Facts About Garlic
The allium sativum or also known as Garlic is a herb or spices in onion genus. It is relatively close to onion, leek, chive, rakkyo and shallot.
According to garlic’s historical use, it is already about seven thousand years ago when it was discovered or used and native into the central Asia.
This is traditionally used for cooking. It is considered unique because of its high content of sulfur. This is one of the spices that gives health benefits especially in fighting various diseases.
To describe garlic, it is a perennial bulb that has a tall and erect stem which grows up to one meter. The leaf blade is naturally flat, solid, linear and with a pointed top.
The garlic plant normally produces a strong smell and has an outer layer of a thin sheathing leaves and surrounding inner sheaths which pictures to enclose the clove.
The typical cloves number ranges from ten to twenty cloves. The cloves are asymmetrical in terms of shape except for the cloves into the center. Most importantly, it is known for the health benefits of garlic.
Garlic Benefits – Medical Purposes
During these days, garlic is classified already as both for food and medical purposes.
It can be eaten as a food and can be used as a medicine or a supplement form in order to provide health to the body. Basically, using garlic for most people is safe. But this truly makes person’s breath and sweat unpleasant.
If this phenomenon did not happen, experts said that taking this would be nonsense. It is because the factor of smell indicates the healing properties of the garlic.
If you are a regular user of garlic, take green leafy vegetable as it helps in the reduction of the smell without losing the essence of garlic’s healing properties.
Garlic Nutrition Facts
Knowing the right amount of the food you are eating as well as its nutrition fact is very essential. Garlic has its nutrition facts too that is essential in an individual’s diet.
However, making use of the content of garlic may let you take its content/ compound that is helpful in individual’s health. It will depend on how much nutrition you take in every gram.
Here is the nutrition fact of Garlic in every 100 grams
- 149 of Calories
- 0.5 grams Total Fat ( Saturated Fat – 0.1 grams, Polyunsaturated Fat – 0.2 grams, Monounsaturated Fat – 0 gram )
- Zero percent Cholesterol
- 17 mg of Sodium
- 401 mg of potassium
- 33 grams of Total Carbohydrates ( from Dietary Fiber with 2.1 grams and 1 grams of Sugar)
- 6 grams of Protein
- Vitamin A with zero percent
- Calcium with 18 percent
- Vitamin D with zero percent
- Iron with 9 percent
- Vitamin C with 52 percent
- Vitamin B-6 with 60 percent
- And Magnesium with 6 percent
The Different Uses of Garlic
Garlic as a Medicine
Garlic is also considered as a special species for the reason that it can cure various diseases. Most of these diseases are heart and blood system related.
With the wide range of health benefits of garlic, it has been essentially used a medicine too.As for the condition that it helps to cure, here are the following diseases that garlic uses as a medicine helps to fight:
High cholesterol level – garlic contains enzymes that are involved in fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis.
Garlic clove can help in reducing the LDL.
Coronary heart disease – fighting this kind of disease is not impossible with garlic. It has been showed that garlic as part of a regular diet may enjoy decreases aggregation of a human’s platelet as well as in decreasing the person’s LDL cholesterol and TG triglycerides. This becomes helpful in fighting heart disease because of its sulfur compounds.
High blood pressure – garlic is considered as helpful in reducing this condition because it contains Allicin which is said to be one of the most common remedies for high blood pressure. Some diabetes issues take place through the enhancing of physique which creates more blood insulin.
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Atherosclerosis ( Hardening of arteries) the garlic’s effect on this kind of disease is explained because it has the capacity to reduce the lipid content within the arterial cells and it also prevents the accumulation of intracellular lipid. This is still being carried out through some clinical studies to show off the possible therapeutic effect on people with atherosclerosis.
Cancer – according to studies, garlic is a good suggestion to cure this kind disease. This is said to be helpful in reducing the development risk of several cancer types in gastrointestinal tracks. Most studies show that the different garlic types and using them in various amount are essential.
Garlic for Culinary Use
One of the basic uses of garlic is for culinary. This is being used in different recipes in everyday cooking experienced by many people. Garlic gives a tasteful flavor in different recipes. It is considered as one of the main ingredients of every recipe that people are cooking. Either used raw or cooked, Garlic is still that tasty and helpful not just for satisfying the taste buds of people but also giving great health benefits.Here are the following differences of Garlic which is used as raw and cooked in every cooking:
Anticlotting Effect – garlic, when used cooked and raw has their difference when it comes to the anticlotting effect of the garlic to every individual. Cooking garlic for 3 minutes in a boiling point has no changing effect with the anticlotting effects of garlic. If the garlic is inside the oven and baked at two hundred degrees Celsius the same result with the boiling effect of cooking has no effect to show. However, if the garlic is under heating and microwaving takes more than ten minutes, then the anticlotting effects of garlic have no effect to produce anymore.
Anti – carcinogenic Activity – the process of heating garlic is said to reduce anticancer properties for about 60 seconds in the microwave, and 45 minutes in heating the garlic to the oven has the activity of blocking of garlic’s anti- carcinogenic activity. This was according to some published studies. But then, crushing the garlic and allow it to be exposed to microwave heating within sixty seconds can still preserve some of the garlic’s anti-carcinogenic activity.
These are both the effects of garlic which has to help in providing health benefits. It is true that cooking has something to do with these benefits of garlic. Following the right time for cooking garlic either in the oven or microwave is an essential thing to remember especially if it is about retaining the health benefits of garlic.
While garlic is a traditional flavoring for food, some experts are still suggesting that it can have a role as a food additive in preventing food poisoning. There is some evidence showed that fresh garlic, but not the matured garlic, can surely kill certain bacteria like Salmonella enteritidis, antibiotic staphylococcus, and E.Coli. These are found out based on some laboratory research conducted before.
Garlic’s Heath Benefits
Garlic has its health benefits that are very essential for every individual. Either thy have a disease or not experiencing disease at all, they will surely get healthier by means of eating garlic.
Each garlic cloves are naturally strong flavored spices that contain minerals, vitamins, pyto-nutrients and antioxidants that are proven beneficial to health.
The total measured antioxidant strength is really high giving more benefits in health related matters.
According to studies, garlic consumption is also associated with a possible reduction of stomach cancer cases. It reduces the toxins that human body are taking.
Those free radical compound that is naturally found in the body can decrease because of regularly including garlic in the person’s daily diet plan.
Since garlic is a good source of vitamins and minerals, this is really essential for an optimum health. Garlic bulbs are one of the perfect sources for potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, selenium and zinc.
One of these given beneficial garlic compounds is the selenium which is a mineral helpful for making a heart healthier.
This serves as a cofactor for the antioxidant enzymes in an individual’s body. Iron is as one of the compounds is needed for the formation of red blood cell. The Manganese is also used in the body as a cofactor for the antioxidant enzyme which is the superoxide dismutase.
Allicin, which is of garlic content/compound of garlic has also found to have an anti –fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial fighting activities.
Garlic contains flavonoid antioxidants such as zea- xanthin, carotene beta and vitamin C that helps the body resistance from an infectious disease, harmful scavenge and free radicals that are pro- inflammatory. Garlic serves as an antioxidant and it can lessen the free radicals in human body.
It will also help to slow down aging in favor of those who want to lower their age by means of their looks.
Diabetic people may also use garlic as part of their daily diet and let their self enjoy the reduction of high blood pressure level.
The blood insulin could be a hormone responsible in controlling glucose levels. High blood pressure level may become higher if not given immediate action and garlic can be used as part of their regular diet plan.
For those people who want to lose weight, including garlic on their diet is also good. It is because garlic can reduce cholesterol levels too.
Those who have their high cholesterol level can take a use garlic as each of garlic clove can reduce the LDL as much as 20 percent of it. This only means that by means of garlic, people may be able to fight the increasing rate of obesity.
One of the most notable health benefits of garlic is reducing inflammation. Irritation may be one of the body’ responses into harmful stimulation.
Even inflammation usually performs an essential role in assisting the human body in fighting any possible bacterial infections.
Just in case this issue came true, it may cause depression, cancer and cardiovascular health problems. Cloves of garlic usually help in decreasing the irritation.
Garlic Side Effects
Although garlic is essentially used for cooking and for health issues being faced by many people all over the world, it still has some side effects.
Not all side effects of garlic are always reported and this is what people should know. Consulting a doctor is always a must and you should seek advice from them in taking garlic as part of your diet.
You can report the use of garlic when it is in form of oral tablet and oral capsule. It is necessary too if you get an emergency call for a medical help when you have observed any signs of an allergic reaction while you are taking garlic products.
The reaction result may be difficulty in breathing, hives, swelling of the tongue, throat, lips and the whole face. Even if not all of the garlic side effects are known, it is also expected to be safe in taking a short period of time.
It is important for you to stop in using garlic and immediately call your doctor once you felt or notice the following:Bleeding or easy bruising.
One of the garlic side effects is bruising which happen through nose-bleeding and bleeding of the gums. When the garlic is applied to the skin, possible things or situations may happen like swelling, redness or blistering.
Eating garlic has also some side effect when taking this by means of eating.This includes the following result:Bad breath or body odorBurning sensation in mouth and throat and heartburnGas, vomiting, nausea or diarrhea
Essential Things to Know Before Taking/ Using Garlic
There are various medical conditions which may actually interact with using garlic. It is essential to tell your doctor or your pharmacist if you have any of the medical conditions which may interact in garlic. This is a must to follow especially if you have any of the following:
- don’t forget it when you have a plan to become pregnant or if you are currently breast feeding your baby
- when you are currently taking prescribed or non- prescribed medicine, dietary supplement or an herbal preparation
- if you are having any allergy into foods, medicines and other possible substances
- being a diabetic person, having bowel or stomach problems and even with a blood disease
Some of the medicines you are taking may have an interaction with garlic. Just in case it happens, do not hesitate to tell your provider so he/ she could give you the possible remedy or advice regarding garlic side effects.
Garlic’s Preparation and Dosage
The different garlic health benefits are obviously seen by many people and further researches are being conducted to prove more essential health benefits of eating garlic.
If you too are planning to use garlic for your regular diet, you have to take steps in having the best result.
Fresh garlic preparation is essential for everyday use. Either dried or cooked garlic, like garlic oil, loses amount of potency along the process.
The preparations that are used for medical purposes must state that they have Allicin potentialities of about 6,000 mcg on its label.
Eat one chopped garlic every day and make sure that it is fresh. There is some fresh garlic that has already been peeled and sometimes minced and placed inside the jars to be sold in stores but these are not much potent enough like what you are expecting.
If you are into the good quality of garlic supplements, take a look at Allicin potential lists as they usually contain thousand with not certain of an amount.
This means that when the supplement is already taken and gets into the stomach, it releases Allicin of about 6, 000 mcg.
It is because the compound breaks down quickly and extremely unstable. Instead, a good garlic supplement usually contains alliin, which is a stable precursor to the allicin.
There is nothing wrong in taking garlic since it has health benefits that promise a better health condition.
However, it is important to not exceed the indicated dosage of garlic as a more serious side effect may happen.
Follow the given proper intake of garlic either the fresh garlic or a supplement form of garlic. Take your doctor’s advice and prescription when you want to take garlic as for medical purpose.
Generally, the health benefit of garlic is already proven. It is used either for a medical purpose or just plain for cooking purpose.
There are individuals who eat or take garlic as a supplement. It is just important to remember that if taking a garlic supplement or the fresh clove garlic, storing this is a cool, dark and dry place with good air circulation is a must.
You have to check it occasionally and remove cloves that are not useful anymore. Make it as part of your regular diet. It is still your choice, though.
Take the right dosage if you want to get the best garlic health benefits.
Researches and references
Czerny B and Samochowiec J. Klinische Untersuchungen mit einem Knoblauch-Lezithin-Präparat. Arztezeitschr Naturheilverf 1996;37:126-129.
Das, I., Khan, N. S., and Sooranna, S. R. Potent activation of nitric oxide synthase by garlic: a basis for its therapeutic applications. Curr.Med Res Opin. 1995;13(5):257-263.
Rivlin RS. Can garlic reduce risk of cancer?. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 January; 89(1): 17-18. Published online 2008 December 3. 2009.
Zare A, Farzaneh P, Pourpak Z et al. Purified aged garlic extract modulates allergic airway inflammation in BALB/c mice. Iran J Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008 Sep;7(3):133-41. 2008.
İlker Durake, Mustafa Kavutcu, Bilal Aytaç, Aslıhan Avcı, Erdinç Devrim, Hanefi Özbek, Hasan Serdar Öztürk. “Effects of garlic extract consumption on blood lipid and oxidant/antioxidant parameters in humans with high blood cholesterol” The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Volume 15, Issue 6 , Pages 373-377, June 2004. Accessed October 17th 2013.
Holden C. Fighting parasites with garlic. Science 1997;278(5338):581.
Hoshino, T., Kashimoto, N., and Kasuga, S. Effects of garlic preparations on the gastrointestinal mucosa. J Nutr 2001;131(3s):1109S-1113S.
Galeone C, Tavani A, Pelucchi C, et al. Allium vegetable intake and risk of acute myocardial infarction in Italy. Eur J Nutr. 2009 Mar;48(2):120-3. 2009