For some people, the smell of garlic makes them nauseous. But for some weird reason, when you fry it, it becomes a smell of four-course meals. No, I’m not exaggerating it. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind every time I smell fried garlic. And the taste- I won’t even tell. That bitter and garlicky taste, chef’s kiss- and again, I’m not exaggerating it. But I agree though, it does have a nasty smell.
But what is garlic really? Some say it’s a spice, some say it’s a vegetable, and others say it’s an herb. Garlic belongs to the lily family, along with onions, shallots, and leeks. This makes it a vegetable.
Power of Garlic
One thing’s for sure, garlic is a powerful vegetable. It has a lot of health benefits. We can say it’s a chameleon; a vegetable counterpart of a chameleon. It surely does a lot. It’s not a spice but it can spice up your dish. You can eat it cooked, fried, or raw- for the best health benefit.
Let me enumerate to you and explain why it’s a powerful vegetable.
1. Improves Metabolism
Garlic is a known appetite suppressant which makes you feel fuller and prevents you from overeating. It has vitamin C and B6, manganese, calcium, and fiber. All of these are important minerals that helps in weight loss. It’s responsible for an energy boost (a very nutritious food).
According to the Journal of Nutrition, the compounds in garlic trigger the fat-burning process to work well. This food helps make your digestive system healthy as it’s a great deteriorating agent.
2. Helps Fight Sicknesses
Garlic targets your immune system and gives it a boost. According to the study of the National Institute of Health (NIH), people who consume garlic every day have less cold than those who used placebos.
Allegedly, garlic contains antimicrobial and antiviral properties that relieve the common cold, among other beneficial effects. Later, it was backed by research based on tradition and laboratory evidence. But it has side effects including bad odor and rashes.
3. Serves as Anti-Fungal
Garlic does not just boost the immune system; it can also kill fungus and bad bacteria in your body. Its chemical component helps kill fungus-like Candida caused by yeast.
A sulfur-containing compound in garlic, known as di-allyl thiosulfinate (allicin), is the active component in the inhibition of the growth of fungi and bacteria. Fresh aqueous extract of garlic showed antifungal activity specifically against some Aspergillus spp, including A. fumigates, A.
4. Improves Your Brain Power
This is good news for people who are struggling retaining information or in class in general. You may wonder, “How can smelly food improve my brain function?”, but it can. This antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food is effective in fighting neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The allyl sulfide helps to counteract age-related changes in gut bacteria that can cause memory problems. This is backed by science according to the study which they conducted with mice.
5. Makes the Skin Healthier
Acne occurs when the openings of hair follicles get clogged and blocked with oil and dead skin cells. If the clogged pore gets infected with bacteria, it forms a pimple, which is a small red bump with pus at its tip.
Garlic can help prevent skin diseases like acne. It can also lighten the acne scars. Applying garlic protects your skin from UV rays too.
6. Cleanses the Inner Body
Don’t expect that a food with such a nasty smell can cleanse your body. It does, but inside your body. Yup! The chemical called allicin increases your white blood cells’ production that fights toxins in your body. And these toxins cause body odor.
7. Improves Blood Circulation
The sulfur compounds of garlic help improve tissue blood flow and lower blood pressure as it relaxes your blood vessels which benefits blood circulation. In a study on coronary artery disease, people who took garlic powder tablets experienced a 50% improvement in their blood flow.
8. Helps Treat Heart Diseases
The world recognizes garlic as a powerful food that can help treat cardiovascular problems. It can even reverse heart diseases. Dr. Matthew Budhoff said “The results showed that aged garlic extract causes some regression, a little bit of less plaque,” “It actually went away a little bit.” He added. You can buy a specific form of garlic in the health food store.
For a long time, garlic has been used not only as a spice or vegetable but also as a medicine. And now, it is backed by science. This powerhouse food may help us in some way, but it can also do damage if not taken properly. Finding the best medicine to assess our problems is up to us- seeking a doctor is a must.