With a strong flavor and intense smell, garlic is one of those foods that could almost be considered both a condiment and a medicine. And it is that its nutritional qualities and its positive effects do not end. Here we have collected the 8 most relevant benefits.
Garlic is one of those ingredients that cannot be missing in the kitchen. In fact, its presence in gastronomy dates back thousands of years.
Whether raw or cooked in sauces, stir-fries, garnishes or creams, garlic is part of the universal cookbook on its own merits.
Its unique flavor transforms any dish, giving it extra flavour, exceptional nutritional quality and important benefits for the body.
- The secret is in its sulfur compounds (such as allicin) and other substances that, when combined, protect health in various ways.
Discover All Its Varieties
White is the most common, but not the only one. In the market you can also find…
- purple garlic. It ripens earlier and is usually larger, but being more tender, it is kept for less time.
Choose Heads That Are Firm And Heavy And Have No Shoots
- Tender garlic It is collected before the bulb develops. Its flavor is milder and this makes it suitable for salads and stir-fries.
- Black garlic With a surprisingly mild flavor, it is obtained after a fermentation process and is very rich in phenolic compounds.
Tricks So You Don’t Repeat
The best way to take advantage of the medicinal virtues of garlic is to consume it raw. Note that some of its beneficial volatile compounds disappear in cooked garlic.
- To soften their flavor and avoid “repeating” them, cut them in half and remove the green germ from inside.
- You can also blanch them for a minute or soak them, peeled, for a couple of hours.
- Avoid bad breath that can be caused by chewing raw parsley or mint leaves. You can also take a little honey with lemon juice.
Don’t Take It If…
Although its benefits are many, garlic also has some contraindications that can affect our health and therefore must be taken into account:
- It is not recommended when there is a tendency to hemorrhage because, due to its vasodilator effect, it makes the blood flow faster.
- In cases where there is a deficiency of gastric acids, it may not be digested well and cause flatulence.
- It can cause heartburn in the mouth, esophagus and stomach.
- As for possible interactions with drugs, it can increase the risk of bleeding if it is administered together with anticoagulants such as aspirin or others.
- It is also not recommended if treatment with hypoglycemic agents is followed, since garlic would accentuate hypoglycemia.
- During pregnancy and lactation, it is advisable to avoid consuming large amounts of garlic, as it can stimulate the uterus or even cause an abortion.
Eight Potential Benefits Of Garlic
In the following gallery, yes, we collect some of its most outstanding effects on health. And it is that garlic has countless virtues that will undoubtedly convince you to introduce them into your daily diet, if you have not already done so.
Protects Your Heart
Eating garlic regularly improves blood circulation, as it causes vasodilation, increases the diameter of blood vessels and therefore blood flows more easily, lowering pressure.
You can rub some raw garlic on the toasted bread slices. The result is a tasty and nutritious appetizer that can be accompanied by Serrano ham, York ham or cheese.
Whet Your Appetite
Another of the qualities of garlic is that it stimulates the gastrointestinal mucosa, causing an increase in digestive secretions and bile. This translates into a better preparation of the digestive tract for the digestion of food.
- To put an end to bad breath, nothing better than apples, lettuce and mint leaves. This is confirmed by researchers from the Department of Food Sciences and Technologies of the Ohio State University, in the USA.
It Is An Effective Antibiotic
A study from Washington State University (USA) and published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy concludes that diallyl sulfide, a compound found in garlic, is 100 times more effective than popular antibiotics in fighting bacteria Campylobacter (one of the most common causes of intestinal infections).
- To prevent it from repeating its flavor hours after consumption, open the garlic clove in half and remove the greenish stalk that it has inside.
Reduces The Risk Of Premature Birth
Various studies such as the one carried out by the Epidemiology Division of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have shown that the intake of nuts and vegetables such as garlic reduce the risk of premature birth, since they keep microbial infections at bay during pregnancy.
- The best way to store the garlic is in a cool, dry and ventilated place, and if possible store the whole string to prevent them from softening.
Take Care Of Your Bones
Garlic is beneficial for those suffering from arthritis or any joint pain thanks to its high selenium and sulfur content.
- You can prepare a garlic and lemon juice to drink the next day. To do this, you just have to crush a piece of garlic and mix it with the juice of a lemon. Take it on an empty stomach.
Fight The Cold
A team of scientists from the St. Joseph Family Medicine Residency in Mishawaka, Indiana (USA) concluded that taking garlic can reduce the frequency of colds in adults.
- Remember that when frying the garlic we must avoid cooking it over high heat so that it does not brown and so that the oil in which we have fried it does not taste bitter.
Reduce The Cholesterol
A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed after an experiment that garlic was capable of lowering cholesterol levels, as well as blood pressure.
- If its flavor is too strong for you, you can reduce it by letting it soak for an hour before cooking.
Strengthens The Immune System
Adding garlic to our recipes is very beneficial for our defenses as it is antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial. Unlike synthetic antibiotics, bacteria, viruses, and fungi do not offer resistance to garlic.
- If you have stockpiled garlic, you can freeze the peeled cloves, but without exceeding two months of storage, otherwise they lose flavor.
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