The benefits of garlic that you didn’t know about

Garlic is an ingredient which is present in nearly every kitchen. But, in addition to the flavour it gives, do you know all of the benefits of garlic for your health?

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Garlic is an essential ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. Its flavour, aroma and versatility have turned this plant, which belongs to the onion family, into a condiment which is present in our cuisine.  However, as well as the ability to liven any dish, medicinal properties have been attributed to garlic for centuries, given that the ancient Greeks valued it highly.

Benefits of raw garlic

The whole garlic contains a compound called alliin. When it is crushed, chopped or grated and comes into contact with oxygen, this compound becomes allicin, garlic’s main active ingredient. This substance performs a key action for the plant: to defend itself against the insects, fungi and bacteria that can attack it. In the same way, allicin, responsible for garlic’s strong smell and flavour, maintains these properties in our body when we eat it. In order to benefit from all of the properties of garlic, we should eat it raw.

Although everyone always talks about the benefits of eating garlic on an empty stomach, it does have the same effects at any time of day. What is important is that we should crush it or cut it into slices before eating it if we want to obtain all of its potential.

Here are the main benefits of garlic:

Nutritional power: it is a highly nutritious food thanks to its vitamin B6, vitamin C, thiamine, fibre, manganese, potassium and phosphorous content. Moreover, it hardly has any calories.

  • It helps to form red blood cells thanks to its vitamin B6 content. In addition, this vitamin helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue, and to regulate hormonal activity.
  • It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases as thiamine contributes to the normal working of the heart.
  • It helps to keep bones and teeth in healthy condition thanks to the phosphorous content.
  • Rich in antioxidants: these substances can prevent or delay damage to cells caused by free radicals, responsible for cellular ageing.
  • Its fibre content improves intestinal transit.
  • Its provides manganese and phosphorous which help to maintain healthy bones, and also potassium which favours the good working of the muscles.

Benefits of black garlic

A few years ago, black garlic snook into kitchens thanks to its mild and sweet taste, similar to liquorice or even chocolate. In addition, it isn’t spicy and doesn’t repeat on you when you eat it, two of the consequences that put many people off eating garlic. The scientific magazine, Food Chemistry, has published several studies revealing that black garlic has even more properties than conventional garlic. Moreover, of the properties mentioned above, a study from the University of Illinois attributes ten times as many antioxidants to black garlic as they do to common garlic.