How can you fight colds and flu? Garlic has been used as food and medicine for centuries. In fact, eating garlic can provide a variety of health benefits. These benefits include: reducing the risk of heart diseases, improving mental health and improving immune system function. In this article from the section diseases And Nutrition Hello Doctor, here’s how garlic works to protect you from colds and flu.
Fighting colds and flu with garlic
Garlic can improve immune function
Garlic contains compounds that strengthen the immune system and help it fight germs. Also, garlic has a compound called allin, which when crushed or chewed, turns into allicin, which is the main active ingredient in garlic. Allicin contains sulfur, which gives garlic its special flavor.
However, allicin is an unstable compound and is rapidly converted to other sulfur-containing compounds, which are thought to account for garlic’s medicinal properties. It has been found that these compounds increase the response to fight diseases such as colds and flu in some white blood cells in the body.
Can consuming garlic prevent colds and flu?
Garlic as a remedy for the prevention of a cold and influenza, is known. Studies show that garlic reduces the risk of developing the disease as well as the duration of the disease. In addition, it can reduce the severity of symptoms. In a study on 146 healthy people who took garlic supplements, it was found that the risk of catching a cold in these people decreased by 63% and its duration was also 70% shorter.
In another study, it was shown that the possibility of catching a cold in people who consume 2.56 grams of garlic extract daily is 61% less than other people. Also, the severity of colds is less in these people.
Most of the time you are prone to catching a cold or flu, eating garlic can help reduce your symptoms or prevent it altogether.
How to maximize the benefits of garlic?
The way garlic is processed or prepared can completely change the benefits of garlic. The enzyme allinase, which converts allinin into the useful allicin, works only under certain conditions. This enzyme can also be inactivated by heat. Studies show that 30 minutes of microwave radiation or 45 minutes of heat in the oven may inactivate allinase. However, chopping garlic and cooking it for 10 minutes can prevent the loss of garlic’s medicinal properties.
Researchers have also suggested that the reduction in the health benefits of garlic caused by cooking can be offset by increasing the amount of garlic consumed.
Here are some ways to maximize the benefits of garlic:
- Before consumption, crush or chop the garlic. This increases the allicin content.
- Before you eat your minced garlic, let it rest for 10 minutes.
- If you can, eat a lot of garlic in one serving.
Another easy way to increase the consumption of garlic is to use its supplements. However, be careful as there are no approved standards for garlic supplements. This means that the content and quality of allicin can vary, and so can its health benefits.
Garlic powder is made from dried fresh garlic, which is said to contain potential allicin. Garlic powder is processed at low temperatures and then encapsulated to protect it from stomach acid. This helps the enzyme allinase survive the harsh environment of the stomach, converting allin into beneficial allicin in the gut.
Unfortunately, it is not known how much allicin can be extracted from garlic powder supplements. This varies greatly depending on the type of brand and its preparation.
Garlic oil is also an effective supplement and is prepared by injecting raw garlic into the cooking vessels. You can add it directly to your meals or take it in capsule form. Homemade garlic oil has also been linked to several cases of botulism, so if you’re going to make homemade garlic oil, make sure you use proper storage methods.
May 22, 2018 17:02
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