Common to the pantries of almost all households, garlic is probably the most versatile cooking ingredient in the world. Vegetables, herbs, spices, seasoning — you can use the pungent plant in any format you want, and it’ll be as delicious as ever! Now, we don’t know if garlic can ward off vampires, but we definitely know that it can keep several health hazards at bay, which frankly sounds far better. According to science, the best way to consume it is to chop, crush, or mince it to maximize its health benefits. Also, wait for at least ten minutes before you add it to your recipes, as exposure to heat can considerably reduce the beneficial powers of the herb. Want to know what powers we are talking about in the first place? Just keep reading.
Fighting Age-Related Problems
For centuries, garlic has been used to fight age-related health hazards like osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s. Now science is catching up to explain the cause. According to a 2003 research article, this common spice can slow down or even prevent arthritis, colon cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cataract formation, and of course, skin aging. The secret compound here is caffeic acid, an important antioxidant protecting our body from worrisome cell-damaging free radicals.
As per the American Institute for Cancer Research, the anti-mutagenic compounds in the herb can help with DNA repair and decrease inflammation, both of which are key in preventing cancer. Garlic also contains high phytochemicals, especially allicin, which prevents cancer cells or uncontrolled cell proliferation and fights off antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi. Crushing or chopping it is the best way to get the maximum benefits of this superstar phytochemical.
We all grab vitamin C supplements at a stage of our lives to boost our immunity. Thankfully, garlic can come in handy here, too! With anti-inflammatory and immuno-modulatory properties, garlic helps in fighting off the common cold and flu. As a natural antibiotic, it also promotes the growth of NK (natural killer) cells, lymphocytes, T-cells, and other important immune cells in our body. Aged garlic extract is most effective to give the immunity system a boost.
Controlling High Blood Pressure
Recent studies have revealed that garlic can lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and interestingly, at a similar rate as prescribed medications, with almost zero side effects! This kitchen-staple herb can lower both diastolic and systolic blood pressures, especially beneficial for women over 55, who are 90% more prone to develop hypertension. So, adding garlic to your diet means considerably reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.