onion and garlic

What Are Benefits of Onion and Garlic – Why they are good for us

We put many herbs in our food every day to improve the taste of our meals. But we should not forget their antibacterial properties that prevent the growth of bacteria in food, which was very useful at a time when the refrigerator was not used. The most famous and most widely used spice plants in our region that have been used since ancient times are onions and garlic. These two plants are an integral part of many traditional dishes, are widely available and many love them in food. At the same time, these two plants are much more than spices and throughout history their wide use in achieving and maintaining health has been described.

Benefits of Onion (Allium cepa)

Onion is a herbaceous plant that can be both biennial and perennial. Depending on the variety, it produces bulbs of different shapes, sizes and colors, but this has no effect on healing. The underground stem contains fleshy scaly leaves that thicken and form a tuber from August to October. It is the tuber that is most often used in the diet, and onion heads are dried in the fall and stored for use throughout the year. However, not only onion tubers are edible, but also the whole plant, which is eaten as a young onion in spring and summer.

What Are Benefits of Onion and Garlic (source: Pinterest)

 

The above-ground part of the blue-green stem is hollow and narrowed towards the top, and grows to a height of one meter. The leaves are saber-shaped, long and flat, and the plant develops a globular inflorescence of greenish-white flowers from June to August. It thrives best on calcareous soil and does not tolerate fertilization. The taste of onions is strong and aromatic, and the bitterness depends on the climate: the milder, the sweeter the onion.

Onion is a well-known edible plant, but it contains so much richness of medicinal substances that it is rightly considered a medicinal plant.

It is one of the oldest medicinal plants and is believed to have originated in India. This text is written in cuneiform in a thousand-year-old stone: “If I eat onions in the season of winds (autumn), I will not suffer any abdominal pains in the season of rains (winter).” In the time of the oldest Egyptian dynasty, the onion was such a prized plant that the oath before the onion was the highest form of oath. In addition, the Egyptians paid the workers for the construction of the pyramids by the port, and it was also found in the pharaonic tombs prepared for the afterlife. In India, in addition to food, it was also used for healing. It was valued by both the Greeks and Romans, and was a favorite among the poorer strata who added a lot to its food. We brought some plants, like corn and potatoes, from America, and it was the onion Cristoforo Columbo that spread in America. Today, onions are grown all over the world and are a well-known food in many world cuisines.

Onions contain about 88 percent water, 10 percent carbohydrates, 1.2 percent protein and only 0.1 percent fat. One hundred grams of onion has 42 calories, and its caloric value is mainly derived from carbohydrates. It is a good source of vitamins C and B6, dietary fiber, folate, manganese, chromium and flavonoids, especially quercetin. It contains very little saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, so it is a useful food in today’s diet in which it is recommended to reduce the intake of these substances. The active ingredients in onions are cycloaline, of which there are only 2 percent. These compounds are derived from sulfur-containing amino acids. In addition, onions also contain adenosine, prostaglandins and fructosans. Fructosans are polysaccharides that break down into fructose, inulin and pectin, and these are all compounds beneficial to health. Onions also contain allicin, which decomposes into propane thioxide, and this is exactly the compound that causes tears.

It is wise that people have been using onions in their diet since ancient times, because they have a beneficial and stimulating effect on digestion, and are especially useful against cramps, bloating and heartburn. It stimulates the work of the liver, pancreas and gallbladder, and thus the secretion of digestive juices and better digestion of food.

Furthermore, onions contain a plant hormone similar to insulin and are recommended as an aid in the treatment of diabetes. Onion is a strong food, which is not good for people with a sensitive stomach, and it should not be eaten even in the evening because it causes thirst. Like most plant foods, onions are best used raw. By exposure to high temperatures, its nutritional value is significantly reduced.

What are Benefits of Onion

Onions are rich in compounds beneficial to the health of the circulatory, respiratory, nervous and digestive systems. There are many medicinal effects of onions, and among the most important are antimicrobial, diuretic, antipyretic, antiasthmatic and antitumor. It is also useful for people suffering from diabetes, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, difficulty urinating, cystitis, prostatitis and reduced kidney function, and is also excellent against intestinal parasites.

There are many species of the genus Allium, and among the most famous, along with onions and garlic, are chives (Allium schoenoprasum), bear onions (Allium ursinum) and leeks (Allium porrum). These species are also medicinal, well known in our region and are often used as food and medicine, but care should be taken not to pick very poisonous leaves of lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) or frost (Colchicum autumnale), from which bear onions distinguished by an intense onion scent.

Benefits of Garlic (Allium sativum)

Garlic is a herbaceous perennial native to Asia. It is a plant that produces bulbs 3 to 6 inches in diameter that contain 5 to 15 small bulbs that are also called garlic bulbs. The stem, 0.25 to 1 meter high, bears 6 to 12 grooved leaves whose base is on the lower half of the stem. Garlic flowers are greenish-white or pink in color and develop a bristly seed.

In our country, garlic is grown a lot, and there are two varieties: var. ophioscorodon and var. sativum.

Garlic, like onions, has long been known for its healing properties. It is of great importance in Ayurveda, it was used by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and its use was also recommended by Hippocrates, the father of medicine. This ancient knowledge about the healing properties of garlic has been confirmed by scientific research.

Garlic has been shown to help treat fungi, bacteria and viruses, and is so powerful that it can also work in the fight against HIV. It is an antioxidant, which is excellent in fighting free radicals, and is also good for the immune, circulatory, digestive and respiratory systems. Garlic is a widely known plant for heart and blood vessel health. Namely, it lowers high cholesterol, helps with heart and blood vessel diseases, has an anti-inflammatory effect, regulates blood pressure, stimulates circulation, helps break down blood clots and thus reduces the risk of stroke. It is also useful against diabetes, cancer, asthma, skin, digestive and lung infections. Also, garlic can prevent the occurrence of some complications of diabetes such as kidney disease, nervous system and retina.

The active substance in garlic is allicin, a sulfur compound that is formed when garlic is crushed due to exposure to oxygen. Allicin has antibiotic, antiviral and fungicidal properties, so it is used against infections caused by microorganisms, such as fungal infections of the skin, herpes, warts and diseases of the respiratory and digestive systems.

But allicin begins to decompose from the moment of formation, as well as during cooking. Therefore, it is best to eat raw and finely chopped garlic a few minutes after chopping, which allows good use of this medicinal compound.

Garlic in addition to allicin contains diallyl sulfide, a sulfur compound that is beneficial for the immune system, blood, and circulation.

Dialyl sulfide also lowers bad cholesterol, and along with allicin contributes to the rise of the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase (GST). This enzyme neutralizes carcinogenic substances like benzene and prevents the destruction of DNA, and also allows the body to get rid of toxins, drugs and carcinogenic substances. Namely, a carcinogenic substance binds more easily to GST than to DNA in the cell and is then excreted from the body. Increasing GST levels and the consequent elimination of carcinogens from the body is probably the way garlic helps prevent cancer, and many laboratory studies have shown that these sulfur compounds stop the growth of various cancers, including skin, stomach, colon and breast cancers. Research has also shown that people who regularly eat garlic and other types of onions are less likely to get cancer of the esophagus, colon and stomach. In addition to sulfur compounds, garlic also contains the mineral selenium, which is a powerful antioxidant known for its anticancer properties.

In addition to anticancer effects, sulfur compounds in garlic also have anti-inflammatory effects and inhibit the activity of inflammatory enzymes. Therefore, garlic can help people with diseases like arthritis and asthma. The antioxidant properties of garlic can protect against cardiovascular disease by inhibiting the oxidation of bad cholesterol, which would otherwise accumulate in the walls of arteries. Furthermore, folic acid from garlic is known to protect the cardiovascular system. In addition to the already mentioned compounds, garlic also contains vitamin C and B6 and the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium and flavonoids.

People sensitive to garlic should not take it on an empty stomach, and the intense smell of garlic is reduced if taken mixed with oil. Such a combination of olive oil, chopped garlic and parsley is a widely used spice in Mediterranean cuisine, and due to the multitude of medicinal ingredients, this delicious addition can be considered effective in the diet to achieve and maintain health.

Garlic is prepared in folk medicine as a medicine, so it is used to make ointments, tinctures and other preparations. It is often mixed with honey, milk and brandy for internal use.

What are Benefits of Garlic

A well-known folk remedy for asthma: every night before bed you should drink a glass of milk (cow’s, goat’s, soy, rice or oatmeal) in which three cloves of garlic were cooked.

In addition to the inside, garlic is useful to apply on the outside. A piece of garlic can be carefully applied directly to acne, barley, herpes and similar skin diseases. Although this method can be uncomfortable due to the burning sensation, the active ingredients from garlic will act antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and very quickly reduce such ailments. People prone to these diseases should include garlic in their diet and thus reduce possible skin problems.

Onion and garlic, in addition to the already mentioned active ingredients, also contain essential oils, but these oils, due to their pronounced pungent odor, are rarely used in aromatherapy.

Onion and garlic essential oil it is rich in sulfur compounds with disulfides such as diallyl sulfide. These compounds have a strong antibacterial effect, so the essential oil can be used for severe respiratory infections.

Garlic essential oil it is also excellent against warts, intestinal and skin parasites, fungal, bacterial and viral infections. However, aromatherapists will usually replace these fragrant oils with some other essential oil of similar action and apply them only when absolutely necessary. Garlic is also associated with an interesting fact that is important for the effectiveness of aromatherapy. We are often unaware of how well the skin can absorb certain substances, and this fact is extremely important in aromatherapy. The experiment showed that if the soles are rubbed with garlic, the smell of garlic from the mouth will be felt in a few hours, which is proof that the organism absorbed substances from garlic through the skin and they spread through the skin into the whole body.

All the mentioned species of the genus Allium are useful to eat raw and fresh, and they are tastier. In addition, if we take them fresh, they are still rich in nutrients, medicinal and antimicrobial substances. This is especially important in the fall and winter, when it is time for viruses and bacteria. We can reduce the unpleasant smell after consuming such food by taking parsley, mint leaves, lemon, anise seeds or coffee. Therefore, on colder days, we use these valuable foods to become and stay healthy and that, instead of being sick and snoring in bed, we can spend our free time in nature.

More Health hews:  Honey as a medicine and food, the guardian of your health and immunity

source: livestrong

The POWER of Onions & Garlic (Video)

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