Whether raw or fried, no doubt garlic adds a unique taste to the meals. However, an expert nutritionist discourages the use of garlic in hot meals as it can damage the chemical composition of many beneficial compounds. You did not know this before? No problem, here we have covered five interesting facts and benefits about garlic you may never have known before. Read on.
1. Garlic can Help Increase Stamina
Eating garlic before a workout – how does this sound to you? Yes, it must be weird for you, but interestingly, athletes in ancient times used to have it to present themselves better at the track. Why is that so? Garlic releases nitric oxide, which is a natural blood vessel relaxant.
Nitric oxide is often reordered in the blood when the muscles need more oxygen during the workout. It can help normalize blood pressure.
Even though there are some rats and mice based research that confirms the link, Brigman asserts that the data is not satisfying enough to conclude the results. Tracey Brigman is a certified nutritionist at the University of Georgia.
2. Boost Body’s Defense Mechanism
The bulb part of the garlic plant is loaded with nutritious compounds like allicin and alliinase. That is allicin, which can help uplift your immune response and its working.
Research from the Journal of Immunology in 2015 found the key agents that boost the body defense mechanism. Macrophages, cytokines, and lymphocytes play a critical role in protecting the body from foreign invasions.
In many Asian culinary, garlic is used to enhance the taste. In addition, these people also use it to overcome the infection, common cold, and flu. Brigman, however, asserts that there is not sufficient evidence to support its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties extent.
3. Garlic has Heart-Healthy Benefits
As per the 2019 research, garlic can effectively deal with hypertension by increasing the arterial elasticity and regulating blood pressure. People with high blood pressure can take two capsules every day for at least 60 days to follow the same benefits. The study appears in the journal Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine.
What is more interesting; Birgman calls garlic to provide an overall protective shield around the heart. A 2013 review further proved its efficiency by stating that garlic can reduce the cholesterol levels and plaque buildup, some major biomarkers for heart disease.
Even though the exact amount is unknown, looking at the research, Puja Agarwal suggests taking four cloves every week. She is a Ph.D., a nutrition epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Center.
4. Small but Nutritious Food
Garlic packs a punch when it comes to its nutritional value. One clove of garlic contains:
- 3 grams of carbohydrates
- 14 calories
- 1.28 mcg of selenium
- 0.57 grams of protein
- 0.15 mg of iron
- 2.81 mg of vitamin C
- 0.15 mg of manganese
Considering the size and the nutrient profile of garlic, it cannot beat the full bowel of salad. A healthy way to add garlic in diet is just one to two cloves a day. Otherwise, it can cause another set of problems, including diarrhea, bloating, and bad breath. Toss some red apples, fresh mint, or parsley in your meal to avoid bad breath.
5. Lowers Risk of Cancer
According to Brigman, garlic is a healthy pool of phytochemicals that can protect the body from cellular damage and inflammation. It reduces the biomarkers of certain cancers.
Phytochemicals are anti-carcinogenic compounds that are found in several vegetables and fruits. Some existing research supports garlic to give some protection from colon and stomach cancer. There is a need for more clinical trials to prove if it really has the potency to deal with cancer or not.