Garlic, a natural remedy through history
Aside from culinary use, Garlic has therapeutic properties that have been used for years. The health benefits associated with Garlic are because of its composition: it contains organosulfur compounds. Morado Garlic is particularly rich (in percentage and in weight) in this type of compound.
The healthiest organosulfur compound that is present in Garlic is SAC, S-allyl-cisteina. According to studies, this compound holds the greatest amount of cardio-healthy, antioxidant and protective properties that are attributed to this vegetable. It is similar to the amino acid cisteina and acts in the organism as a source of this substance, which upon contact with air, oxidizes and loses its characteristics. However the analogue that is present in raw garlic protects the group that risks oxidization. This makes garlic a very stable product for storage as well as an immediate source of cisteina for the organism which controls the redox process (reduction of oxygen) and so is effective for preventing and slowing down both cardiovascular and neurological diseases.
The concentration of the precursors of SAC depends largely on the growing area and on the land’s characteristics. In the case of Morado Garlic from Ajos La Veguilla, a significantly increased concentration has been detected with the percentage of SAC between 16 and 23% higher than other varieties (it is possible that the concentration is lower in other types of garlic due to their higher water content. These are the results of a research project carried out by the Reina Sofia University Hospital in Córdoba and the company Canvax Biotech, and co-financed by the Agency IDEA from the autonomous region of Andalucía.
There are many ways to take advantage of Garlic’s health benefits on a daily basis, depending on the condition that needs to be treated or the desired results. One of its most well-known properties is its anticoagulant and vasodilator capacities as it contributes to release nitric oxide through blood vessels’ endothelial cells with vasodilator effects. Anti-inflammatory benefits (especially osteoarticular) as well as antibiotic and antiseptic benefits are also attributed to Garlic. It controls the lipid profile and can help to maintain controlled glucose levels, to regulate macrobiota (intestinal flora) and can even help to improve cases of stress or depression as it helps to produce serotonin.
While all garlic is healthy, the Morado vatiety has a higher level of antioxidants (allicin and organosulfur compounds) and naturally matured Black Garlic has even higher levels.
The molecule related to Garlics’ multiple benefits, allicin, is only generated when a clove is broken, releasing aliina which is metabolised thanks to aliinasa and converted into allicin. That´s why the best way to consume Garlic while taking full advantage of its healthy properties at the same time is raw and crushed or well chopped.