Garlic ‘lahsun’ herb, part of the onion family, is known as Allium sativum, besides being used for its amazing health benefits, is commonly used as a flavouring agent in cooking. The bulb of garlic consists of 10-20 smaller sections known as cloves. Though culinarily considered a herb or spice, garlic is botanically a vegetable.
The active component of garlic is Allicin, an antioxidant and anti inflammatory compound. The odourless garlic ‘lahsun’ contains little or no allicin. Allicin is a compound produced when garlic is crushed or chopped.
Garlic is loaded with abundant nutrients and minerals. It contains no fats. It contains a high percentage of vitamins and minerals. 100 grams of garlic contains approximately 150 calories, 6.36 grams of protein, and 33 grams of carbohydrates.
Garlic also includes vitamin B6 95% of DV (Daily Value), manganese 73% of DV vitamin C 52% of DV, copper 33% of DV, iron 21 % of DV, calcium 18% of DV, and selenium 26% of DV.
Possible Health Benefits of Garlic…
1/9. Protects from cancer
1. The organo-sulfur compounds present in garlic are effective in destroying the cells in a type of brain tumour.
2. The natural compounds present in garlic help selectively kill cancer cells thus, preventing its growth and spread. Garlic strengthens the immunity of the body against cancer and hence, lowers the risk of prostate, lung, stomach, throat, and colon cancers.
2/9. Reduces the risk of heart diseases
1. The anti-oxidant properties of Allicin, the active ingredient of garlic helps to lower cholesterol levels.
2. Garlic regulates blood pressure as the red blood cells convert the sulphur present in garlic into hydrogen sulphide gas which relaxes the blood vessels thus, smoothly regulating blood pressure. Hydrogen sulphide gas protects the heart from damage.
3. Garlic contains heart-protective chemicals. Garlic reduces the risk of heart disease by relaxing the hardened blood vessels and by preventing platelet aggregation.
3/9. Beneficial in colds
1. The antibiotic and antimicrobial properties of garlic help arrest the growth of unwanted organisms.
2. Garlic helps in reducing and preventing the severity of the common cold.
3. As garlic boosts the immune system, it decreases the intensity and duration of the cold symptoms.
4/9. Offers good skin
1. The anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties of garlic help offer good skin.
2. The antibacterial and antioxidant properties of garlic clear the skin by decreasing the inflammation and swelling of acne.
3. The antioxidant properties of garlic protect the skin and prevent the skin from damage from free radicals. It aids in the longevity and growth of the skin cells.
4. Due to the anti-aging effects possessed by garlic, aging of the skin is delayed.
5/9. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
1. Raw garlic is a high source of allicin compound, which prevents bad cholesterol from oxidizing thus, lowers the cholesterol levels.
2. Lowering the cholesterol levels, garlic further reduces cardiovascular risk and improves heart health.
3. Garlic also decreases blood pressure and lowers the incidence of blood clots.
6/9. Improves Digestion
1. Consumption of raw garlic improves digestive health and reduces inflammation of the gastric canal.
2. Garlic diminishes intestinal complaints such as colitis, dysentery, and diarrhoea.
3. It also relieves stomach gas.
4. Lasun demolishes the bad bacteria and guards against build up of the bad bacteria in the gut.
7/9. Boosts Immunity
1. The zinc content of garlic boosts immunity. The phytonutrients and antioxidants present in garlic decrease oxidative stress thus, strengthening immunity.
2. Garlic extracts increase the white blood count thus, promoting immune-stimulating effects.
8/9. Improves Eye Health
1. The rich source of nutrients such as quercetin, selenium, and vitamin C in garlic enhances eye health.
2. These nutrients also help in eye inflammation and infections. Garlic’s antimicrobial property makes it effective against the microbes that cause eyesight-threatening keratitis. Garlic lowers the intraocular pressure.
9/9. Other benefits of garlic…
Garlic also imparts few other health benefits such as, regulating Diabetes, kills the bacteria that causes food poisoning, boosts immunity, enhances the performance and reduces the fatigue of people doing physical labor, helps reduce bone loss, protects against brain damage, prevents Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, lowers the risk of osteoarthritis and prevents cancer.
Galic is loaded with of anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Eating raw and crushed garlic clove releases allicin, its healing compound.
Ways to use Garlic
Garlic can be consumed in a variety of forms such as,
- Garlic oil.
- Garlic Tea.
- Garlic powder.
- Garlic supplements.
- Raw Garlic – Can be added to veggies, bread, pasta, or salads.
- Cook with garlic – Can be used for marinating, simmering a garlic soup, mashing garlic into potatoes, using it in preparing veggies, in salsa, blended into a hot sauce.
How to prepare Garlic Tea?
Take 3 cups of water in a pan. Add 3 cloves of garlic in the water and bring it to boil.
Switch off the flame, when the water boils. Add ½ cup of the honey (OR the sweetener of your choice OR maybe no sweetener) and ½ cup of the fresh lemon juice. Strain the tea.
Sip it warm.