Garlic… Bad On The Nose But Good On The Heart!

According to the latest research it is the smelly ingredient in garlic that is good for your health. That smelly ingredient is a chemical called allicin which is responsible for the bulb’s antisocial reputation but researchers say it acts as a chemical messenger in the body that protects the heart. The researchers believe their findings help explain some of the health benefits that have been attributed to garlic for hundreds of years.

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Metabolism of allicin, an active ingredient of garlic, fights against heart disease. Garlic prevents oxidation, which is a harmful process, with powerful antioxidants.

How free radicals are hazardous to heart health?

Free radicals are destroyed by antioxidants and these free radicals can be the products of ultraviolet rays, cigarette smoke, air pollutants and pesticides. To neutralize the free radicals in your body, continuous supply of antioxidants are kept by the body.

When your body does not get enough antioxidants, free radicals can overwhelm the body’s antioxidant stock. When the cells that line arteries are damaged by free radicals, a sticky substance is produced by the body to repair the damage.

Therefore, cholesterol is attracted towards this substance, which builds up within the arteries and causes progressive plaque formation.

Free radicals can oxidize the cholesterol circulating in the arteries. Lining of the arteries is damaged by oxidation of LDL. Therefore, it contributes to the plaque buildup and hardening and narrowing of arteries.

Arteries are benefited by the protection provided by antioxidants. Garlic has the ability to stop cholesterol oxidation and is one of the ways of protecting heart. Antioxidant ability of garlic helps in protecting arteries from formation of plaque and eventual blockage.

Garlic also reduces age related thickening of arteries. Garlic also helps to maintain elastic properties of the body’s main artery, aorta. This is beneficial as it prevents atherosclerosis and thereby reducing stroke risk.

Protective antioxidants of garlic are also beneficial for the heart after surgery. People with high cholesterol get normal levels by eating one to two cloves of garlic.

LDL (low density lipoprotein) and triglyceride levels are decreased and levels of HDL (high density lipoprotein) are increased. These benefits significantly prevent heart disease as well as strokes.