“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
Those were words from the father of Western Medicine, the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates.
I remember living amongst Indians as a child in the Eric Moore Area of Surulere, in Lagos, and most times when I pass them on the road, I percieve what seem to me then, as a fowl smell. They all had a peculiar odour oozing from them; however, within these odour, lies a secret, a secret which I shall share with you today.
This odour came from Garlic.
GARLIC – Allium sativum, commonly known as Garlic, is a specie in the Allium family (Onion family). The healing effects of this vegetable are said to be due to an active ingredient called Allicin. This Allicin, is also what gives garlic its distinctive taste and strong smell.
So, what are the health benefits of Garlic?
Enhances Physical Performance:
This will interest men more. There is hardly a man who doesn’t want to perform better in bed, at work, exercise etc.
Garlic has a long history of being used in ancient cultures to reduce fatigue and enhance the work capacity of laborers. Call it the modern day energy booster.
Lowers Heart Disease Risk:
Garlic lowers the risk of heart disease, either in adults or youths, by reducing the total LDL cholesterol level in the syatem. It fights the
body’s ability to dissolve blood clots that would otherwise, increase the risk of heart attacks by closing the arteries.
Lowers Blood Pressure:
Cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes are the world’s biggest killers. However, active compounds in Garlic, can significantly reduce blood pressure in person’s with high blood pressure, comparable to the effects of prescribed drugs.
Fights Common Cold:
Garlic’s allicin can serve as a health aid during times of illness, by boosting the immune system against common cold and flu.
Detoxify Heavy Metals in the Body:
At high doses, the sulfur compounds in garlic have been shown to protect against organ damage from heavy metal toxicity.
Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia:
Garlic contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and ageing. It support the body’s protective mechanisms against oxidative damage
Improves Bone Health:
Garlic is really high in manganese, which contains enzymes and antioxidants that facilitates the formation of bones and connective tissues, bone metabolism, and calcium absorption.
Garlic May Help You Live Longer:
Given the beneficial effects of Garlic, which we have discussed so far, and with risk factors like blood pressure, it makes sense to say, that garlic could help you live longer.
The fact that it can fight infectious disease is also an important factor, because these are common causes of death, especially in adults or people with dysfunctional immune systems.
As Food Supplement:
Garlic is very rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Manganese. It also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of garlic contains:
Manganese: 23% of the RDA.
Vitamin B6: 17% of the RDA.
Vitamin C: 15% of the RDA.
Selenium: 6% of the RDA.
Fiber: 1 gram.
And fair amounts of Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron and Vitamin B1.
So, whether you take your garlic raw, powdered, salted, or minced or in supplement form, you can reap the surprising benefits of this multipurpose vegetable, for optimal health.