Amazing health benefits of garlic

health benefits of garlic

health benefits of garlic

Garlic is a herb, so stating some health benefits of Garlic might sound magical, even the sulfur compound that gets formed when a garlic clove is crushed or chopped, has proven to be very beneficial for health.

Garlic is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion. According to history, Garlic spread to other parts of the world over 5000 years ago.

Garlic is used for many conditions related to the heart and blood system and it is also very nutritious and has very few calories.

Garlic can be used for health challenges such as high blood pressure, low blood pressure, high cholesterol, inherited high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, reduced blood flow due to narrowed arteries, and “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), can

Some people use garlic to prevent colon cancer, rectal cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, and lung cancer. It is also used to treat prostate cancer and bladder cancer.

health benefits of garlic

Garlic has been tried for treating an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia; BPH), cystic fibrosis, diabetes, osteoarthritis, hayfever (allergic rhinitis), traveler’s diarrhea, high blood pressure late in pregnancy (pre-eclampsia), yeast infection, flu, and swine flu. It is also used to prevent tick bites, as a mosquito repellant, and for preventing the common cold, and treating and preventing bacterial and fungal infections.

Brief History About Garlic

However, throughout ancient history, the main use of garlic was for its health and medicinal properties (1).

Its use was well documented by many major civilizations, including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese (2).

Scientists now know that most of its health benefits are caused by sulfur compounds formed when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed or chewed.

Perhaps the most famous of those is known as allicin. However, allicin is an unstable compound that is only briefly present in fresh garlic after it’s been cut or crushed (3).

Other compounds that may play a role in garlic’s health benefits include diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine (4).

The sulfur compounds from garlic enter the body from the digestive tract and travel all over the body, where it exerts its potent biological effects.

SUMMARY

Garlic is a plant in the onion family that’s grown for its distinctive taste and health benefits. It contains sulfur compounds, which are believed to bring some of the health benefits.

Health Benefits of Garlic

2. Garlic Is Highly Nutritious But Has Very Few Calories

Calorie for calorie, garlic is incredibly nutritious.

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of garlic contains (5):

Manganese: 23% of the RDA
Vitamin B6: 17% of the RDA
Vitamin C: 15% of the RDA
Selenium: 6% of the RDA
Fiber: 0.6 grams
Decent amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1
Garlic also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. In fact, it contains a little bit of almost everything you need.

This comes with 42 calories, 1.8 grams of protein and 9 grams of carbs.

SUMMARY
Garlic is low in calories and rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese. It also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients.

3. Garlic Can Combat Sickness, Including the Common Cold

Garlic supplements are known to boost the function of the immune system.

One large, 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared to a placebo (6).

The average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from 5 days in the placebo group to just 1.5 days in the garlic group.

Another study found that a high dose of aged garlic extract (2.56 grams per day) reduced the number of days sick with cold or flu by 61% (7).

However, one review concluded that the evidence is insufficient and more research is needed (8).

Despite the lack of strong evidence, adding garlic to your diet may be worth trying if you often get colds.

SUMMARY
Garlic supplements help prevent and reduce the severity of common illnesses like the flu and common cold.

health benefits of garlic
4. The Active Compounds in Garlic Can Reduce Blood Pressure

Cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes are the world’s biggest killers.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most important drivers of these diseases.

Human studies have found garlic supplements to have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure (9, 10, 11).

In one study, 600–1,500 mg of aged garlic extract was just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a 24-week period (12).

Supplement doses must be fairly high to have the desired effects. The amount needed is equivalent to about four cloves of garlic per day.

SUMMARY
High doses of garlic appear to improve blood pressure for those with known high blood pressure (hypertension). In some instances, supplements may be as effective as regular medications.

5. Garlic Improves Cholesterol Levels, Which May Lower the Risk of Heart Disease Garlic can lower total and LDL cholesterol.

For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplements appear to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10–15% (13, 14, 15).

Looking at LDL (the “bad”) and HDL (the “good”) cholesterol specifically, garlic appears to lower LDL but has no reliable effect on HDL (9, 10, 16, 17, 18).

High triglyceride levels are another known risk factor for heart disease, but garlic seems to have no significant effects on triglyceride levels (13, 15).

SUMMARY
Garlic supplements seem to reduce total and LDL cholesterol, particularly in those who have high cholesterol. HDL cholesterol and triglycerides do not seem to be affected.

6. Garlic Contains Antioxidants That May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
Oxidative damage from free radicals contributes to the aging process.

Garlic contains antioxidants that support the body’s protective mechanisms against oxidative damage (19).

High doses of garlic supplements have been shown to increase antioxidant enzymes in humans, as well as significantly reduce oxidative stress in those with high blood pressure (7, 9, 20).

The combined effects on reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as the antioxidant properties, may reduce the risk of common brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (21, 22).

SUMMARY
Garlic contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and aging. It may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

7. Garlic May Help You Live Longer
The potential effects of garlic on longevity are basically impossible to prove in humans.

But given the beneficial effects on important risk factors like blood pressure, it makes sense that garlic could help you live longer.

The fact that it can fight infectious disease is also an important factor, because these are common causes of death, especially in the elderly or people with dysfunctional immune systems.

SUMMARY
Garlic has known beneficial effects on common causes of chronic disease, so it makes sense that it could also help you live longer.

8. Garlic Supplements improves Athletic Performance
Garlic was one of the earliest “performance enhancing” substances.

It was traditionally used in ancient cultures to reduce fatigue and enhance the work capacity of laborers.

Most notably, it was given to Olympic athletes in ancient Greece (1).

Rodent studies have shown that garlic helps with exercise performance, but very few human studies have been done.

People with heart disease who took garlic oil for 6 weeks had a 12% reduction in peak heart rate and better exercise capacity (23).

However, a study on nine competitive cyclists found no performance benefits (24).

Other studies suggest that exercise-induced fatigue may be reduced with garlic (2).

SUMMARY
Garlic may improve physical performance in lab animals and people with heart disease. Benefits in healthy people are not yet conclusive.

9. Eating Garlic May Help Detoxify Heavy Metals in the Body
At high doses, the sulfur compounds in garlic have been shown to protect against organ damage from heavy metal toxicity.

A four-week study in employees of a car battery plant (excessive exposure to lead) found that garlic reduced lead levels in the blood by 19%. It also reduced many clinical signs of toxicity, including headaches and blood pressure (25).

Three doses of garlic each day even outperformed the drug D-penicillamine in reducing symptoms.

SUMMARY
Garlic was shown to significantly reduce lead toxicity and related symptoms in one study.

10. Garlic May Improve Bone Health
No human studies have measured the effects of garlic on bone loss.

However, rodent studies have shown that it can minimize bone loss by increasing estrogen in females (26, 27, 28, 29).

One study in menopausal women found that a daily dose of dry garlic extract (equal to 2 grams of raw garlic) significantly decreased a marker of estrogen deficiency (30).

This suggests that this supplement may have beneficial effects on bone health in women.

Foods like garlic and onions may also have beneficial effects on osteoarthritis (31).

SUMMARY
Garlic appears to have some benefits for bone health by increasing estrogen levels in females, but more human studies are needed.

11. Garlic Is Easy to Include in Your Diet and Tastes Absolutely Delicious
The last one is not a health benefit but is still important.

Garlic is very easy (and delicious) to include in your current diet.

It complements most savory dishes, particularly soups and sauces. The strong taste of garlic can also add a punch to otherwise bland recipes.

Garlic comes in several forms, from whole cloves and smooth pastes to powders and supplements like garlic extract and garlic oil.

However, keep in mind that there are some downsides to garlic, such as bad breath. There are also some people who are allergic to it.

If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medications, talk to your doctor before increasing your garlic intake.

A common way to use garlic is to press a few cloves of fresh garlic with a garlic press, then mix it with extra virgin olive oil and a bit of salt.

This a healthy and super satisfying dressing.

SUMMARY
Garlic is delicious and easy to add to your diet. You can use it in savory dishes, soups, sauces, dressings and more.
The Bottom Line
For thousands of years, garlic was believed to have medicinal properties.

Science has now confirmed it.

Mango nutritional values you need to know

health benefits of mango

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Since I started thinking about writing some about mango nutritional value the mere thought of mangoes makes my mouth water already.

Who else is salivating alongside with me? It’s not that season of the year yet, but I can’t wait for the season of mangoes to be here.

For some persons, the day they spot the first mango of the season is their happiest day of the year, such love for our “ever yummy” mango.

Dear readers, please do follow me as I tell a short story about the History, Origin and Spread of Mango.

“It was thousands of years ago, specifically around the Indian sub-continent, the mango was originated and found to be intimately connected with folklore and legends across many religions. It was originated in the foot hills of the Himalayas of India and Burma.

Over the years, as the mango became cultivated, as early as 2000B.C., its flavour, size and texture developed.

The explorers who tasted the mango were enchanted with its aromatic qualities and ambrosial flavour. This made them introduce the fruit to other tropical countries.

As the mango adapted to new locales, new varieties evolved and many names were bestowed upon it such as “apple of the tropics”, “king of fruit” and “fruit of the gods”.

Mango (Mangifera indica), which belongs to the genus Angifera and a member of the plant family, Anacardiaceous, is one of the most extensively exploited fruits for food, juice, flavour, fragrance and colour and a common ingredient in new functional foods often called “superfruits”.

The ripe fruit is variable in size and colour and may be yellow, orange, red or green when ripe, depending on the cultivar.

When ripe, the unpeeled fruit gives off a distinctive resinous sweet smell. In its center is a single flat oblong seed that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface, depending on the cultivar.

As of 2018, according to world atlas.com, Nigeria holds the 9th position of top mango producers in the world (Wawuuuu!! What an achievement).

mango nutritional value
Photo: Margo.org

Let’s just say I’m proudly Nigerian when it comes to mango production.

There are eight(8) varieties of Mango in Nigeria. You can check out the various types of mango in the world here.

So, if you’re reading this and you are one of those who gets confused when in front of a mango seller or don’t even know the particular variety of mango you prefer, and then you end up buying whatever variety, as long as it’s mango… knowing these varieties would help you when next you need to buy or consume mango.

Cotonou Mango: it’s that particular mango that appears large or ellipse-shaped with a green coloured skin and a little red blush. When the skin is peeled, the colour which will be seen is a pale lemon yellow colour. When put in the mouth, it tastes like pineapple; firm and not fibrous.

German/Opioro Mango: this is that long and large type of mango, with green skin colour and yellow flesh colour. It has a fresh and sour flavour.

Benue Mango: the skin colour could be green, with a little yellow or could be red with yellow.

The flesh colour of this variety ranges from pale yellow to light orange. When next you see a particularly large mango or one that is as big as melons, do not doubt that it’s a Benue Mango.

Ogbomosho Mango: It is the most preferred variety in the western parts of Nigeria. It’s bright yellow skin with orange and red blush, it’s yellow flesh and it’s flavour that is sweet with a hint of spice are qualities that the mango possesses.

Not forgetting it’s Oblong shape and texture which varies from firm to soft and juicy.

Sheri [Cherie/Sherry/Cherry] Mango: It’s that mango that has a firm flesh, such that it still holds shape when cut (unlike some other varieties). It’s why some persons prefer it to other varieties.

One can identify Sheri Mango through it’s green skin colour, it’s shape which is ellipse in nature and the colour of the flesh which ranges from dark yellow to orange.

Despite the fact that it’s sweet, rich and spicy, it leaves an aftertaste (well, some still love it that way).

Julie Mango: It’s the ovate and flat-shaped mango, with a green skin colour and a flesh colour, ranging from dark yellow to orange (just like the Sheri mango).

It also has a rich flavour, a juicy flesh and lastly…..a funny name (or don’t you think so too?)

Peter/Jane/Binta Sugar Mango: I bet you have a puzzled look on your face right now, just as I do too. This one has a very confusing name.

However, the most important thing is to know how to identify this “confused” variety.

So how can one identify it? It is simply a large-sized mango, with a green skin colour and orange-coloured flesh. It has a firm texture and of course, undisputedly sweet when it’s ripe.

Kerosene Mango: this has a skin colour which is quite different from other varieties. Its skin colour is pale peach and the colour of the flesh ranges from yellow to orange (just like the Julie mango).

When consumed (whether a bite or two), it has an aftertaste of kerosene or turpentine (most likely the reason why it is called “Kerosene Mango”).

It is ellipse-shaped and it’s texture varies from firm to soft and juicy. Has a fibrous flesh also.

THE KING OF ALL FRUITS
You might be wondering, “why is the mango termed as the king of all fruits?” Could it be because of its unique sweetness or because of its juiciness? Could it be its flavour?

This, you would find out as you keep reading

Beyond the sweet, luscious taste of mangoes, they are rich in a variety of phytochemicals and nutrients that qualify them as a model “superfruit”, a term used to highlight potential health value of certain edible fruits.

They contain an abundance of essential vitamins (Vit A, B-vitamins, C, E, K, Folate), dietary minerals (copper, potassium), amino acids and antioxidants that assure optimum health.

For decades, mangoes have been used to soothe the stomach. Similar to papayas, they contain certain enzymes with stomach comforting properties.

Mango is rich in fibre, so if you have at least one mango every day, you are almost guaranteed to prevent constipation, piles and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Research published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety has demonstrated that dietary fibre has a positive effect on eliminating degenerative diseases, including certain cancers and heart conditions. Now you have even more reasons to include this delicious fruit in your daily diet.

Research has shown that the more one participates in strenuous activities, the more potassium that is lost which is yet another helpful effect of mangoes – high potassium content!

Mango Nutritional Value

Consuming mangoes comes with a lots of benefits. Mangoes help to:

1. Support Weight Management
Mango is a good source of Fiber. Fibre makes one feel full faster and reduces over-eating. This, in turn, helps to support weight management.

2. Aid Digestion, Control Constipation and Prevent Diabetes
Mango consumption aids digestion, controls constipation and slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which is done via the good quantity of fiber present in Mango.

Hence, Mangoes are excellent for normalizing gut functions and control of diabetes.

3. Prevent Cancer
Research has shown Poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidant compounds in mango fruit have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers.

Mangoes have high amounts of pectin, a soluble dietary fiber that efficiently contributes to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Pectin can help prevent the development of prostate cancer.

The European Prospective Investigation of Cancer also has come up with a strong association between eating a mango and lowering the risk of cancer of the gastrointestinal tract.

4. Promote good Vision
Mango contains a very good quantity of Vitamin A, which is very good for vision. One cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes.

5. Lowers Cholesterol

The high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels, specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (the bad stuff).

6. Boosts Immune System

The generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangoes, plus 25 different kinds of carotenoids keep the immune system healthy and strong.

Mangoes are rich in beta-carotene, a powerful carotenoid. This element helps to enhance the immune system and make it impervious to bacteria and toxins.

Excess beta-carotene is also transformed into vitamin A inside the body. Vitamin A is another antioxidant that gives additional protection against the free radicals harming the internal systems.

7. Control Heart rate and Blood pressure

Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help to control heart rate and blood pressure.

The Potassium content in mango is quite sizeable, hence, consumption of mango is just what you need to control your blood pressure.

8. Clears the Skin

Can be used both internally and externally for the skin. Mangos clear clogged pores and eliminate pimples.

Externally:
Just blending up the mango and applying to the face is fast and easy. Mangoes contain beta-carotene, which is converted by your body to vitamin A. That and vitamin C are crucial to skin self-repair.

Internally:
When eaten, mangos help resolve all skin problems including pimples.

9. During Pregnancy

Mangoes are beneficial for pregnant women since they fulfill the iron requirements during pregnancy. Mangoes also fulfill the requirements of Folate during pregnancy.

Meeting requirements of Folate before and during pregnancy help reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord defect.

10. Promote Brain Health

Mangoes have abundant quantities of vitamin B6, which is vital for maintaining and improving the brain’s function.

These vitamins aid in the amalgamation of the major neurotransmitters that contribute to determining mood and the modification of sleeping patterns. They naturally provide significant quantities of this vitamin.

With mangoes as a part of your diet, you can be assured of a healthy brain and effective nerve functioning. You will also be avoiding medicinal supplements, which have a long list of side effects. The glutamine acid content in mangos also improves concentration and memory.

11. Delay Aging:

Mangoes contain high amounts of vitamin A and C, which help produce collagen proteins inside the body. Collagen helps protect blood vessels and the body’s connective tissues, thereby slowing down the natural aging process. Therefore, mangoes can rightly be called an anti-aging food .

12. Maintain Overall Health
Mangoes have an impressive vitamin content that assures overall health. They are rich in potassium and magnesium and are a great remedy for high blood pressure.

They also contain selenium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus. Mangos are vitamin powerhouses as they are rich in riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, niacin, folate, thiamin, and pantothenic acid.

The components help avoid a host of diseases that can come from deficiencies of these vitamins and minerals. Powerful antioxidants in mangos have the power to neutralize free radicals throughout the body. Heart diseases, premature ageing, cancer, and degenerative diseases are due to these free radicals that damage the cells.

Finally, for a fruit that comes with these numerous benefits, we can only say that indeed,it deserves to be called “the king of all fruits”.

If you are not a mango lover, I think it’s high time you start loving mangoes. Thanks for reading!

Seven health benefits of Bitter Kola

Health benefits of Bitter Kola

Although it is bitter, however, the health benefits Bitter Kola nut are exceptional.

Historically, Bitter Kola nut was originally the food of the gods and one of the gods left a piece of this nut on Earth for people to find it.

Since then, the Kola tree and Kola nut have been widely used both in medicine and in cosmetology due to their stimulating, astringent, draining, decongestant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, vasoprotective, lipolytic and a number of other properties.

Therefore, one can say the health benefits Bitter Kola has been discovered thousands of years ago.

Health benefits of bitter kola make it a fair alternative for a list of pills and medicines.

It is said that the best of medicines come with a bitter taste: Undeniably, bitter kola is one of them.

As a matter of fact, the fruit, seeds, nuts, and bark of the plant have been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat ailments from coughs to fever.

The bitter plant, which is believed to contain a high source of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron, also carry other antioxidants.

Health benefits of Bitter Kola

Garcinia kola belongs to the species of a tropical flowering plant. It produces brown, nut like seeds, similar looking to kidney beans.

Owing to this, research was carried out by accredited institutions to find out the possible healing attributes of the bitter plant.

To answer your question what is the benefit of bitter cola? Here are some of the incredible health benefits of bitter kola

1. It combats STDs
Since the emergence of sexually transmitted diseases, noble scientists have been battling night and day to bring lasting solution the plague.

Although their battle may seem somewhat difficult as a result of the complicatedness of the diseases, results have shown that seed and leaf of bitter kola have antibacterial activity on clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi and Streptococcus pyrogens.

2. Remedy for osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone that causes pain and stiffness, especially in the hip, knee, and thumb joints.

It is a common form of arthritis.

And according to the National Institutes of Health, the causes of Osteoarthritis can include joint injury, obesity, and aging.

However, researchers at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria tested the effects of bitter kola against arthritis symptoms and the result concludes that bitter kola significantly reduced inflammation and pain.

It also increased joint movement in patients that had osteoarthritis symptoms.

Health benefits of Bitter Kola
3. It improves sexual impotence

Studies have shown that when it comes to the improvement of sexual performance, especially among men, bitter kola is royalty.

Bitter Kola does not only increase sex drive, but it also improves the sexual performance of men who consume it.

And in other to be effective, it is advisable to chew the kola for at least two minutes before intercourse.

So you have it: Improve your performance in bed by chewing bitter kola.

4. It improves the function of the lungs

The fibres and lung tissues are not only strengthened when bitter kola is consumed regularly in a considerate amount, but it also stabilizes any other counter effect.

In addition, it helps in the maintenance of good respiratory track as well as treating chest cold.

Still wondering why some smokers move along with bitter kola?

5. It improves immunity system
Bitter kola has a high amount of antioxidant. This high amount of antioxidants found in bitter kola does not only help fight bacteria and other illnesses, it also helps the body to increase its immunity levels.

And when the immunity level of the body is increased, it becomes strong enough to fight against any foreign contaminant.

6. It is an anti-malaria agent

Studies have shown that chemical constituents in bitter kola have anti-malarial properties. This is why traditional healers have for many years prescribed bitter kola for the treatment of malaria infections.

Additionally, the stem, bark, and seeds of bitter kola are used to treat acute fever, inflammation of the respiratory tract and throat infections.

7. It fights glaucoma
Glaucoma is a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball, causing a gradual loss of sight.

Glaucoma could result in permanent blindness if left untreated.

However, bitter kola has been found to be an amazing remedy for the eye.

And according to a Lagos University Teaching Hospital journal, when bitter kola is eaten, at least twice a day, it could successfully reduce the eye pressure.