Garlic (Allium sativum) is not only the condiment but also a plant whose health benefits are known for a very long time. Its bactericidal properties were used already in ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt. Garlic is known for thousands of years, but its detailed composition was determined in 40 years. Of the 20th century. Now garlic is so widespread that grows almost around the globe, with the exception of only tropical rainforest and Antarctica.
Fresh garlic heads contain about 65% water, 28% carbohydrates, 2.3% organic sulphur compounds, 2% protein and 1.2% free amino acids (e.g., cysteine, methionine, arginine). Garlic – compared with other vegetables-is quite caloric-contains 146 kcal/100 g edible parts. However, this is not a problem, because it a little. One clove weighs about 4 g, which provides near 6 kcal. Garlic is also a rich source of vitamin C in 100 g of the edible parts of the product is 31 mg of this vitamin. Garlic also contains minerals, a relatively a lot of potassium, iron and phosphorus (400 mg 1.7 mg and 153 mg in 100 g of the product). Out of many ingredients of garlic, the most the role of sulfur compounds, which are responsible for the characteristic smell of the raw material. They include allicin – one of the most important biological active substances in garlic. Allicin, which is damage to the tissue of garlic (excessive or as a result of chewing) with all-in rushes, under the influence of the enzyme alliinase, an ingredient that antiatherogenic effect, anticoagulation and anticancer.
Health benefits of garlic
Garlic lowers total cholesterol and LDL. Also affects the triglycerides in the blood. Increased triglycerides is associated with a high risk of cardiovascular disease, which is why it is believed that regular consumption of garlic can act preventively and to protect against the development of these diseases.
Epidemiological studies also show a clear relationship between a diet rich in garlic and a little morbidity for tumors of the digestive system. In vitro and in vivo studies indicate that garlic prevents reproduction of different types of cancer cells. National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the United States took the garlic one of the vegetables with the greatest potential anti-cancer action. Data on the impact of the consumption of garlic on the risk of cancer are promising, however, must be taken into account in addition to a variety of genetic and environmental factors that significantly affect the diversity of responses individually.
Antibacterial and antifungal activity of garlic were known already to Louis Pasteurowi, who use it for washing and disinfecting wounds. With antibacterial and antifungal activity of garlic allicin is responsible, its antiviral properties, however, are related to a derivative of allicin – ajoenem. Studies indicate that garlic extract is subjected to an m.in. bacteria as Gram-positive: Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumonia, and Gram negative: Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia.
One study compared the effect of garlic and two synthetic antifungal drugs-imidazole and triazolu. Studied the fungus, which is the most common cause of athlete’s foot. It turned out that the preparation of allicyną, compared with drugs commonly used in athlete’s foot, was characterized by a similar or even greater effectiveness than the synthetic antifungal drugs.