Superfood Part VI - Garlic | Lehsun | Allium sativum
Hippocrates, the father of western medicine once said “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Garlic was one of this staple prescriptions.
So, apart from fending of the "creatures of the night", does it have any other benefit? Is it only a specialist or can work as an all-rounder?
What all benefits does garlic have?
This "Stinky Bulb" has cloves. Each clove (~3 gms) of garlic contains Manganese (2% of RDV), Vitamin B6 (2% of RDV), Vitamin C (1% of RDV), Selenium (1% of RDV) and Fiber at 0.06 gms. All this comes at only 4.5 calories, 0.2 grams of protein and 1 gram of carbs. Apart from these, it contains a little bit of every nutrient you need. (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-garlic#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4)
It cuts as an immunity booster by increasing certain immune cells and keeps the everyday illnesses away; common cold, flu, etc.
Garlic has a positive impact on the cardiovascular system as well. Whether it is high blood pressure or higher cholesterol levels, it works wonders if taken is higher quantities (about 15 gms or 4 cloves per day). Some have argued that the effectiveness of garlic is as high as the medication for high blood pressure or cholesterol levels.
Garlic has anti-oxidant properties and these can be further enhanced if had with proper supplements. These properties make garlic a hero for the brain - whether it is aging, memory or the extreme case of Alzheimer's, garlic can help.
It is also known to prevent cancers (again, if had in sufficient quantities). Many phytochemical in garlic can help prevent prostate cancer and also lower the risk of stomach, colorectal, oesophageal cancer among others.
It is also believed to fight fatigue and enhance performance. The biggest evidence is found in ancient history where the Greek Olympic athletes are known to be fed garlic as an energy booster for improved sporting performance.
Last but not the least, garlic detoxes the body. Sufficient doses of garlic are known to flush out the heavy metal toxicity from organs and thereby prevent them from damage.
With all these benefits, Ministry of Ayush, in their COIVD health advisory, has recommended garlic be included in daily diets to act as an immunity booster and fight against COVID. (https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/ImmunityBoostingAYUSHAdvisory.pdf)
With all the benefits, many practitioners have said that garlic actually helps you live longer.
What makes garlic an allrounder?
There are 4 key families of compounds that make garlic the superfood it is. Sulphur compounds, allicin, diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine.
How to consume Garlic?
Garlic is available in many forms; powders, pastes and of course raw as a bulb. It has been used in culinary dishes for ages owing to its strong aroma and taste. The best way to have garlic is to have it raw and freshly chopped. Allicin, one of the key compounds is unstable and is present only briefly after it cut or crushed. Cooking garlic also takes away some of its medicinal properties although it might enhance the taste.
What does garlic pair with?
Chyavan Kaya Swastham (https://www.chyavanrishi.com/products/chyavan-kaya-swastham) from the Chyavan Rishi range of products is a perfect match for garlic. Adding both these products to your daily lifestyle can keep you healthy (by acting as immunity boosters) and energetic (by acting like energy boosters) for a long time.