Scientifically called Allium Sativum, garlic belongs to the Alliacae family of plants, together with onion and others related to them. It is known to have been used throughout history for all kinds of purposes – culinary, medical, and even mystical (to chase away vampires).
It has excellent properties that help us maintain our health – when crushed, it produces as a reaction one of the most powerful natural antibiotics (allicin) and phytoncide – an anti-fungal chemical substance. Enzymes, vitamin B, alliin are among other great components of garlic.
How Does Garlic Help in Weight Loss
Garlic acts as an appetite suppressant as it gives the brain signals of satiety when it is eaten. Hence, a person would be less inclined to eat. Garlic also increases the body’s metabolism. Garlic is supposed to stimulate the nervous system to release the adrenalin hormone – thereby increasing the metabolism. High metabolism can in turn help you to burn calories and lose weight.
Research shows that garlic for weight loss works. Researchers from Weizmann Institute in Israel conducted an experiment to see if garlic can help in reducing hypertension and diabetes. They gave one group of rats allicin (garlic compound). The researchers found out that the rats given the garlic compound did not gain weight, while the rats in the other group gained weight.
Since garlic helps in weight loss, you can use it in your cooking or you can also use it on salads. Eating garlic bread and other garlic products can also be helpful for losing weight.
Garlic For Weight Loss
Allicin is the most potent substance found in garlic and this has been shown to not only lower blood pressure, insulin and triglyceride levels in laboratory animals fed a sugar rich diet, but also to prevent weight gain.
A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension reported that animals who developed high insulin levels, High Blood Pressure, and high triglycerides were given either allicin or served as a control.
Although all of the animals consumed the same amount of food, weight rose only in the control group whereas the animals who were being supplemented with allicin maintained stable weight or a slight decrease was actually noticed.
Garlic contains allicin, the cause of its pungency and an antibacterial agent due to its sulfur content. Allicin belongs to a group of compounds called thiosulphates and makes up 70 to 80 percent of the thiosulphates. However, allicin is not present in its natural state and it is only released only when it is crushed and is destroyed when cooked. Garlic also contains other sulfur antioxidants like germanium and selenium and Vitamins A, C and E.
Allicin and Weight Loss
A team of doctors at Israel’s Tel Hashomer Hospital conducted controlled test on rats to find how garlic can prevent diabetes and heart attacks and found an interesting side effect. They noticed that none of the rats given allicin gained weight.
According to Medspice, garlic can effectively keep weight in control. First of all, garlic is an appetite suppressant. The strong odor of garlic stimulates the satiety center in the brain, thereby reducing feelings of hunger. Specifically, garlic reduces appetite by increasing the brain’s sensitivity to leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells to regulate appetite. Garlic has another lethal weight loss arsenal-it stimulates the nervous system to release hormones like adrenalin, which in turn speed up metabolic rate. An increased metabolic rate means more ability to burn more fat calories. More calories burned means less weight gain-a happy correlation.
Ways to Eat Garlic
Scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture and in Argentina revealed that crushing garlic releases more of the healthy allicin. Add crushed garlic to salads, soups, dips, sauces and marinades to garner its health benefits. You can also use minced garlic to add flavor to meat dishes, stews and casseroles. Garlic gives pesto sauce gusto and spaghetti sauce a distinctive flavor.
Finally, garlic lovers may gain many health benefits but garlic breath can be off-putting. Getting rid of garlic breath requires chewing on fresh sprigs of parsley, mint, or lemon and orange peels or fennel seeds.
Other Benefits of Garlic
Another benefit of garlic is it helps regulate the body’s blood pressure. So whether you have problems with low or High Blood Pressure, garlic can help equalize it.
Garlic helps strengthen your body’s defenses against allergies; helps loosen plaque from the artery walls; helps regulate your blood sugar levels; and is the best choice for killing and expelling parasites such as pin worms from the human body.
In addition to all these health benefits, garlic is packed with vitamins and nutrients. Some of these include protein, potassium, Vitamins A, B, B2 and C, Calcium, Zinc and many others.
Some people prefer to take odourless garlic supplements. These pills and capsules have the advantage of avoiding garlic breath. However, there is still a debate now because most benefits of garlic come from garlic oil, which makes the strong breath, so odourless garlic supplements will work? Here is a small tip my mother has told me to avoid strong garlic breath: drinking lemon juice or eating a few slices of lemon will stop bad garlic breath.