Garlic, the wonder drug for your health
Garlic has been known since ancient times as the "wonder panacea" for many diseases ranging from atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, flu, colds, coughs, bronchitis, gastrointestinal problems, and menstrual pain. A large number of research studies show that garlic, either fresh, powdered or extract is effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels. One study reported that Garlic was able to reduced arterial plaque formation by nearly 20% in some participants, the benefits being most notable in women. In one study from Beown University of Medicine and Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, researchers showed that blood cholesterol levels dropped significantly due to consumption of garlic extract in pill form.
Dr. Eric Block who has conducted research on the sulfur compounds of garlic at the State University of New York at Albany, stated that: epidemiological and medical studies suggest that individuals regularly consuming garlic show a lower incidence of stomach cancer, have longer blood clotting times and show lower blood lipid levels (which indirectly translates into reduced risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease). The primary active ingredient in garlic is alliin. Alliin is an odorless chemical that is similar in chemical structure to the sulfur-containing amino acid, cysteine. When garlic bulbs are crushed, alliin is converted into another compound called allicin which in turn produces other compounds: ajoene, allyl sulfides, and vinyldithiins. Allicin and its deratives are what give garlic its characteristic odor and many of its medicinal effects.
Now having known the wonder of garlic to our health, how much garlic do we need to eat to harness its benefit? A clove a day will keep our health in a good shape. According to researchers, you can get garlic into your diet any way you can. Garlic pills and tablets vary in the amount of active ingredients they contain. Generally, those that are not cooked or heat treated will have more allicin.
So, garlic bread anyone?
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