Aged garlic packs a powerful nutrient-filled obesity-busting punch - here's what else you'll get from it
Obesity is one of the most common diseases today. Data released by the World Health Organization
notes that the number of obese individuals around the globe has reached 650 million
. This is three times the number recorded in 1975.
While obesity is indeed a disease characterized by excess weight and body fat, it’s not something that should be considered as being primarily a cosmetic or aesthetic problem -- it is actually a medical problem that increases yours risk of developing other diseases and other serious health problems.
This is because obesity often triggers the immune system, causing the body to enter a state of chronic inflammation. This makes it even more prone to attacks from free radicals in the environment. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells and are looked at as the main focus behind chronic illnesses and aging.
There is good news: new research conducted by a team t the University of Florida
, suggests that aged garlic can help address several health issues related to obesity
such as chronic inflammation.
According to the researchers, these reductions could mean that aged garlic can help obese individuals fend off diseases associated with the condition.
"Taken consistently, [aged garlic extract] may be beneficial in preventing the development of chronic diseases associated with low-grade inflammation in adults with obesity," the researchers, led by Changjie Xu, said.
Aside from seeing reductions in the said proteins, the researchers also observed the modulation of immune cells in the participants who took the extract.
The wonders of garlic
Garlic has long been considered to be one of the world’s most potent superfoods -- a title it earned mainly due to its ability to stave off diseases and health problems
with the help of its antioxidant properties.
Because of this, garlic -- once called the “stinking rose” for its characteristically pungent smell -- has been noted as being a potential tool against issues such as high blood pressure, cognitive decline, brain deterioration, and even certain cancers, all of which are believed to be caused by oxidative damage from free radicals in the environment.
In addition, garlic also exhibits potent antimicrobial properties, with many studies noting its particular efficacy against germs and viruses. Got the sniffles? Try eating some garlic soup -- the herb is known to reduce the severity and frequency of colds and flu.
What is aged garlic?
Aged garlic, as its name suggests, is simply plain garlic that has been left to ferment in acid, to remove its pungent smell. This means it can be eaten without fear of your breath becoming smelly. Amazing, right?
Considered a “tonic herb,” aged garlic can be taken safely for long periods of time without causing any unpleasant disruptions to your system, unlike its fresh counterpart.
Furthermore, because it has a much milder flavor compared to raw cloves, it can be used as a topping in salads, or as an ingredient in sandwich fillings -- it can even be eaten by itself.
Another form of aged garlic is the so-called “Black Garlic.”
Much like aged garlic, black garlic is the same garlic you’ll find at your local farmer’s market. The only difference is that black garlic has undergone a fermentation process, which lasts for up to 90 days and turns the once-white cloves into black-colored ones.
The fermentation process changes the garlic’s texture and flavor as well, turning the once-crisp herb into softer, chewier and sweeter morsels compared to its original form.
Lest you think otherwise, however, both garlic preparations still possess the healing powers of the fresh cloves
, all of which stem from high concentrations of many nutrients, antioxidants and other beneficial compounds
Aside from preventing chronic inflammation, both aged and black garlic have been linked to the following health benefits:
Aged garlic can help prevent atherosclerosis, as well as help lower blood pressure
Aged garlic does more than just bring a lovely bite to salads: it can also keep the heart healthy by blocking the buildup of plaque in arterial walls
This is according to a study that found that aged garlic extract can inhibit coronary calcification, or atherosclerosis, making it potentially useful for patients who are at an elevated risk for cardiovascular diseases.
Aside from helping to prevent plaque buildup, aged garlic was also shown to be effective at lowering elevated blood pressure. This is said to be linked to its ability to decrease blood platelet adhesion, preventing them from sticking together. This makes it useful in terms of preventing cardiovascular diseases such as ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction.
Aged garlic can help optimize your brain health
As noted by experts, aged garlic can help prevent problems related to cognition and nerve function
, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. This is mainly because of its ability to reduce instances of inflammation in the human body. It’s also linked to improvements in your memory, which means it can rightfully be called a form of brainfood.
Aged garlic can help improve your immunity
Back garlic, aside from being a tasty addition to stews, can also help boost your immune system.
Medical experts, this is mainly because antioxidants fight free radicals and prevent oxidative stress that can lead to cell damage. A healthy immune system means that your body is able to fight infections and bacteria more effectively.
Aged garlic can help promote liver health
If you’re thinking about supporting your liver’s health, then black garlic may just be the one you’re looking for.
This is because black garlic -- thanks to its impressive nutrient stores -- may help improve the health of your liver, as well as help to lower markers of liver injury following liver damage, decrease fatty deposits in the liver, and rebalance liver cell size.
in more ways than one, garlic is overflowing with health-supporting antioxidants and other phytochemicals that can lead to good overall health.