Garlic, also known as Hu garlic, was introduced from the western regions in ancient times. The whole garlic plant has a strong, pungent garlic odor. Garlic, garlic leaves, and garlic bolt can be used as vegetables, not only as a seasoning but also as medicine. It is a famous dual-purpose plant for food and medicine.
Garlic is rich in nutrients. Garlic bulb is rich in protein, oligosaccharide, polysaccharide, fat, minerals, sulfur compounds, etc. Allicin has the functions of sterilization, bacteriostasis, anticancer, anti-aging, and other medical and healthcare functions.
In recent years, people pay more and more attention to garlic. Garlic products have become one of the most respected health food in the world. Since Pasteur clearly put forward that allicin had certain antibacterial activity in the 19th century, many scholars have been interested. Because allicin has strong bactericidal power and broad antibacterial spectrum, it is also known as “natural broad-spectrum plant antibiotics.”
Chinese garlic has rich pharmacological effects:
(1) It has a broad-spectrum antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect and has strong anti-virus ability. Allicin contained in garlic can kill staphylococcus, trichomonad, streptococcus, tuberculosis, and so on in the gastrointestinal tract, effectively promote the absorption of the gastrointestinal tract, and ensure the normal operation of the digestive system. Allicin, the active ingredient, has been used in clinical medicine.
(2) Fight cancer. Garlic contains some sulfur compounds, which can produce antioxidant enzymes, enhance immunity, and resist cell canceration. And the selenium content in garlic can play a sterilization effect, help kill cancer cells, and reduce the possibility of cancer.
(3) Reduce blood lipids and prevent thrombus. Garlic helps the circulation of the blood system, reduces the harmful substances in the blood vessels, enhances the fluidity of the blood, reduces blood lipids, prevents arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases, and makes people’s blood system more healthy.
(4) Promote metabolism. Garlic is rich in germanium, which can help eliminate free radicals, improve the environment, maintain the normal metabolism, delay cell aging, and enhance human immunity.
(5) Regulate insulin. Proper supplement of garlic is helpful to supplement enough microelements, to promote the secretion of insulin and restore blood sugar to a healthy state.
(6) Promote hair growth. Garlic contains volatile oil, which can promote blood flow to sebaceous glands and hair follicles, promoting hair growth.
Garlic has unique pharmacological activity and has no allergic reaction, no side effect, and non-toxicity. It has become an important health food and has great development potential in the field of biomedicine.
If you don’t like the spicy taste of garlic, consider eating black garlic. Black garlic has a chewy taste and sweet “similar to dried plum” taste. Even people who hate garlic will praise the taste of black garlic. Moreover, it was found that the antioxidant activity of black garlic was higher than that of fresh garlic.
Eating garlic is good for our health, but we should also pay attention to the taboo of eating garlic:
- Avoid excessive and long-term consumption of garlic. An appropriate amount of garlic can play the role of anti-virus, but if you overeat, it may affect the stomach and intestine absorption. To play the role of garlic and avoid the side effects of garlic on the human body, we should pay attention to the control of consumption.
- Garlic is not suitable for weak people. Garlic is a kind of stimulating food, which can dissipate qi and blood to some extent. If the body is weak and the resistance is poor, it often eats garlic, prone to loss of qi and blood, inducing disease.
- Patients with diarrhea due to spleen deficiency should avoid garlic as much as possible. For some people with diarrhea due to spleen deficiency, the gastrointestinal tract is susceptible, and the absorption capacity is a little lower than that of healthy people. If you often eat garlic, intense stimulation may damage gastrointestinal mucosa’s health, inhibit the secretion of gastrointestinal digestive fluid, leading to congestion or edema.
- People with serious illnesses should not eat garlic. Garlic is nutritious but irritant food, which can induce diseases. For those who are seriously ill, eating garlic will aggravate the disease and affect the drug effect.