Garlic: why it is good and how to ensure its benefits


You hate it or you love it. There is no middle ground with garlic, because its pungent flavor is not satisfied with being in the background. Capable of giving character to even the most monotonous dishes, this bulb often takes over and leaves a “memory” that persists for a long time in the mouth. But far from being just a gmajor protagonist of the kitchen, garlic is also a concentrate of virtues for health: «Often we seek benefits in ginger, turmeric and others ingrediants that not they belong at the our tradition culinary, on the other hand, forgetting our own heritage, handed down by grandparents. Garlic is fully part of it, because it represents one of the most consumed medicinal plants in Italy ”, says the doctor Valeria Papanutritionist biologist.

What are the benefits

First, garlic is a natural antibiotic, because it acts as a powerful bactericide. “But compared to synthetic antibiotics, which cannot distinguish” bad “bacteria from” good “ones, garlic it does not alter the bacterial flora positive in the intestine, but on the contrary the it nourishes and restores it. In other words, it carries out the action of common antibiotics but without their side effects ”, explains the expert. Plus, this bulb is a antifungalthat is, it fights fungal infections.

«In periods of greater psychophysical stress or after a sudden change in temperature, it is not so rare to experience episodes of candidiasis, both oral and vaginal. Garlic is able to kill the fungus that is responsible for it, counteracting the symptoms ». Recent studies have also proved his ability to prevent and reduce atherosclerotic plaquesthat is to say those cholesterol deposits that begin to “protrude” inside the blood vessels and reduce their caliber, hindering the flow of blood and sometimes completely obstructing its passage: “To do this, garlic acts on cholesterol, in particular on the its LDL fraction, preventing it from settling and also thins the blood: a panacea for those suffering from cardiovascular problems ».

What bacteria kills garlic

Returning to the pathogen issue, garlic represents a broad-spectrum antibiotic, so it acts on most bacteria, but obviously – by strengthening the immune system – it can also fight viruses, such as those of the flu or the common cold. There are also epidemiological studies that have shown how garlic contains sulfur molecules, which give us the characteristic aroma and flavor (including the best known, allicin), which are able to prevent or delay the development of many cancers. This not only means that regular consumption of garlic can significantly reduce the cancer risk (in particular in the stomach, esophagus, colon, rectum, pancreas, breast, prostate and lung), but also which – in the form of a supplement to have a more concentrated formulation – can act as a natural chemotherapy.

The ideal is to eat it raw: how to do it

To benefit from all these virtues, one should consume raw garlic (as cooking reduces them) and on an empty stomach: «Taken before breakfast, it is able to counteract all the bacteria and toxins that we will accumulate during the day, so it carries out a preventive action».

For those who do not like the taste, the formulations in tablets are they a valid alternative? It depends on the effect we want to achieve. “For example, if we have to fight oral candidiasis, it is important to take it as it is, because the tablets end up directly in the stomach, while here the properties need to be expressed already in the first digestion in the mouth”.

At this point, how to get rid of bad breath after eating it? «You can hire a infusion of mint or eucalyptusdrink ginger tea, munch on an apple or chew some cardamom seeds or some fresh parsley leaves “, suggests Dr. Papa.

How many cloves of garlic can be consumed per day

A clove of garlic a day is enough to ensure that we are full of virtue. «You could also take half a clove in the morning, before breakfast, and another half in the evening, before going to bed. It is not necessary that the clove be consumed whole in a single intake ». Better to avoid it entirely instead during the pregnancybecause its consumption could accentuate the typical nausea of ​​expectant mothers.

When does it hurt

For the rest, there are no particular contraindications, even if garlic is not recommended to those suffering from ulcers, gastritis and other gastric disorders, because it stimulates the secretion of hydrochloric acid by the stomach, increasing its acidity. “Attention also in case of colitis and obviously allergy, which normally manifests itself with diarrhea, vomiting and nausea, but also through itchy skin rashes, eczema and wheezing,” warns Dr. Papa.

How to use garlic for weight loss

We often read that garlic can also have a slimming effect. Truth or legend? «Garlic doesn’t make you lose weight as such, though improves metabolism because it restores the intestinal flora, detoxifies the liver and pancreas, eliminates inflammation, cleans the kidneys. All this allows the body to work better, so the line could benefit from it », explains the expert.

«There is no such thing as a fat-burning food: it is nutrition as a whole that makes the difference. And that means following one every day varied diet, where garlic is only one of the many pieces ». One last curiosity? Research from the University of Louisville (United States) states that habitually consume garlic improves memory and counteracts the decline in cognitive abilities typical of aging. The “superpower” seems to belong to the allyl disulfide, which helps to create a good intestinal flora, which in turn would stimulate an iron memory. One more reason to bring it to the table.

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