenses, and it also works as an expectorant and decongestant.
  • It is quite nutritious but low-calorie. It is very rich in vitamin C, B6 and manganese, and contains selenium, fiber, calcium, phosphorus and iron, which are essential minerals for proper muscle contraction and the proper functioning of the nervous system.
  • It has diuretic properties that help us eliminate toxins.
  • It regulates glucose levelsGarlic contains properties that increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin.

How can we benefit from all its properties?

Garlic is therefore full of health benefits, and you can easily include it in your daily diet. However, research shows that even if you consume high amounts of fresh garlic, it is not guaranteed that your body will assimilate all the allicin. Stomach acids decrease the concentration of allicin during the digestion process. As a consequence, it would be a great idea to take garlic in the form of tablets with an enteric coating, which would make them resistant to stomach acids so that they do not release the compound until they reach the small intestine, where the maximum absorption of allicin would be produced. With the consumption of tablets, you will also avoid some other inconveniences, such as the well-known bad smell that causes bad breath and the annoying feeling when garlic repeats on you.

What about black garlic?

Black garlic is a product that is increasingly found in stores. Contrary to what is thought by many, it is not fermented garlic but white garlic that has been subjected to constant temperature and humidity for long periods of time in order to eliminate allicin and, thus, enhance its taste, making it smoother and sweeter. As it lacks allicin or contains it in quite reduced amounts, black garlic loses many of the therapeutic properties that are attributed to this substance. In addition, research claims that during the thermal process to which garlic is subjected, some molecules harmful to health may be produced.

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