Garlic and Onions can reduce Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
The evidence that garlic and onions – considered to be two of the most highly pungent vegetables goes back for centuries. In Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, both vegetables were used to treat heart disease. Clay models of garlic bulbs were found in an Egyptian tomb dated from 3750 BC!
Recent scientific studies show that preparations based on garlic and onion juice help to reduce blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
For instance – In a study carried out by Kempaiah & Srinivasan (2004) a group of rats were fed a saturated fat diet i.e. lipids containing three fatty acids which are proven to increase atherosclerosis risk.
Kempaiah & Srinivasan found that by introducing a regular addition of garlic and onion to the diet the increased levels of blood triglycerides in the rats decreased.
A diet rich in garlic helps to reduce the bad cholesterol known as LDL, but at the same time increases the good cholesterol known as HDL. Its powerful key ingredient – ‘allicin’ posesses anti-inflammatory properties that lower blood pressure and prevent bloods clots from forming, thus decreasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
The health properties in onions are equally beneficial in terms of increasing and decreasing good and bad cholesterol respectively. They also contain a compound known as ‘quercetin’ that is extremely powerful in the treatment and prevention of cancer.
How should I eat garlic and onion to maximise their benefits?
It is raw (uncooked) onion and garlic which contains the most powerful medicinal properties; some of which are destroyed in cooking, so you would be best trying to introduce them to your diet in their natural state. Some people couldn’t imagine eating these wonderful bulbs uncooked, but if you consider the possibility that if they had been invented by man – then you would probably be buying them as prescription drugs today!
I think that the best way to eat garlic raw is to add slices of it to a salad or a ready cooked dish such as a stir-fry. If you don’t like the taste of raw garlic – you can always chop it to pill size pieces and swallow it with a glass of water. Add sliced raw onions to your salad and sandwiches. You will be surprised how easy it is.
Note: 1 clove (not bulb!) of raw garlic per day is sufficient, and should not be consumed in large quantities.