April 16, 2014
April is National Garlic Month, garlic has so many benefits, it is not just for adding flavor to your favorite dishes. Garlic is unique, with its white compound bulb encasing many small cloves in papery sheathes. Garlic has a distinctively pungent taste and smell, and may come fresh, dried; or as an extract, powder, oil, or tablet.
Antibacterial and Antiviral
Garlic is most well-known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. They help control bacterial, viral, fungal, yeast and worm infections. Fresh garlic is thought to play a role in preventing food poisoning by killing bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella enteritidis, etc.
Garlic is rich in manganese, vitamin B1, B6 and C; as well as phosphorus, selenium, calcium, potassium, iron and copper. Studies have been conducted showing that garlic helps improve stress and calm, which also aids in keeping your immune system strong.
Garlic is known to have anti-inflammatory property. It can help the body fight against allergies. The anti-arthritic property of garlic is due to diallyl sulphide and thiacremonone. Garlic has been show to improve allergic airway inflammation (allergic rhinitis). Raw garlic juice may be used to immediately stop the itching due to rashes and bug bites.
Garlic may help to regulate the formation of fat cells in our body. Pre-adipocytes are converted into fat cells (adipocytes) through inflammatory system activity. The anti-inflammatory property of 1, 2-DT (1, 2-vinyldithiin) found in garlic may help inhibit this conversion. This may help prevent weight gain.
Not only is garlic beneficial to health, it can add zest to a variety of foods. The best way to enjoy garlic’s health benefits is to eat it raw, or close to raw. A temperature above 140F destroys the allicin, so it is best to add it at the very end of the cooking process after the dish has been removed from the source of heat.
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