At some point you might have observed how some people rarely fall ill and even if they do fall ill, they recover in no time. Whereas, some people belonging to the same gender, age, and sometimes even same family, fall sick frequently and take time to recover. Ever wondered why? The answer is simple – immunity! We’re well aware that the immune system defends our body against infections and a compromised immune system can’t protect us! Hence, we must focus on building good immunity! This can easily be achieved with the food we eat and one of the foods that can help us is Garlic!
Garlic is loaded with nutrients, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antifungal and antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that it can enhance immune cell function which reduces the severity of an infection.
Benefits of Garlic
- It contains allicin, which acts as an immunity booster and an antioxidant that helps stop infections, and the spread of bacteria and air-borne viruses.
- It is beneficial to your digestive health. A healthy gut enhances our immune system and reduces the risk of infection.
- It supports your liver to effectively carry out detoxification.
- It contains vitamin B & C, that fights off cold and cough.
- It has proteins, minerals, the sulfur-containing compounds alliin, ajoene, daily sulfide and dithiin, and different enzymes, which makes garlic a “Healing Powerhouse”.
How Do You Use It In Your Diet?
You can enjoy garlic’s nutrients by slicing or crushing a whole clove and eating it raw, immediately, as allicin is unstable and loses its medicinal properties quickly.
You may also try adding raw crushed or chopped garlic, to:
- Salad dressings
- Soups as a garnish
- Vegetable smoothies with other herbs
- Peanut butter and apply on roti
- Curd or vegetable raita
- Coriander/mint chutney
Please note that cooking may cause loss of health benefits due to high temperatures. However, it was noted that crushing it and allowing it to stand for 10 minutes before cooking and by increasing the amount of garlic used in a recipe, one can compensate for the loss of its medicinal properties.
One can also go for garlic supplements like powdered garlic, aged garlic extract and/or garlic oil. However, one needs to be cautious, since there are no regulated standards for its supplements. You can also go for 2-3 raw garlic cloves a day.
A word of caution here is that garlic might reduce your platelet aggregation. People with serious bacterial/viral infections or taking anticoagulant medication/blood thinners need to be cautioned about consuming it. So consult your doctor, nutritionist or dietitian before adding it to your meals.
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Keep your immunity levels up and #BeTheForce!