It is one of the most common finds in your kitchen pantry, your curries and your stews. Most of Indian preparations are incomplete without this pungent herb; yes, we are talking about garlic. Beyond our kitchens too, garlic has earned itself a name that makes it a favourite among health and fitness enthusiasts. According to the book, 'Healing Foods,' garlic is universally recognised for its health-promoting benefits like aiding the circulatory and digestive systems, boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, and fighting heart disease. It even helps to eliminate toxins from your system. Garlic is low in calories and rich in vitamin C, vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6, manganese, and folate. Allicin – found in fresh, crushed or chewed garlic – has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which are said to be very beneficial for someone suffering from cold and cough.
Garlic And Its Role In Promoting Digestion
Garlic has been renowned for its ability to ignite digestive fire in Ayurveda. Modern science has also demonstrated that garlic when consumed in moderate quantities may promote healthy digestion.
Dr. Simran Saini, Delhi-based nutritionist and weight loss consultant says, "The high sulphur content in garlic gives it antibiotic properties, helping keep the digestive system clean by flushing out toxins. It also builds the immunity against common cold and prevents heart ailments by clearing up blocked arteries. It is great for rejuvenation and healing of skin scars and gives a glow to the skin as it keeps digestion in top-shape." She advises, "the medicinal value of garlic is best unlocked when it is consumed raw."
According to "The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies", by Dr. Vasant Lad also fresh garlic is one of the best remedies to treat indigestion. "Chop up a clove of fresh garlic, add a pinch of salt and a pinch of baking soda and eat it," notes the book.
Garlic has antifungal and antibacterial properties; Photo Credit: iStock
It is said that starting a day with fresh garlic first thing in the morning stimulates digestion and appetite. A smoother digestion, amongst other things, also aids effective weight loss. Bad digestion can lead to weight gain, as we are not able to absorb and assimilate our nutrients properly, which may result in weight gain. Eating raw garlic is also effective for tummy problems like diarrhoea.
Do note, anything in excess may wreak havoc on your overall health. Eating a lot of fresh garlic may lead to heartburn, indigestion or gas. The active compounds of garlic may irritate your digestive tract resulting in a burning sensation in your upper abdomen or chest too. So, make sure you practice moderation.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.