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A bulbous plant that is closely related to onions, shallots, chives and leeks, Garlic has been used since the time of ancient Egyptians both as a flavouring ingredient and as a traditional medicine to cure many minor and major health issues. Native to Northeastern Iran and Central Asia, this plant has been dominating the kitchens of households worldwide. An excellent source of manganese and phosphorus, Garlic is rich in other vitamins like Vitamin C, Calcium, Sulfur and Copper.
Benefits of Garlic
1. Helps in Weight Loss
Garlic when consumed in your diet regularly, help satiate hunger and burn excess fat in the body, thus resulting in weight loss. Consuming it in lower quantities every day will work wonders if taken properly and in limit.
2. Lowers BP
Garlic releases a compound named Allicin when it is chopped finely or crushed under pressure. This compound is responsible to lower Blood Pressure in the human body. If you suffer from High Blood Pressure, adding garlic to your daily intake will help lower blood pressure that in-turn will result in a healthy heart.
3. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Consuming raw garlic cloves in limited quantities has a significant impact on lowering the body’s blood sugar levels, thus making garlic a boon for those suffering from diabetes or other heart diseases. A good solution to lower the LDL (Bad) Cholesterol, Garlic helps in lowering the risk of heart diseases.
4. Prevents acne
Applying garlic externally (in low quantity) only on the affected areas, or adding it to your daily diet helps prevent acne. Combined along with other ingredients like honey, turmeric or cream, Garlic can be used to treat acne scars. An antibiotic herb, Garlic is also an effective skin cleanser that helps prevent and cure many skin related diseases.
5. Improves Digestion
Helping in bowel movement, Garlic clears up most of the endo-abdominal problems. Helping relieve stomach gas, Garlic is an effective herbal remedy that removes any kind of worms and harmful bacteria in the intestines.
How Does Garlic Benefit in Cold?
Having anti-oxidant and anti-viral properties, Garlic is an effective remedy to cure Cold. Providing a fast relief from the symptoms of cold and flu, if eaten raw, garlic acts as a decongestant which further helps to release the congestion. Consuming fresh crushed garlic or placing a garlic clove within your teeth and slightly chewing it causes garlic to release a substance called allicin which is a powerful antibacterial substance that alleviates the feeling of cold or flu.
How To Consume?
You can consume raw garlic to help relieve the cold and flu symptoms by two unconventional methods:
- Suck a raw clove of garlic for 15 minutes. A pungent smell and taste will hit you hard but the juices and enzymes that are secreted by garlic during this process will definitely work wonders. Do not try this method on an empty stomach or if you have a sensitive stomach.
- Crush two cloves of Garlic and let it rest for about 15 minutes. This process will activate all the enzymes present in garlic that will help you alleviate the cold and flu. Add honey or a few drops of olive oil to the crushed garlic and eat with a small slice of bread to neutralize the smell.
A study titled “Garlic for the common cold” in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews states “Garlic is alleged to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties that relieve the common cold, among other beneficial effects. There is a widespread usage of garlic supplements.”
Few things to keep in mind while you add a small intake of garlic in your diet are
- Make sure you don’t consume garlic in excess. 2-3 cloves a day would do but consuming 4 or more may lead to certain side effects.
- People who have any heart ailment or suffer from Asthma should refrain from consuming garlic.
- People who have recently undergone a surgery should not consume garlic as it can cause bleeding.
- People with low blood pressure should not eat garlic, though it is recommended to people with high blood pressure.
Always consult a nutritionist before trying to add garlic to your everyday diet.