January 13: In today’s day and age, more and more young people are falling prey to heart disease. Consumption of junk food, obesity and other unhealthy lifestyle choices are just some of the reasons responsible for the rise of lifestyle-related ailments. One of the major culprits behind this is the rise in ‘bad’ cholesterol levels.
What is cholesterol?
Just like the fat you have in your body, cholesterol is also a fat/ lipid that is produced in the liver and its normal levels are necessary for the proper functioning of the body.
Why is it bad?
When cholesterol levels are in the normal range, in a healthy body, the blood flows freely through the veins and arteries. When the cholesterol levels are high, it starts forming clots (plaques) in the blood vessels causing hypertension (high BP), angina (chest pain), heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular diseases.
Garlic: A natural pill for a healthy heart
Being one of the most important organs in the body the heart is one of those organs that works non-stop. It circulates oxygen in the body and takes away the toxins produced, without which all other organs would shut down leading to death. So wouldn’t you like to take care of this organ? Well, there are some natural remedies that can help protect the heart, and one of them is garlic.
Garlic is known to protect the heart against cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and atherosclerosis. It protects and restores the elasticity of the arteries, saves the heart from damage due to the effects of free oxygen radicals, prevents the formation of blockages in the arteries due to its high sulphur content and reduces the chances of blood clots within the arteries.
Here is how you can reap its benefits
The best way is to crush two pods of medium sized garlic pods, and have it with warm water, first thing in the morning. Remember that you must be on an empty stomach. If you don’t want to try eating raw garlic, add it to your food. You can have it either as tadka or as a part of the meal itself.
In the end, garlic can be your heart’s best friend, along with regular exercise and a healthy diet just remember to include garlic in your diet on a daily basis and watch your heart beat at its best
More and more Indians are falling prey to heart disease. There are various reasons for this including a sedentary lifestyle, genetic predisposition, pollution, smoking, drinking, a fatty diet and a general ignorance about what causes heart ailments.
Try garlic to reduce cholesterol levels
Garlic has long been used in Indian kitchens to pep up spicy dishes; our ancestors appear to have known a lot about its medicinal value. Research now shows that garlic reduces LDL cholesterol, prevents a rise of blood pressure and also avoids the deposition of plaque on the walls of arteries, reducing chances of heart attack and stroke. Garlic contains sulphurous compounds that act as antioxidants and also help with expansion of the blood vessels, keeping blood pressure at a normal level.
Health tip: Consume a few cloves of raw garlic every day or crush and add it into your curries and gravies if you cannot bear the taste of raw garlic. For maximum benefit, crush or chop garlic and leave it for 5 minutes to activate the beneficial compound called allicin – after this, even adding tamarind or lemon juice will not destroy the garlic’s action. Avoid microwaving or boiling entire garlic cloves because this can destroy the activity of the vital constituents.
15 health benefits of garlic
Indian curries are incomplete without garlic – a simple ingredient with packed health benefits. It is very strong and bitter but adds an unbelievable flavour to the cuisine. Any description of garlic is incomplete without mentioning its medicinal values. This miracle herb Garlic has been used since time immemorial as a medicine to prevent or treat various diseases and conditions.
Garlic has a variety of potent sulphur-containing compounds which are the reason for its characteristic pungent odour. Allicin, the vital compound among them, is known to have great anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant properties. The benefits of allicin can be best garnered when it’s finely chopped, minced or pureed and let sit for some time. Garlic is also a reliable source of selenium. Allicin, along with other compounds like ajoene, alliin, etc. found in them also have an effect on the circulatory, digestive and immunological systems of our body and help in lowering blood pressure, detoxification, healing, etc.
Here are 15 health benefits of garlic:
Antibacterial and Antiviral
Garlic is most well-known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. They help control bacterial, viral, fungal, yeast and worm infections. Fresh garlic is thought to play a role in preventing food poisoning by killing bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella enteritidis, etc.
To treat skin infections
The chemical ajoene found in garlic may help treat fungal skin infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot.
The anti-clotting properties of ajoene found in garlic help in preventing the formation of blood clots in the body. Hence, it may also increase the risk of bleeding after surgery.
Reduce blood pressure
Angiotensin II is a protein that helps our blood vessels contract thereby increasing the blood pressure. Allicin in garlic blocks the activity of angiotensin II and helps in reducing blood pressure. The polysulphides present in garlic are converted into a gas called hydrogen sulphide by the red blood cells. Hydrogen sulphide dilates our blood vessels and helps control blood pressure.
Garlic protects our heart against cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and atherosclerosis. This cardio-protective property can be attributed to various factors. With age, the arteries tend to lose their ability to stretch. Garlic may help reduce this and may also protect the heart from the damaging effects of free oxygen radicals. The sulphur-containing compounds of garlic also prevent our blood vessels from becoming blocked and slow the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The anti-clotting properties of ajoene help prevent clots from forming inside the blood vessels.
Garlic has the ability to moderately lower our blood triglycerides and total cholesterol and reduce arterial plaque formation.
Garlic is known to have anti-inflammatory property. It can help the body fight against allergies. The anti-arthritic property of garlic is due to diallyl sulphide and thiacremonone. Garlic has been show to improve allergic airway inflammation (allergic rhinitis). Raw garlic juice may be used to immediately stop the itching due to rashes and bug bites.
Remedy for respiratory problems
Daily use of garlic might reduce the frequency and number of colds. Its antibacterial properties help in treating throat irritations. Garlic may also reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections. Its benefits in disorders of the lungs like asthma, difficulty of breathing, etc. make it a priceless medicine. Its ability to promote expectoration makes it irreplaceable in chronic bronchitis.
Garlic increases insulin release and regulates blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Effective against warts and corns
Applying fat dissolving garlic extracts to corns on the feet and warts on the hands is thought to improve these conditions.
Daily intake of garlic has been found to lower risk of most types of cancer. This anti-cancer property is due to allyl sulphides found in garlic. PhIP, a type of heterocyclic amine (HCA), has been associated with increased incidence of breast cancer among women. According to studies, diallyl sulphide found in garlic inhibits the transformation of PhIP into carcinogens.
Improve iron metabolism
Ferroportin is a protein which helps in iron absorption and release. Diallyl sulphides in garlic increase production of ferroportin and help improve iron metabolism.
Stir up passions
Garlic’s aphrodisiac property is due to its ability to increase the circulation.
Simply put some crushed garlic clove directly on the affected tooth can help relieve toothaches due to its antibacterial and analgesic properties. But be aware that it can be irritating to the gum.
Many researchers believe that obesity is a state of long-term low-grade inflammation. According to recent research, garlic may help to regulate the formation of fat cells in our body. Pre-adipocytes are converted into fat cells (adipocytes) through inflammatory system activity. The anti-inflammatory property of 1, 2-DT (1, 2-vinyldithiin) found in garlic may help inhibit this conversion. This may help prevent weight gain