Garlic - The Stinking Rose
Garlic Shrimp Salad and Mediterranean Dressing are the favorite recipes that take the stinking rose – garlic into my digestive system.
This member of the onion family rich in numerous sulfur-containing compounds like thiosulfinates, sulfoxides and dithiins is an inseparable dietary entity in my kitchen. Though these compounds give garlic a characteristic pungent odor, they bestow numerous health benefits on regular consumption.
Garlic is one of the best cardio-friendly natural diet supplements. Most of the heart related ailments involve both the heart muscles and the blood vessels. We know that the blood vessels supply oxygenated blood to the heart muscles and any clogging of the vessels reduces the blood supply to the heart muscles causing various heart diseases.
You will be surprised when I tell you that allicin in garlic can prevent deleterious blood vessel contractions that cause fluctuations in blood pressure.
Another disulfide compound ajoene has been shown to prevent formation of blood clots inside of our blood vessels. It acts by arresting the abnormal clumping of blood platelets that cause clotting in the blood vessels. Further, the polysulfides in garlic are utilized by Red Blood Cells in our body to produce hydrogen sulfide (H2S) that helps control blood pressure by causing beneficial dilation of blood vessels.
Stressful life style compounded by environmental pollution is a known risk factor for cardiovascular problems. The blood vessels today are prone to such oxidative stress and inflammations often leading to hardening of the vessels leading to heart attacks. Recent research has shown that the compounds vinyldithiin and thiacremonone present in garlic can protect blood vessels from oxidative stress.
I am sure most of us are aware that obesity or excess fat can cause heart related diseases. Regular dietary garlic intake has been shown to substantially lower blood triglycerides and total cholesterol levels.
I started adding garlic more frequently to my cuisine after I knew garlic as a rich source of manganese, selenium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Vitamin C and selenium are well known anti-oxidants that can not only keep you healthy but also help you feel younger. Vitamin B6 in garlic lowers the levels of homocysteine, a compound that damages blood vessels.
Crushing and chopping garlic prior to heating activates garlic's enzymes that bring more health benefits.
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