Weight Loss Food: Benefits of Garlic
Garlic is a key part of the Indian diet and many cuisines around the world. Remember your grandma asking you to eat a piece of garlic everyday? Well she was right! This natural medicine helps in lowering cholesterol as well as fighting cancer, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, the common cold and even aids weight loss.
Garlic for Weight Loss
Garlic contains interesting compounds that have been linked to many proposed health benefits. One is allicin, a sulfur compound formed in raw garlic after a clove is cut or crushed. Allicin is a major source of garlic’s taste and smell. But not all scientists agree that allicin is the key ingredient, since it breaks down quickly into other compounds. And the enzyme that forms allicin can be destroyed if the whole clove is cooked before being cut (that’s why cooked cloves taste less garlicky). In fact, no one knows which, if any, component is most important.
According to health.am: “Garlic acts as an appetite suppressant as it gives the brain signals of satiety when it is eaten. Hence, a person would be less inclined to eat. Garlic also increases the body’s metabolism. Garlic is supposed to stimulate the nervous system to release the adrenalin hormone – thereby increasing the metabolism. High metabolism can in turn help you to burn calories and lose weight.”
A well know research by the researchers at the Weizmann Institute in Israel found that allicin (present in garlic) is an effective appetite suppressant. The research team, led by Dr. David Mirelman, originally sought to uncover the benefits of garlic in lowering cholesterol, preventing diabetes and promoting cardiovascular health. Results showed that not only did garlic manage cholesterol and lower the risk of diabetes, but also rats given allicin gained no weight, unlike rats in the control group that received no allicin.
Other benefits of Garlic
While some studies have found that garlic reduces LDL cholesterol i.e bad cholestrol, others have shown little or no effect. Regardless of its effect on cholesterol, there’s no evidence that garlic prevents heart attacks.
Garlic keeps blood platelets from sticking together, which reduces the risk of clots, and may have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering effects.
Small, short-term studies have found that garlic can lower blood pressure slightly in people with hypertension.
Some population studies have found that people who eat a lot of garlic have a lower risk of certain cancers, notably stomach, colon and prostate.
For other conditions, such as upper respiratory infections, diabetes and arthritis, there’s no good evidence of benefit.
*Image Courtesy: Thinkstock/Getty Images.
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