Garlic has antimicrobial and antifungal properties

Garlic is an incredibly good condiment for our health! These are the findings of a multitude of publications, particularly in scientific journals! The practical question is simple: should we systematically add it to our meals to stay healthy? As far as its composition is concerned, it provides virtually no fat and contains very little carbohydrate, protein or fibre. But several thousand chemical substances, some of which are thought to be beneficial, have been identified in garlic cloves!

The most well-known is alliin. This substance is transformed into allicin when garlic is cut or crushed, or when it ages. It is allicin that gives fresh garlic its distinctive aroma and tenacious smell. A large proportion of garlic's supposed beneficial effects are linked to this molecule. It is thought to have antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antihypertensive properties, as well as beneficial effects on blood glucose and cholesterol levels. That's why garlic is reputed to protect against colds, cardiovascular disease and cancer!

But there are two caveats to all this:

The first is that the effects demonstrated, particularly on cholesterol and blood pressure, vary widely from one study to another and from one person to another. And most of the supposed benefits, particularly in the fight against cancer, remain in the realm of hypothesis with no proof in humans.

The second concerns the quantity of garlic that needs to be consumed for the properties mentioned to be significant. The effects on blood pressure and cholesterol have been shown with garlic extracts usually containing at least 10 mg of alliin. This corresponds to consumption of 1 to 2 cloves of garlic a day. And for alliin to retain its properties, garlic must be eaten raw. At these quantities, digestive symptoms are common and the resulting breath can be a problem. In order to consume a sufficient quantity of the active product every day, you are practically obliged to use food supplements, to be taken daily over the long term. In this case, it's best to talk to your doctor, as there are interactions between garlic and certain medicines, particularly anticoagulants.

In fact, it's a mistake to think of garlic as the miracle condiment for curing or protecting us against chronic illnesses and infections! But, like onions, shallots and many spices, garlic is a good addition to our daily diet. In combination with other condiments, it simply helps to provide our bodies with everything they need to stay healthy for a long time!