Garlic-what a wonderful herb that can be used in a multitude of ways. Garlic has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. Garlic is an:
- excellent source of manganese (cofactor in a number of important antioxidant defense enzymes)
- very good source of vitamin B6 (lowers homocysteine, which can directly damage blood vessel walls)
- very good source of vitamin C ( protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation)
- good source of sellenium (important part of the antioxidant system)
Most notable of garlics health prowess comes from its combination of sulphur compounds. Its unique set of sulphur compound help to protect against oxidative stress and unwanted inflammation. Some of garlics sulfur containing constituents: alliin, allicin, allixin, APS, DAS, DADS, DATS, NAC, NACS, SAC, SAMC, SEC, SMS, SPC, 1,2-DT, and thiacremonone. Allicin blocks angiotension II, which helps to prevent unwanted contraction of blood vessels and unwanted increases in blood pressure. Dially sulfide (DAS) and thiacremonone shown been shown to have anti-arthritic properties. 1,2-DT sulfur compounds have anti-inflammatory properties. Polysulfides can convert red blood cells into hyrodgen sulfide, which helps to control blood pressure by triggering dilation of blood vessels. Here is what garlic will do for your health:
- Cancer: reduce the formation of carcinogenic compounds, which decreases the risk for esophageal, stomach, and colon cancer. The sulfur compounds inhibit the growth of different cancers (notably skin and breast tumors)
- Heart: may lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in blood, inhibit platelet stickiness, and increase fibrinolysis (slow coagulation)
- Antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity
- Digestive: beneficial effect on lymph, aid in the elimination of noxious waste matter; stimulate peristaltic action and secretion of digestive juices.
- Skin: used in skin disorders, or apply raw to pimples. This is amplified and assisted further by taking it orally as well.
- Iron: may improve iron metabolism. Dially sulfides help increase the production of protein ferroportin-allows stored iron to leave the cells and become available where needed.
Something else that I found fascinating: early research suggest that it may actually help regulate the number of fat cells that get formed in the body. How to eat garlic? Tomorrow I will be posting recipes. To get the max benefits, crush the cloves at room temperature and let set for 15 minutes before using. This will trigger enzyme reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in garlic. More tomorrow!