According to a number of studies, the active compound in garlic, allicin, uses the same mechanisms as ACE inhibitors to lower high blood pressure. They also reveal that garlic prevents the creation of angiotensin II, a hormone, and helps relax blood vessels. Additionally, garlic is also very useful when it comes to lowering your high cholesterol levels (LDL). All of these health benefits make garlic one of the best vegetables known to men and the best thing about it is that it has amazing flavor as well. It’s loved by everyone and it’s so easy to combine in a variety of dishes. Delicious, nutritious and healthy, isn’t that the perfect combination?
Aside from lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol, garlic is the best natural remedy for the immune system. According to a recent study, regular consumption of garlic can reduce the risk of catching flu or the common cold by 63%. It’s also very useful in the treatment of Staph infections as well as ear infections.
When taken raw, garlic may cause bad breath, heartburn, gas, nausea, body odor and a lingering pungent taste in the mouth. However, this depends on the body chemistry of the individual.
If you’re in one of the following groups of people you shouldn’t consume garlic because it may lead to more problems and complications:
- It’s known that garlic possesses natural anticoagulant properties, meaning that it’s excellent for treating circulation problems because it makes the blood more fluid, thus preventing clots which may lead to heart attacks, thrombosis and stroke. But it’s not recommended to use it with anticoagulant drugs because it can lead to excessive bleeding.
- If you suffer from any condition that requires prescription drugs you shouldn’t consume garlic without previous consultation with your doctor.
- If you have liver problems – garlic may decrease the liver’s breakdown of some medications or even decrease the effectiveness of the medications taken for liver issues. In fact, almost all medications, especially birth control medications, can have adverse interactions with garlic in any form.
- If you have a sensitive stomach – garlic can be heavy on your digestive system so if you have an easily irritable GI tract, garlic can only make matters worse. Garlic may also cause some gastrointestinal counter indications when eaten with stomach medications.
- If you’re pregnant– even though “moderate” amounts of raw garlic are safe during a pregnancy or periods of breastfeeding, taking garlic as a remedy during this time is not advisable.
- If your blood pressure is within the normal ranges or tipping to the lower border consuming garlic may further lower it and cause health complications. You can consume it but from time to time and in moderate amounts only.