Ask Mira: Eating Right to Live Happy & Healthy
Everyone has heard about the benefits of garlic. Garlic does more than make our food taste better, it can help in the prevention of several medical conditions.
Garlic clove is considered a pure treatment for diabetes, both types: Type 1 also called insulin-dependent diabetes that affects young children, and Type 2 diabetes, also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes that affects older people and will appear at later stages.
In fact, a British study conducted in February proved that a garlic clove was able to minimize insulin blood levels when mice ingested it orally. Moreover, it is regarded as a miracle by naturopaths and herbalists. This is mainly due to a compound called allicin present in garlic that has natural antibiotic properties, as well as the presence of sulphur, which is also the cause for its pungent smell.
Below are several more medical benefits of garlic:
Fresh or cooked garlic helps in lowering blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. It increases the levels of high-density lipoproteins and reduces harmful cholesterol in the blood which protect our arteries and heart.
Garlic stimulates the body’s immune system and helps in the fight against various immune or auto-immune diseases.
Garlic offers some benefits during pregnancy as well. According to a study conducted by doctors in a London hospital, garlic supplementation promoted the weight-gain for babies that were at risk of low birth weight.
Garlic helps improve iron metabolism, as the sulfides in garlic increase the production of a protein called ferroportin. This protein present in the cell membrane helps form a passageway that allows stored iron to leave those cells and be used whenever it is needed.
But remember, although garlic is potentially beneficial, some people cannot tolerate its strong smell. You can then switch to garlic food supplements that offer the same benefits.
Also, some people have colon problems, reflux, ulcer or are allergic to garlic. So always consult your doctor regarding any health or medical condition.
My personal advice in cooking with garlic is to add it at the end of cooking, so it does not lose too many of its beneficial properties, including its sulphur compounds that are super beneficial. Also, if you cannot tolerate raw garlic, you can add chopped garlic to your food while cooking it to retain a maximum amount of flavor and good nutrition.
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