Garlic is the most commonly used flavoring ingredient in Indian recipes and is used as a seasoning worldwide. It has a unique taste and adds a strong flavor to the recipes. Traditionally, garlic has been used as a treatment for many ailments due to its magical medicinal properties. Crushing garlic cloves will release the sulphur compound allicin which has fantastic health benefits. So always crush the cloves 10 mins before using them in curries, salads and soups. While cutting with knife will not be as much effective as crushing.
Garlic for Healthy Heart, Blood Pressure and Diabetes…
1. Lowers Cholesterol
Garlic has been proven to lower cholesterol (1) and thin the blood, which helps to prevent stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease. Garlic is great for the heart and circulatory system. A cholesterol free garlic recipe like Garlicky Cabbage and Spinach Salad will help in reducing your bad cholesterol levels.
2. Helps in Blood Pressure Control
The active ingredient allicin present in garlic aids in lowering blood pressure (2). People with hypertension should chew 2-3 garlic cloves to bring down their blood pressure or can make recipes with raw garlic like Garlicky Hummus and Fresh Garlic Chutney to bring down their blood pressure.
3. Good for Diabetics
Garlic is also alleged to help regulate blood glucose levels. Regular and prolonged use of therapeutic amounts of aged garlic extracts lower blood homocysteine level. In a study, raw garlic had a profound effect in reducing the glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels (3). You can make diabetic friendly rotis using garlic like Jowar Bajra Garlic Roti and Garlic Roti, Green Garlic Multigrain Roti that are also fibre rich and helps to prevent glucose from shooting up.
4. Promotes Gut Health/Antimicrobial
Freshly crushed Garlic cloves are used as a remedy for infections (especially chest problems), digestive disorders, and fungal infections as it contains allicin which has antimicrobial activities. Allicin has protective activities against bacteria, fungus, parasites and virus (4).
5. Treats Cold
Garlic has an antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal function and can help in relieving common cold and other infections. The chemical compound in garlic, Allicin, is found to be highly effective in treating cold. In a study, it was observed that allicin was helpful in preventing and treating patients with common cold (5). Garlicky Beetroot Soup is a good option to keep infections at bay.
An antioxidant protects the cells of the body from damage by harmful molecules called free radicals. The thiosulphate compound, Allicin found in garlic acts as a strong antioxidant and protects our body from oxidative damage (6). A tangy chutney like Garlic Tomato Chutney will zest up your sandwiches or rolls.
Garlic and onion have anti-inflammatory properties and may help in inflammatory conditions like arthritis (7).
8. Protective Against Cancer
It blocks the growth of cancer cells; therefore, people who eat garlic tend to develop less stomach and colon cancers. Garlic has also been associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer (8).