Garlic is a strong smelling, onion looking, pungent-tasting herb. It belongs to the Allium species and closely related to leeks, onion, etc. It’s scientific name is Allium Slativum. A whole garlic is called a bulb, each bulb is made up of segments, each segment is called cloves. It usually has about 10-20 cloves in a bulb. Garlic can be found in almost every kitchen, it is used as flavour for cooking because of it’s delicious taste and strong smell. Garlic has been used for thousands of years for cooking and as medicine by humans. And is still been used for these purposes today.
In terms of nutrition, garlic contains very useful minerals like Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper and Iron. Traces of minerals like sulfur, iodine, and chlorine can also be found in garlic.
Garlic is also very rich in vitamins like: Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate and vitamins A, B6, C and K. It is also one of the few sources of Allisatin 1, Allisatin 2 and Allicin. It is very low in calories.
Health Benefits of Garlic
Garlic has a lot of health benefits, but I will mention just seven(7) in this article.
1. It Improves Heart Health.
Eating of garlic cloves raw, helps to regulate blood clotting and enhance better blood flow by intimately balancing the clotting so that it does not clot too much or not clot enough. It also aids in lowering cholesterol levels due to the presence of Allicin which contains anti-oxidant properties, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. It’s also very beneficial in regulating blood pressure and sugar level.
2. Garlic Helps In Boosting The Immune System.
When it comes to boosting the immune system, garlic helps a lot as it successfully kills bacteria that causes infections. This enhancement in immunity is due to the presence of Allicin, which not only kills these microbes, but also hinders infections from occurring. Allicin also has anti-viral and anti-fungi properties, these makes it an all-round immunity booster.
3. Garlic Helps In Weight Loss
Garlic helps in tackling obesity and is great for weight loss. It decreases the expression of genes that are involved in adipogenesis; formation of fat cells and increases thermogenesis, which helps burn fat and reduce cholesterol levels.
4. Garlic Is Great For Liver Health
Garlic helps the liver with production of enzymes that are necessary for detoxification. It is also good for fixing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, helping the liver to work optimally once again.
5. Garlic Helps To Detoxify Heavy Metals From The Body
Heavy metals are extremely toxic. They can cause a lot of damage like cancer, organ failure and more. The sulfur compound present in garlic has been proven to protect against organ damage from heavy metal toxicity, if applied at high dose, it drastically reduces lead levels in the blood. Sulfur also helps in the absorption of iron and zinc in the blood.
6. Garlic Helps In Treating Cold And Cough
Garlic taken raw or cooked or garlic tea can relieve you of stuffed nose and cure cold. It can also build your immunity against the frequent occurrence of cold and cough.
7. Garlic Is Very Good For The Skin.
Garlic is a very effective skin cleanser, it also contains antibiotics that help in treating lots of skin problems such as: cold sores, skin rashes, psoriasis and blisters. It also helps in protecting against ultra-violet rays and in delaying aging.
Garlic is a very valuable herb, with lots of health benefits, either taken raw, cooked or in tea form.
Do not as a result of the benefits of garlic take too much of it. Take at least 2-3 cloves per day, except otherwise advised by your doctor.