Garlic – The Super Food During the Viral Season!
By Prithu Nath
During Viral Seasons Overall Immunity and Better Functioning of our Body is important and Garlic helps in doing just that. It helps in Improving the functioning of nearly every system of our Body including Upping our Immune systems ! Both Raw, Cooked and Aged Garlic helps and a combination of all three should be incorporated in our Daily Diet. It is not only an inexpensive way to Boost all functions and systems of our body but also acts as a natural antibiotic and cleanser of our Gut from the Food Toxins that we eat.
Garlic increases IL-10 and inhibits TNFalpha and IL–6 production in endotoxin-stimulated human placental explants. … Both the placenta and the maternal systemic response are characterised by heightened inflammation. Garlic has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic properties amongst others. This helps in Relieving Respiratory Congestion and Opens up the Airways by relieving Tracheal Tension and Helps in Improving Respiratory Clearance! this helps in Modulating the Cytokine Storm during Viral Infections.
Richard S. Rivlin wrote in the Journal of Nutrition that the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (circa. 460-370 BC), known today as “the father of Western medicine,” prescribed garlic for a wide range of conditions and illnesses. Hippocrates promoted the use of garlic for treating respiratory problems, parasites, poor digestion, and fatigue.
From Ancient Egypt, garlic spread to the advanced ancient civilizations of the Indus Valley (Pakistan and western India today). From there, it made its way to China.
According to experts at Kew Gardens, England’s royal botanical center of excellence, the people of ancient India valued the therapeutic properties of garlic and also thought it to be an aphrodisiac. The upper classes avoided garlic because they despised its strong odor, while monks, “…widows, adolescents, and those who had taken up a vow or were fasting, could not eat garlic because of its stimulant quality.”
Throughout history in the Middle East, East Asia, and Nepal, garlic has been used to treat bronchitis, hypertension (high blood pressure), TB (tuberculosis), liver disorders, dysentery, flatulence, colic, intestinal worms, rheumatism, diabetes, and fevers.
And this is where garlic comes in. Garlic contains more than 100 biologically-useful chemicals (including alliin, alliinase, allicin, S-allylcysteine, diallyl sulfide and allyl methyl trisulfide), which do everything from lower cholesterol to fight off viruses.
A study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology warned that short-term heating reduces the anti-inflammatory effects of fresh raw garlic extracts. This may be a problem for some people who do not like or cannot tolerate the taste and/or odor of fresh garlic.
How Much Garlic Should You Eat Per Day?
Garlic and the common cold
A team of researchers from St. Joseph Family Medicine Residency, Indiana, carried out a study titled “Treatment of the Common Cold in Children and Adults,” published in American Family Physician.
They reported that “Prophylactic use of garlic may decrease the frequency of colds in adults, but has no effect on duration of symptoms.” Prophylactic use means using it regularly to prevent disease.
Though there is some research to suggest that raw garlic has the most benefits, other studies have looked at overall allium intake, both raw and cooked, and have found benefits. Therefore, you can enjoy garlic in a variety of ways to reap its advantages.
Diallyl trisulfide, a component of garlic oil, helps protect the heart during cardiac surgery and after a heart attack, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine found. They also believe diallyl trisulfide could be used as a treatment for heart failure.
Hydrogen sulfide gas has been shown to protect the heart from damage.
Cardiomyopathy is the leading cause of death among diabetes patients. It is a chronic disease of the myocardium (heart muscle), which is abnormally thickened, enlarged, and/or stiffened.
The team fed diabetic laboratory rats either garlic oil or corn oil. Those fed garlic oil experienced significantly more changes associated with protection against heart damage, compared with the animals that were fed corn oil.
The study authors wrote, “In conclusion, garlic oil possesses significant potential for protecting hearts from diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy.”
Garlic and Reduced Blood Pressure
One reviewTrusted Source notes that garlic can help reduce hypertension by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps promote vasodilation, or the widening of arteries, to reduce blood pressure.
garlic extract supplementation improves blood lipid profile, strengthens blood antioxidant potential, and causes significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures. It also leads to a decrease in the level of oxidation product (MDA) in the blood samples, which demonstrates reduced oxidation reactions in the body.”
Potentially a powerful antibiotic
Garlic is one food that has powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and some scientific studies have found it to be at least as effective as the popular anti-fungal drug, Nystatin, in destroying candida albicans.
Diallyl sulfide, a compound in garlic, was 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics in fighting the Campylobacter bacterium, according to a study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
The Campylobacter bacterium is one of the most common causes of intestinal infections.
Senior author, Dr. Xiaonan Lu, from Washington State University, said, “This work is very exciting to me because it shows that this compound has the potential to reduce disease-causing bacteria in the environment and in our food supply.”
Garlic for Boosting Immune NK Cells:
Garlic contains numerous compounds that have the potential to influence immunity. Immune cells, especially innate immune cells, are responsible for the inflammation necessary to kill pathogens. Two innate lymphocytes, γδ-T and natural killer (NK) cells, appear to be susceptible to diet modification. Garlic has the ability to boost your immune system by increasing the rate at which your natural killer cells are made. Natural killer cells are a fundamental part of our non-specific immunity. This means that these cells will kill off all invaders without the specific targeting that antibodies use to kill pathogens.
Women whose diets were rich in allium vegetables had lower levels of osteoarthritis, a team at King’s College London and the University of East Anglia, both in England, reported in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. Examples of allium vegetables include garlic, leeks, shallots, onions, and rakkyo.
Scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina reported in the journal Cancer that three pure organo-sulfur compounds from garlic – DAS, DADS, and DATS – “demonstrated efficacy in eradicating brain cancer cells, but DATS proved to be the most effective.”
Lung cancer risk
People who ate raw garlic at least twice a week during the 7 year study period had a 44 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer, according to a study conducted at the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China.
The study authors wrote: “Protective association between intake of raw garlic and lung cancer has been observed with a dose-response pattern, suggesting that garlic may potentially serve as a chemo-preventive agent for lung cancer.”
Doctors at the Department of Urology, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China, carried out a study evaluating the relationship between Allium vegetable consumption and prostate cancer risk.
The study authors concluded, “Allium vegetables, especially garlic intake, are related to a decreased risk of prostate cancer.”
Alcohol-induced liver injury
Alcohol-induced liver injury is caused by the long-term over-consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Scientists at the Institute of Toxicology, School of Public Health, Shandong University, China, wanted to determine whether diallyl disulfide (DADS), a garlic-derived organosulfur compound, might have protective effects against ethanol-induced oxidative stress.
Their study was published in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta.
The researchers concluded that DADS might help protect against ethanol-induced liver injury.
Preterm (premature) delivery
Microbial infections during pregnancy raise a woman’s risk of preterm delivery. Scientists at the Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, studied what impact foods might have on antimicrobial infections and preterm delivery risk.
The study and its findings were published in the Journal of Nutrition.
Ronny Myhre and colleagues concentrated on the effects of Alliums and dried fruits, because a literature search had identified these two foods as showing the greatest promise for reducing preterm delivery risk.
The team investigated the intake of dried fruit and Alliums among 18,888 women in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort, of whom 5 percent (950) underwent spontaneous PTD (preterm delivery).
The study authors concluded, “Intake of food with antimicrobial and prebiotic compounds may be of importance to reduce the risk of spontaneous PTD. In particular, garlic was associated with overall lower risk of spontaneous PTD.”
Garlic can regulate blood sugar levels:
The exact mechanisms by which this occurs are still under investigation, but consumption of garlic has been shown to have a regulatory effect on the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetic patients. Combine this with its antioxidant properties and it’s the ultimate prevention food.
Garlic can reduce High Homocysteine & cholesterol Levels:
The powerful antioxidant properties of garlic prevents free radical damage to the arterial lining and prevents the formation of scar tissue on the arteries. This stops the initiation of plaque build-up. Garlic has also been shown to reduce homocysteine levels in the blood. High levels of homocysteine are directly linked to high cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease.
Garlic Decreases Platelet Aggregation:
Garlic has the ability to decrease platelet aggregation. This means that garlic doesn’t let your blood cells stick together, and allows them to move more freely through your system. Consider eating more garlic instead of Aspirin to lower blood pressure and increase circulation.
Garlic can Prevent Yeast Infections:
Garlic has been used for centuries for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, but did you know that it can also prevent yeast infections? The chemical component of garlic (allicin) has been shown to prevent the growth of the candida albicans fungus in humans.
Other Immunity Boosters
Sulfuric compounds are also in brussels sprouts, cabbage, chives, kale, leeks, onions, and shallots.
Immune-boosting Caesar salad Recipe
This salad is a great departure from the standard offering of croutons and creamy dressing. The dressing uses the fibre from the celery and the date to create a creamy texture without using dairy—it can be served to anyone with lactose intolerance. The sweetness helps cut the extra raw garlic and balances all the taste buds leaving you healthy and deeply satisfied.
1 head Romaine hearts (1 heart = 232 g)
1 head purple endive, leaves separated (1 leaf = 15 g)
1/2 fresh pineapple, diced
10 flax crackers (gluten-free if possible), broken into pieces
1 tbsp capers
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
Makes enough dressing for two to three salads so store leftovers in the fridge and consume quickly.
1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic
1 celery stalk, chopped fine
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp wheat-free tamari
3 anchovy fillets
1 date (1 tsp of honey works if dates are unavailable)
1/2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1. Wash and dry romaine hearts and endive leaves.
2. Chop pineapple and layer on top of the greens. Top with a light dusting of capers, flax crackers and grated hard cheese if desired.
3. Using a blender, whip all the dressing ingredients together.
4. Top the salad with the dressing and enjoy.
Makes two full salad servings.
Roasted Garlic and Garlic Oil
Makes 2 2/3 cups garlic oil and 2/3 cup garlic mash
4 large heads garlic
3 cups olive oil
4 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Break the garlic heads into quarters with skins intact. Do not peel the cloves.
- Place quarters in a small ovenproof casserole dish. Pour olive oil over garlic to cover. Add herbs and pepper. Cover.
- Bake slowly for about one hour until the cloves are soft.
- Cool. Strain the garlic oil into a bottle and store at room temperature.
- Squeeze the garlic from the skins and mash. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three weeks.
Use garlic mash in soups, stews, egg dishes, or pizza. Spread on baguette slices for garlic bruschetta, and on grilled chicken or roasted meats. You can substitute garlic oil, which has a subtle hint of garlic plus rosemary or thyme, in any dish that calls for olive oil. You can also use garlic oil to roast tomatoes, drizzle on grilled vegetables, or moisten cooked pasta.