You might not like the smell of onions and garlic on your breath, but you might want to reconsider your dining options. One of the major benefits of onions and garlic is that they (and their allium cousins: shallots, scallions, and leeks) provide serious cancer prevention and fighting power.
Packed with allicin, sulfuric compounds, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, and selenium to name a few, garlic and other allium vegetables are incredibly nutrient-dense but naturally low in calories. They stimulate your body’s production of glutathione (the most potent antioxidant for your liver) which boosts detoxification throughout your entire system.
The Science of Food Medicine
According to studies conducted by Italian researchers, people who have a diet rich in onions and garlic have a significantly lower risk of developing certain cancers. In a comparison of many Swiss and Italian studies, they compared the relationship between consumption of allium herbs and the development of cancer cells.
An increased daily consumption of onions, garlic, and other allium species like chives and leeks significantly reduced the chances of cancer cells developing in the mouth, larynx, esophagus, colon, breast, ovary, and kidneys.
A moderate consumption of onions was found to lower the risk of laryngeal, colorectal, and ovarian cancers. Its anti-cancer effects are notably greater when more onions were consumed. As for garlic, a moderate consumption has been associated with lowering the chances of developing colorectal and renal cell cancers. People who ate more of this herb have been found to have a decreased risk of contracting all cancers.
Due to the fact that breast and prostate cancers are primarily hormonal and reproductive in nature, the allium family does not have as big of an impact on them.
The sulfur compounds that give these vegetables their characteristic odor and flavor are integral in constructing connective tissues such as ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.
Top 9 Benefits of Onions and Garlic
1.Naturally antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory
2.Shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels
3.Stimulates production of “natural killer” cells that improves overall immunity
4.Aids in detoxification of the blood
5.Helps prevent hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
6.Lowers blood pressure (hypertension)
7.Improves blood flow and reduces the risk of clots that lead to heart attack and stroke
8.Has been shown to lower your overall risk of major diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and most forms of cancer
9.May help control the formation of fat cells in the body
Preparation is Crucial
If you can consume garlic and onions as close to raw as possible, you’ll reap more of the nutritional benefits. In addition, chop or crush garlic and allow it to sit for two minutes before using. Never microwave your antioxidant-rich foods since the process decreases the antioxidant content by more than 75% in just one minute.
Coupled with proper exercise and a balanced diet, garlic and onions can truly make a positive contribution to your healthy lifestyle. They may seem simple and unassuming in the produce department of your local grocer but they make a significant contribution to your total body health.