Eat garlic and onions every day for optimum heart health, immunity, cancer prevention.
Garlic is a vegetable (Allium sativum) that belongs to the Allium class of bulb-shaped plants, which also includes onions, chives, leeks, and scallions.
Garlic is used for flavouring in cooking and is unique because of its high sulphur content. It also contains arginine, oligosaccharides, flavonoids, and selenium, all of which may be beneficial to health.
The characteristic odour and flavour of garlic comes from sulphur compounds formed from allicin, the major precursor of garlic’s bioactive compounds, which are formed when garlic bulbs are chopped, crushed, or damaged. Bioactive compounds are defined as substances in foods or dietary supplements, other than those needed to meet basic nutritional needs that are responsible for changes in health status.
Garlic possesses antibiotic and antibacterial properties. The key to maintaining these naturally antibiotic properties however is to not cook or alter the garlic.Protective effects from garlic may arise from its antibacterial properties or from its ability to block the formation of cancer-causing substances , halt the activation of cancer-causing substances , enhance DNA repair, reduce cell proliferation, or induce cell death .
Instead, garlic eaten raw and crushed has shown the most potent antibiotic effects since it releases the allicin within the bulb, which is the nutrient that is thought to contain the most potent form of antibiotic material in the bulb. The more the garlic is crushed and smashed, the more potent allicin it is said to release.
Incorporating garlic into your daily diet can help keep chronic inflammation (which results in pain) and bacterial infections at bay. Any food that wards off inflammation is an excellent addition to an anti-cancer diet since most cancers are linked to chronic inflammation in the part of the body in which they originated.
Just as garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic, both it and its close cousin the onion contain antibacterial and anti-viral compounds. These compounds help to boost your immunity by not only enhancing your body’s own reaction to outside invaders, but by also acting as natural medicines themselves to fend them off.
Several population studies show an association between increased intake of garlic and reduced risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the stomach, colon, oesophagus, pancreas, and breast. Population studies are multidisciplinary studies of population groups that investigate the cause, incidence, or spread of a disease or examine the effect of health-related interventions, dietary and nutritional intakes, or environmental exposures.
An analysis of data from seven population studies showed that the higher the amount of raw and cooked garlic consumed, the lower the risk of stomach and colorectal cancer.
Several population studies conducted in various countries centred on garlic consumption and cancer risk. In one study, investigators found that frequent consumption of garlic and various types of onions and chives was associated with reduced risk of oesophageal and stomach cancers, with greater risk reductions seen for higher levels of consumption .
Similarly, in another study, the consumption of allium vegetables, especially garlic and onions, was linked to a reduced risk of stomach cancer (9). In a third study, greater intake of allium vegetables (more than 10 g per day vs. less than 2.2 g per day), particularly garlic and scallions, was associated with an approximately 50 percent reduction in prostate cancer risk.
A study in France found that increased garlic consumption was associated with a statistically significant reduction in breast cancer risk. After considering total calorie intake and other established risk factors, breast cancer risk was reduced in those consuming greater amounts of fibre, garlic, and onions.