Benefits of Garlic: Consuming One Clove Daily for Enhanced Health
Benefits of garlic: Eat one clove daily to enhance health
Hippocrates, the revered Greek physician and father of Western medicine, said: “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Garlic, with its historical medicinal applications, has now been validated by modern science. This article discusses the countless health benefits associated with garlic consumption.
What is garlic?
Garlic, a bulbous plant from the Allium family, is available in different sizes and colors. It is often grown alongside vegetables, and it acts as a natural insecticide. Despite imparting a distinct odor upon consumption, garlic is believed to confer overall health benefits.
Garlic has been used globally for thousands of years, and garlic’s healing properties have been recognized since the building of the Pyramids of Giza about 5,000 years ago. Ancient Indian societies recognized its healing properties, even attributing its aphrodisiac effects to garlic. Hippocrates himself endorsed its use to treat respiratory problems, poor digestion, and fatigue.
Throughout history, garlic has been used in the Middle East, East Asia, and Nepal to treat conditions such as bronchitis, high blood pressure, tuberculosis, flatulence, colic, intestinal worms, rheumatism, diabetes, and fever. Today, garlic finds widespread use in the management of heart-related conditions such as atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, heart attacks, and high blood pressure.
Nutritional value of garlic
Garlic is characterized by low levels of fat, calories, protein and carbohydrates. Its nutritional effect stems from the compounds it contains. One clove of garlic provides:
Carbohydrates: 1 gram
Trace amounts of fat, protein and fibre
Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants:
2% of the daily value of manganese
2% daily value of vitamin B6
1% daily value of vitamin C
0.06 grams of fiber
0.2 grams of protein
1 gram of carbohydrates
Allicin and bioactive compounds:
Flavonoids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
Allicin, an antibiotic and antifungal compound, is best eaten raw
Selenium and allyl sulfides, which protect the cell’s DNA from damage
Benefits of garlic
Garlic’s rich array of components and nutrients, including polyphenols, organic sulfur, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, makes it effective in promoting health and preventing various diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disorders and high blood pressure.
Lowering blood pressure:
A study of 23 volunteers with high cholesterol revealed that garlic extract supplements improved blood lipid levels, enhanced antioxidant potential, and reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Anti-inflammatory effects on the cardiovascular system:
Garlic oil, specifically diallyl disulfide (DADS), protects the heart during surgery, after a heart attack, and works as a treatment for heart failure.
Hydrogen sulfide gas found in garlic also protects the heart from damage.
Stimulate immune cell activity:
Garlic enhances immune system function, reducing the frequency of colds without affecting the duration of symptoms.
Preventive use of garlic reduces the incidence of colds, and this is confirmed by studies published in the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Preventing colds and influenza:
Regular consumption of garlic extract reduces the number of days with a cold or flu by up to 61%, underscoring its importance for those prone to frequent respiratory illnesses.