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ENOUGH CANNOT BE SAID ABOUT GARLIC!

diabetes and garlic benefits for healthy diet

Much has been written and spoken about the beneficial properties of garlic for our health but it seems that it is never sufficient when it comes to this marvelous bulb. Garlic has been popular since time immemorial and is proven so by abundant historical documentation. For example there is evidence that during the construction of the famous Giza Pyramids in Egypt, ancient doctors and sages used garlic. Hindus used it liberally but one of the most curious applications was including it as part of their arsenal of therapeutic aphrodisiacs. Ancient Greece was not left behind, using garlic extensively for multiple ailments such as skin infections, respiratory infections, problems of digestion and fatigue, among others.

This is why science and botany have not ceased to seek applications for garlic in natural medicine and despite all that has been said, continue to find more therapeutic uses; most notable for us is garlic’s capacity to reduce blood glucose levels in type II diabetes.

Among the most fundamental characteristics of garlic, we find that its penetrating smell is due to an important amount of sulfurs. Together with them, is allicin, an ingredient vital for antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antioxidant function. Ajoene and alliina are two more components found in garlic that are responsible for hypo-tensor and depurative properties sought after by consumers of garlic.

But how can these miraculous components of garlic help in diabetes cases? A study published in the Journal of Medical Nutrition (March, 2008) is clear evidence that garlic has the property to augment insulin production from the pancreas and in this way, achieve a regulation of glycemic levels. This study also compared the hypoglycemic effect of garlic with that of ginger (commented on by the same author in a previous article), resulting in significantly more effective results than the latter. Similar results were observed in studies published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry,  showing evidence that the use of garlic oil in rats demonstrated  improved tolerance of glucose and diabetic cardiomyopathy.

To obtain all of the benefits of garlic, it is important to consume it in a consistent manner.  Many authors advise taking 2 cloves before breakfast, preferably peeled and lightly mashed for the ingredients to activate and thus achieve the desired effect in the control of glycemia or hypertension. But if none of the mentioned recommendations appeal to you, there are also capsules of dehydrated, ground garlic, more concentrated to compensate for the effect of natural garlic.

Fortunately, garlic is one of the ingredients never lacking in the kitchen of most cultures on the planet and it is difficult not to find it in our dishes. Be certain, otherwise, to continue your daily dose of this universal bulb, knowing that the list of benefits for our health is yet to be fulfilled.

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Dr. Montserrat Rodríguez

Dr. Montserrat Rodríguez

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