Healthy Friday: 5 important medicinal properties of garlic

The medicinal use of garlic was well documented by all the major civilisations including the Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Roman, Chinese and Indian.

Amazing allicin is the magic ingredient

Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which has potent medicinal properties. Allicen is produced by chopping or crushing garlic which stimulates the enzymatic process that converts the phytonutrient alliin into allicin, a compound to which many of garlic’s health benefits are attributed.

In order to allow for maximal allicin production, wait at least five minutes before eating or cooking the garlic.

It boosts the immune system and fights the common cold

Garlic is very rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Manganese. It also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients.

Studies have found that a high dose of garlic extract (2.56 grams per day) can reduce the number of days sick with cold or flu by 60 percent.

Garlic can reduce blood pressure

High doses of garlic appear to improve blood pressure. In some cases, supplementation can be as effective as regular medications.

The amount of allicin needed for this is equivalent to about four cloves of garlic per day.

Garlic lowers LDL cholesterol levels

Garlic supplementation seems to reduce total and LDL cholesterol, particularly in those who have high cholesterol. HDL cholesterol and triglycerides do not seem to be affected.

The antioxidants in garlic may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

Oxidative damage from free radicals contributes to the aging process. Garlic contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and ageing. It contains antioxidants that support the body’s protective mechanisms against oxidative damage.

The combined effects of reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as the antioxidant properties of garlic, may help prevent brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Garlic as a performance enhancer

  • Garlic was one of the earliest performance enhancing substances.
  • It was traditionally used in ancient cultures to reduce fatigue and enhance the work capacity of slaves.
  • It was fed to Olympic athletes in ancient Greece.
  • Garlic can improve physical performance in people with heart disease. Benefits in healthy people are not yet conclusive.

 

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