Discover the 20 health benefits of garlic and side effects.
The health benefits of garlic are numerous; they help lose weight, improve circulation, reduce blood pressure, prevent Azlheimer and cancer, improve bone health, treat vaginal infections, treat colds, and others that I will explain below.
It is believed that it originated in Western Asia and that, through the Mediterranean, its expansion began more than 7,000 years ago.
Civilizations such as the Chinese, Babylonian, Hindu, Roman, Greek or Egyptian already used this bulb both to cure gangrene or hypertension problems and to drive away evil spirits.
It is a widely adopted bulb in culinary uses, being very recurrent in gastronomic culture around the world for its characteristic flavor and aroma.
The varieties of garlic are very wide, and can be classified according to their neck or color. Inchellium Red, New York White, Susanville, German Red, Asian Tempest, Spanish Roja Rocamboie or Merrifield Rocambole are some of the most widespread on the market.
Asia is the largest producer of garlic in the world, with China, with 12 million megatons per year, leading the ranking.
Following are the Mediterranean countries (Spain, France, Italy, Egypt and Turkey), the North American center (United States and Mexico) and part of South America (Brazil, Argentina and Chile).
A clove of garlic has just 4 calories and contains antioxidants that can help you lose weight.
The main reasons are that garlic creates a feeling of fullness and therefore suppresses the appetite, so the chances of gaining weight decrease.
Some studies indicate that garlic stimulates the nervous system and this releases the hormone adrenaline, which increases metabolism. The higher the metabolism, the easier it will be to burn fat.
Of course, like any food, in moderation in its consumption and always within a balanced diet combined with physical exercise.
Allicin, one of the active ingredients in garlic, has a wide variety of antimicrobial activities.
This is mainly due to its ability to block the activity of two groups of enzymes: cysteine proteases and alcohol dehydrogenases. Both are involved in the metabolism of amoebic parasites, bacteria, fungi and other viruses.
In its pure state, allicin has antibacterial capacity. That is, for it to take effect, garlic must be eaten raw. Following this rule, we will be using a very beneficial healing agent to treat diseases such as toothache, diabetes or allergies.
Garlic has antimicrobial capacity. This is demonstrated by a study in which chlorhexidine (antiseptic substance used for mouthwash) was substituted for garlic as a toothbrush disinfectant.
The result was just as effective, making garlic a powerful alternative to chlorhexidine.
Also, garlic supplements speed up the healing process of cold sores. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, pain and swelling are drastically reduced.
There are several studies carried out over the years that reveal the beneficial properties of garlic in the blood circulation.
The reason is allicin’s ability to enhance the increase in circulatory agents that relax blood vessels, increase blood flow and prevent clot formation.
Garlic is a good natural remedy for such a common cardiovascular problem as hypertension. This is due to allicin and its vasodilator capacity, which helps lower blood pressure.
The most effective method for garlic to take effect against this ailment is to take it on an empty stomach when you wake up with a glass of water.
Garlic, being hypocholesterolemic, helps reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This is certified by more than 25 studies or by the Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC), which emphasizes the importance of including garlic in the diet.
On the other hand, it has recently been discovered that garlic also has combat capacity against atherosclerosis, a disease that deposits plaques made up of fats and cholesterol inside the arteries.
According to researchers from the University of Missouri (United States), garlic prevents neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.
This is because garlic develops antioxidants that offer protective and healing benefits to brain cells. These become much more resistant to stress or inflammation, main causes of the appearance of neurological diseases.
Garlic has very beneficial anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties to reduce joint pain. Also, because it is rich in antioxidants, garlic helps strengthen the immune system.
Thus, it serves as a natural remedy to prevent or treat problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis or osteopenia.
Foundations dedicated to working on bone problems, such as Save our Bones , include garlic within the natural supplement for building healthy and strong bones.
Thanks to the fact that it is a powerful antioxidant and has starchy and mucilaginous elements, garlic becomes a powerful natural remedy for the face, keeping the skin young, smooth and, above all, healthy.
Dermatitis, pimples, boils, dry skin, fungi, acne, irritated or sensitive skin or wrinkles can be combated thanks to garlic.
For garlic to have an effect on our face, the ideal is to take it crushed, combining it with a little olive oil.
There is a tendency among athletes to consume raw garlic before a workout due to their belief that it improves performance and promotes muscle development.
The truth is that, thanks to the benefits of garlic in the blood circulation, the nutrients reach the tissues in an unbeatable way and therefore the muscles are benefited.
In any case, it has not been proven that taking garlic before playing sports improves muscle growth. Put simply, garlic should be used as a pick-me-up in a healthy diet.
One study suggests that aged garlic extract prevents physiological aging without affecting memory disorders .
The research was carried out on mice with accelerated senescence (aging) and the result revealed a marked improvement in learning deficits and a life expectancy of two extra months.
Garlic supplements help boost the immune system and prevent common illnesses like colds and flu.
Some studies reveal that a person who consumes garlic can get a cold by 63% compared to a person who does not consume it.
Although garlic can cause gas in some people, the intake of garlic helps to better process the food we consume in our digestive system.
In addition, garlic helps eliminate waste from the body such as bacteria and thus prevent intestinal and stomach inflammation.
Along with allicin, garlic is made up of arginine and selenium, components that help stop toxic substances filtered by the liver from reaching other parts of the body.
One of these substances is low- density lipoproteins (VLDL), which can damage the liver if we do not eat a healthy diet. To solve this problem, we can resort to garlic, since it reduces the levels of lipoproteins.
A team from Xi’an Jiaotong University (China) suggested in a study that fresh garlic extract has inhibition properties against fungi such as Candida Albicans, which causes problems such as vaginitis.
In this report it is also made clear that garlic has greater potential to fight these fungi than some of the antibiotics that are on the market, such as fluconazole or itraconazole.
Apathy or irritability, triggers of mood swings, are sometimes related to diet.
It has been shown that adding vitamin B6 to our diet substantially improves mood. And what product is rich in this vitamin? Exactly! Garlic contains an average of 1.2 mg of vitamin B6 per 100 grams.
Approximately 70-80% of cases of erectile dysfunction are due to physiological causes. This indicates that medicine can act to combat it, with diet being a great ally to overcome problems.
Although Viagra is the most popular method, garlic has been shown to help improve blood flow and therefore erections. Once again, allicin is largely responsible for improving our health.
One of the main causes of anemia is the body’s inability to create enough red blood cells. Poor diet or deficiency of iron or some vitamins are usually the cause of this condition.
A home remedy is to take raw garlic. Not only does it have the ability to help form red blood cells, but it also helps them stay strong thanks to its properties.
It is one of the most controversial points about the properties of garlic. There are many studies that suggest that garlic is capable of reducing the risk of contracting cancer of the stomach, prostate, intestine or pancreas, among others, but there are also detractors who question its anticancer properties. We compiled a couple of very recent investigations to situate ourselves:
According to the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China), people who consume raw garlic at least twice a week have a 44% lower chance of developing lung cancer.
In an investigation of the Department of Experimental Medicine of the University of Perugia (Italy), they question the correlation of reduced risk of colon cancer and garlic consumption.
A study carried out with rats suggests that garlic has a protective capacity against the biochemical alteration of malignant prostate glands induced by Cadmium (Cd).
Although garlic can be considered a ‘superfood’, moderation in its consumption is key so that it is not harmful.
People with stomach problems or who are undergoing anticoagulant treatments should refrain from its intake so as not to suffer from gastrointestinal problems.
– The San Pedro de Zamora Fair is dedicated exclusively to garlic.
– Although it has not been scientifically proven, there is a belief that rubbing garlic on the skin repels mosquitoes.
– Spain produced 175,000 tons of garlic in the 2015 campaign. Almost 10,000 corresponded to the region of Castilla-La Mancha, the region of the European Union (EU) that produces the most.
– The Cherokee Indians used garlic to rid horses of mucus problems.
– Popular culture has associated garlic with witchcraft, spells, curses or a symbol of protection and good luck.
– “Men who eat garlic are more attractive to women” concluded the University of Stirling (Scotland) and Charles University (Czech Republic) in a joint investigation.
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