For as long as we can remember, garlic has been used for both food and medicinal purposes. Rich in useful minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron, the ancient herb has diverse health benefits. This ingredient found commonly in every kitchen can also be very beneficial in fighting colds and flu.
Origin and properties of garlic
Belonging from Allium family, garlic is closely related to onion and leeks. Having a very strong smell, the sulfur compound that gets formed when a garlic clove is crushed or chopped, has proven to be very beneficial for health. Garlic is also very nutritious and has very few calories.
Can boost immunity
Garlic contains compounds that fight germs and helps to boost the immunity. Sulfur present in the garlic boosts the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body when it comes in contact with any kind of viruses, which causes common cold and flu.
Preventing colds and flu
Garlic can very beneficial in preventing cold and flu. As per studies, garlic not only prevents one from falling sick, it also reduces the severity of symptoms. If you are a frequent victim of cold and flu, eating garlic on regular basis can prevent your illness.
Maximise the benefit of garlic
The benefit of garlic depends on the way it is processed and prepared. The enzyme alliinase which converts the alliin present in the garlic into allicin works only under certain conditions. Excessive heating of garlic may reduce the effect of the alliinase. While cooking food it is always advisable to use more than one clove of garlic.
Try garlic supplements
Another way of increasing garlic intake on a daily basis is by using a different type of supplement every time like Powdered Garlic, Aged Garlic extract, and Garlic oil.
The daily dose of garlic
You should have at least one clove of raw garlic twice or thrice per day. While opting for garlic supplement, minimum dose of 600 to 1200 mg is advisable.
Garlic also has a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people suffering from high blood pressure. Moreover, it also improves the cholesterol level in a person, which may lower the risk of heart disease.
Though garlic has a number of health benefits, one cannot overlook its side effects. Its excessive consumption might cause irritation in the stomach lining and cause gastritis issues. Consuming too many garlic may lead to heating of the body and also cause skin rashes.
Asthma patients and pregnant women should not consume garlic. The intake of the same should also be avoided before surgeries or medical operations. Avoid overdosing of garlic.