Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Sharp, pungent, stinky are some of the characteristics of garlic. But, whether you love it or can't stand it, this bulb has a wealth of health and medicinal properties.
Garlic or allium sativum is a species in the onion genus, Allium. With a history of human use of over 7,000 years, garlic has been used both for food flavoring and traditional medicine.
Here are five health benefits of garlic that are supported and proven by research studies.
- Garlic reduces your risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and stroke. It lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, particularly in adults who have high cholesterol. Garlic has been shown to affect arteriosclerosis, triglycerides, blood pressure, platelet aggregation, and plasma viscosity. Studies have linked garlic use with a decreased risk of heart problems in general.
- The active compounds (allicin) in garlic can lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure or hypertension, which is a major factor for cardiovascular diseases.
- Garlic consumption has been associated with a lower risk of cancers of stomach and prostate.
- Garlic can fight infections - both bacterial and viral. Garlic supplementation has been found to prevent and reduce the severity of common illnesses like the flu and common cold.
- Garlic is highly nutritious, but is low in calories. It is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Manganese, besides various other nutrients.