There is nothing new to talk about the love affair of Indian cuisine and garlic. There are hardly any Indian dishes which doesn't use spices like garlic. This amazingly aromatic ingredient is used for not only enhancing the taste of the food but is loaded with numerous health and beauty benefits. Growing up in India, you must have experienced various ways of consuming garlic to combat cold, flu. But did you ever think why your mother used to make you consume raw garlic more than cooked ones? Well, it's because raw garlic has great medicinal properties and it's better than any other form of it. Hence, we have come up with expert inputs on the benefits of raw garlic and how it is essential for our modern lifestyle.
Ms. Edwina Raj who is a senior dietitian of Aster CMI hospital has shared her views on the benefits of raw garlic. She said, "Garlic is backed with evidences and gained recognition globally. It has caught the attention of modern medicine and is closely related to onion. It possesses a potent compound called Allicin which is an active and beneficial substance that can be obtained only by crushing raw garlic or chopping the cloves before being consumed or cooked. Fried garlic shows a decrease by 99% in the content of allicin right after processing. When raw garlic cloves are crushed, chopped, or chewed, the beneficial enzymes are released rapidly in 60 seconds."
Here's the list of the health benefits raw garlic by Ms. Edwina Raj:
Allicin which is found when garlic is crushed is well known for its beneficial properties. It can penetrate very rapidly into different compartments of the cells and exert its biological effects such as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer and heart-protective activities. Other nutrients present in garlic include magnesium, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc.
Benefits of raw garlic include its power of protecting our heart. It also found its importance in reducing high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, bad cholesterol levels and also exhibits anti-cancer or anti-tumour properties.
There are few evidences on anti-viral properties and to fight against common cold but this should be checked with your doctor before increasing the use of garlic for any illness. Recommended safe amounts of garlic is upto 2-4 nos/day of cloves (each clove 1-2g of weight). Garlic cloves yield about 2.5 to 4.5 mg of allicin per gram of fresh weight when crushed.
There were several reported allergic reactions to garlic; namely, contact dermatitis, asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, urticaria, angioedema and when used in large doses also experienced heartburn, bad odour, bloating, gastric disturbance, sudden onset of bleeding with blood sugar and pressure going low. Overuse and safety of garlic in children is yet to be tested and hence it is best to limit the use. The enzymes alliinase can be inactivated by heat, therefore, it is best used by crushing raw garlic and adding it in preparations as bread spreads, chutneys, toppings and soups.
Dr. Shireen Furtado who is a consultant in medical and cosmetic dermatology from Aster CMI Hospital has shared her views on the benefits of raw garlic for skin. She said, "Garlic cloves containing compounds of potent medicinal properties have been prescribed to treat a variety of medicinal conditions by experts. Garlic is known to be one of the best herbal remedies treating various health problems. The highly nutritious plant is effective on immunologic properties, cutaneous microcirculation, protection against UVB and cancer treatment. Besides this, topical application of garlic extract can potentially be effective for various skin problems."
Here's the list of beauty benefits of raw garlic.
1. Raw garlic juice or aged garlic extracts can help you treat acne.
2. Applying sliced cloves of garlic on your scalp is an effective way to treat hair loss
3. The antioxidant compounds in them is a natural remedy to banish unsightly blemishes
4. The anti-inflammatory properties in them are useful in relieving uncomfortable psoriasis outbreaks.
Applying garlic directly on the skin can cause irritation like contact dermatitis. Hence, the garlic extract has to be applied in the titrated concentration. There is yet a lot more to explore on the clinical effectiveness of oral and topical garlic extracts.
Make the most of the benefits of raw garlic and add it to your regular diet.
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