Garlic is a part of a plant, the bulb, which is widely used in the kitchen to season and season food, but it can also be used as a natural medicine to complement the treatment of various health problems, such as fungal infections or high blood pressure, for example.
This food is rich in sulfur compounds, the main one being allicin, which provides the characteristic smell of garlic, being one of the main responsible for its functional properties. In addition, garlic is also rich in various minerals that nourish the body, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
The main benefits of garlic are:
1. Fight viruses, fungi and bacteria
Garlic has a sulfur compound, known as allicin, which gives it antimicrobial action, inhibiting the growth and proliferation of bacteria, viruses and fungi. In fact, it even helps to eliminate toxins and pathological bacteria that affect the intestinal flora, being very useful to complete the treatment of worm infections.
2. Prevent colon cancer
Thanks to the action of allicin, aliine and garlicene, which are sulfur compounds, garlic also has a powerful antioxidant action that prevents the formation of free radicals and protects the body’s cells. In addition, these compounds also help to stimulate some enzymes that detoxify the body from agents that cause colon cancer.
3. Protect heart health
Garlic helps to reduce levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides in the blood, as it inhibits oxidation, thereby reducing the risk of atherosclerosis that can lead to the onset of various cardiovascular diseases.
In addition, garlic helps to regulate blood pressure because it has a slight antihypertensive effect, as well as the ability to improve blood circulation, reducing pressure on the vessels. It also prevents clots from forming by inhibiting excessive platelet aggregation.
4. Improves inflammatory diseases
The sulfuric compounds in garlic also have an anti-inflammatory action, decreasing the body’s response to some diseases that cause chronic inflammation. Thus, garlic can be used in some inflammatory diseases, to decrease pain and regulate the response of the immune system.
5. Avoid respiratory diseases
Garlic helps to stimulate respiratory functions thanks to its expectorant and antiseptic properties that facilitate breathing. Therefore, garlic can be used to treat colds, coughs, colds, snoring, asthma, bronchitis and other lung problems.
6. Keeping the brain healthy
Due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action provided by allicin and sulfur, and due to its content of selenium and choline, frequent consumption of garlic helps to protect brain cells and reduce the damage caused by free radicals, which are involved in the emergence of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Therefore, garlic is a food with great potential to improve memory and promote learning, improving brain health.
How to use garlic
To obtain its benefits, you should consume 1 clove of fresh garlic a day. A tip to increase its beneficial power is to chop or knead the garlic and let it rest for 10 minutes before using, as this increases the amount of allicin, the main responsible for its properties.
Garlic can be used to season meats, salads, sauces and pasta, for example. In addition, garlic tea or garlic water can also be prepared, which, when consumed frequently, help to lower cholesterol and protect the heart.
Also learn about the benefits of black garlic and how it can be used .
Nutritional information and how to use
The following table shows the nutritional composition in 100 g of garlic:
|Quantity in 100 g of fresh garlic|
|Energy: 113 kcal|
|Protein||7 g||Calcium||14 mg|
|Carbohydrates||23.9 g||Potassium||535 mg|
|Fat||0.2 g||Phosphor||14 mg|
|Fibers||4.3 g||Sodium||10 mg|
|Vitamin C||17 mg||Iron||0.8 mg|
|Magnesium||21 mg||Alicina||225 mg|
|Selenium||14.2 mcg||Hill||23.2 mg|
Garlic can be used to season meats, pasta, salads and to make sauces and pates. In addition, garlic tea or water can also be used to obtain its cholesterol-lowering benefits and protect the heart. See how to do it here .
How to buy and how to store
At the time of purchase, you should prefer round heads of garlic, without stains, full and well formed, with garlic cloves joined and firm, avoiding those that are loose, soft and withered.
In addition, to preserve garlic for longer and prevent mold, it must be stored in a cool, dry and lightly ventilated place.
Side effects and contraindications
Excessive consumption of garlic can cause digestive problems, cramps, gas, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, kidney pain and dizziness.
In addition, the consumption of raw garlic as a natural remedy is contraindicated for newborns, during the healing of surgeries and in cases of low blood pressure, stomach pain, bleeding and the use of medicines to thin the blood.
Recipe options with garlic
Some ways to use garlic and get all its benefits include:
1. Garlic tea
The tea should be prepared with 1 clove of garlic for every 100 to 200 mL of water. To do this, place the chopped and crushed garlic in the boiling water and let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Then remove from heat, strain and let cool.
To improve the flavor of the tea, you can add grated ginger, a few drops of lemon or 1 dessert spoon of honey, for example.
2. Garlic water
To prepare the garlic water, place 1 crushed garlic clove in 100 mL of water and then let it stand overnight or at least 8 hours. This water should be ingested on an empty stomach to help cleanse the intestines and reduce cholesterol.
3. Garlic cream for meat
- 1 American glass of milk;
- 3 cloves of garlic;
- 1 pinch of salt, parsley and oregano;
- Olive oil.
Beat the milk, garlic, salt, parsley and oregano in a blender. Then, add the oil gradually until you find the cream point of the recipe. You can use this cream to accompany barbecue meats or to make garlic bread.