Garlic is an ingredient that not only spruce up your meal but also rev your health. Cut it, slice it and add it to your meals. Eat it raw and reap the many benefits of eating raw garlic.
1. Boosts Your Immune System and Fights Disease
Fresh garlic has potent antiseptic, nutritive, antiviral and antifungal properties, due to the presence of a sulfur containing chemical compound known as allicin (allicin is also responsible for the strong smell of garlic). These properties make it excellent for both preventing colds and treating them. A recent study conducted by Authority Nutrition found that consuming high doses of garlic (approximately 2.5g of garlic extract per day) while infected can cause a 70% reduction in the duration of cold symptoms. Garlic is known to be effective against salmonella, streptococcus, chicken pox, measles, and scarlet fever among others.
As garlic is healthy, natural and relatively inexpensive, it poses several advantages over traditional antibiotic use. Unlike traditional antibiotics, garlic does not damage the beneficial bacteria in your body. Additionally, harmful bacteria do not develop resistance to garlic in the way in which they do with prescription antibiotics.
2. Raw Garlic Helps Prevent Cancer
Chewing raw garlic can also help lower your risk of developing certain types of cancer. Studies have indicated that individuals who regularly consume fresh garlic have a lower frequency of colorectal, uterine, and stomach cancers. One such study, conducted by ‘Anti-cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry’ discovered that oils from garlic have the ability to suppress the growth of human breast cancer cells by inhibiting cell division. It’s action in boosting the immune system, also contributes to its ability to prevent cancer, as the body becomes better at identifying and destroying cancerous cells.
3. Reduces the Risk of Developing Cardiovascular Disease
Though the evidence for this is slightly unclear, some studies have suggested that garlic consumption can slow down atherosclerosis (hardening of artery walls), reduce blood pressure, act as a blood-thinner and lower high cholesterol—all of which contribute to a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. The antioxidants in garlic help destroy free radicals (which are what cause the oxidation of cholesterol and damage to cell membranes). In some cases, garlic can even be used as an alternative to aspirin, as it acts as a powerful anti-clotting substance and does not cause any damaging side effects.
4. Improves Insulin Sensitivity
While the extent to which this occurs in humans is still uncertain, studies on rats have demonstrated that consuming raw garlic can enhance insulin sensitivity (the ability of the cells in the body to respond to the hormone insulin), leading to a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes.
5. Helps With Indigestion
The allicin in garlic is known to stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes in the small intestine. According to an article by Antioxidants for Health and Longevity, raw garlic can be used to relieve both diarrhea and constipation.
6. Raw Garlic for Weight Loss
Recent studies have suggested that not only can garlic (being low in calories and high in nutrients) can not only prevent weight gain, but also enhance weight loss. Lab tests showed that rats that were fed high-sugar diets gained less weight when they were also made to eat garlic.
Though garlic possesses numerous incredible health benefits, it’s important for you to remember that too much of a good thing can be unhealthy. The downsides to eating garlic can include bad breath, body odor and bloating. Ask your doctor to make sure that eating garlic won’t interfere with any of the medicines you may currently be taking. Also, remember that eating garlic raw is the best way to maximize its benefits, as the beneficial chemicals it contains (especially allicin) can be destroyed by heating.
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