By Dr. Shikha Sharma
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Healthy benefits of including garlic in your diet

Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic (Allium sativum) is one of the basic kitchen ingredients but it has also been used as a medicine throughout ancient and modern history and there are lots of health benefits of Garlic. It has been taken to prevent and treat a wide range of health conditions and diseases. Garlic has antibacterial and antifungal properties and a wide range of health benefits, both raw and cooked, it is delicious and easy to add to your diet. You can use it in savory dishes, soups, sauces, dressings and more.

According to Ayurveda garlic possesses five tastes- sweet, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent. It doesn’t possess the salty taste. It is unctuous, heavy, strong, induces mobility and has a hot potency in nature making it one of the most potent and easily available herbs for various health conditions.

According to Ayurveda acharyas and modern science, garlic has various health benefits :

  • Nourishing – Garlic is low in calories and rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese and it also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. It is found to alleviate fatigue and also as a natural source of vitamin C, garlic gives the immune system a generous boost too.
  • Improves eye vision –  Garlic helps in the production of glutathione, the important sulfur-containing protein that acts as an antioxidant for the lens of the eye and also helps to prevent cataracts and possibly even reversing optic nerve damage.
  • Ignites the digestive fire – Eating raw garlic first thing in the morning stimulates digestion and appetite. It is also effective in weight loss.
  • Acts as a heart tonic – It helps in conditions such as Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), it reduces total and LDL cholesterol, particularly in those who have high cholesterol. Allicin is found at its highest potency in fresh, raw cloves of garlic. As a powerful antioxidant, it protects against thrombosis and is known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Brain tonic –  Chronic garlic administration enhances memory function.
  • Rejuvenator – Garlic helps in treating a chronic disease as it contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and aging. It may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • Garlic also contains Inulin, which plays an important role in maintaining healthy gut flora as inulin aids digestion. It increases the number of good bacteria in the gut particularly Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. These bacteria help in killing unwanted pathogens, prevent infection, stimulate the immune system. Inulin also adds bulk to your stool and increases the frequency of bowel movements. This helps the body to absorb nutrients from food also helps in the absorption of calcium and thus makes a stronger skeletal system and helps in digestion of carbohydrates and maintaining adequate sugar levels.

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