We cover the super-food garlic, benefits, side effects, nutrition and the history.
Garlic is a vegetable that is found everywhere and is generally used in cuisines and traditional medicines. It is rich in sulfur-containing compounds, which form the basis of its medicinal uses as also the reason for its characteristic aroma. Garlic can be considered as being closely related to the family of scallions, onions, leeks and chives. Some of the garlic benefits include prevention of cardiac diseases and certain cancers. However, research on such garlic benefits is still a work in progress.
History of Garlic
Garlic is currently harvested across the world but used to be natively found in Central Asia. Research suggests that the vegetable is more than 5000 years old. Garlic was held in high regard in the ancient Egyptian culture and considered it as a sacred herb because of its ability to promote endurance and strength. The ancient Romans and Greeks also believed in these capabilities of garlic.
Health benefits of Garlic
- Studies indicate that regular intake of garlic can lower blood sugar, blood pressure as well as cholesterol levels. Research indicates that men are at greater risk to cardiovascular conditions as compared to women. Also, the chances of men having cardiac arrests are greater, with greater chances of having them in early life. Garlic consumption tends to lower LDL and enhances HDL, thereby lowering the blood pressure and improving blood flow. This in turn reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in men, such as stroke or heart attack.
- Regular consumption of garlic can also boost the immune system. Hence, men can intake garlic and avail of its several benefits such as reduction in the symptoms of respiratory conditions like common cold; for treating frequent male conditions such as ringworm infection, athlete’s foot and jock itch and for alleviating the symptoms of conditions such as whooping cough, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, ear infections, etc. It is important to know that the benefits of garlic, is still a subject of research and hence men should not entirely depend on garlic as a source of cure for the various ailments.
- Men are more at risk to fungal infection of the skin. Application of garlic on the skin can result in anti-fungal activity.
- Studies indicate that men are more likely to get cancer as compared to women, and nearly forty percent of such men die due to the condition. A diet that comprises of garlic is known to decrease the chances of cancers that normally affect men. Thus, men can prevent the vulnerability to cancers of the throat, stomach, prostrate and colon by regular intake of garlic.
- Garlic can also be taken to aid digestion and to boost the energy levels. It should be noted that men should not take garlic in its raw form, as allicin production may not take place by the time it reaches the stomach. Hence, garlic should be consumed in a powdered, dried, pickled, cooked or aged form so as to reap the maximum garlic benefits.
Side effects of garlic
- Individuals who are allergic to garlic may experience side effects such as flatulence, heartburn or stomach irritation after excessive garlic intake.
- Garlic is known to have blood thinning properties. Hence, men who are prone to injuries are at greater risk to excessive bleeding due to garlic intake. Also, men who take prescription blood thing medications should avoid garlic consumption
Nutritional value of garlic
One ounce serving of garlic contains
- Calories: 42
- Fat: 1 gram
- Protein: 2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 9 grams