High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a chronic condition linked to cardiovascular health. It occurs when the blood vessels begin to narrow, causing the blood itself to exert pressure against the vessel walls. As a result, the heart begins to pump harder. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to life-threatening cardiovascular conditions like heart attack, coronary heart failure and stroke. Here Leslie Locklear, Foods.news, reflects on garlic as a blood pressure busting superfood:
“If you’re looking for a natural way to support your heart, look no further than the humble garlic.
A superfood in every sense of the word, this pungent-smelling relative of the onion is considered by many cultures across the world to be effective at preventing and treating different health conditions such as hypertension.
Garlic for heart health
According to scientists, garlic’s ability to significantly reduce your risk of developing hypertension largely stems from the presence of garlic sulfides and allicin.
Allicin is a substance with the ability to relax the blood vessels, thereby reducing elevated blood pressure in certain individuals. One study even noted that garlic’s potency when it comes to reducing high blood in people was similar to that of first?line standard anti?hypertensive medications.
This is important because having consistently elevated blood pressure is a risk factor that has been linked to serious health issues such as heart disease, stroke, and sometimes even death.
It doesn’t stop there.
Garlic has also been shown to have other properties that can support or even promote good heart and blood health, such as reducing your cholesterol levels.
This ability, experts said, is more apparent in those with high cholesterol, noting that garlic supplements were able to reduce those individuals’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol by about 10 to 15 percent. It did not have any effect on the same individuals’ high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol levels.
Garlic was also shown to be quite effective at preventing the buildup of plaque or fat deposits in the blood vessels — a feat attributed to its capacity to reduce lipid content in the arterial membranes.
Not only that, but garlic was also found to have the ability to increase the amount of brown fat around the heart muscle, while at the same time, doing the opposite for its white counterpart.
Brown fat is a more active form of fat tissue and is known to produce energy, as well as help reduce the risk of heart calcification — a serious condition in which calcium deposits appear in the heart. White fat, on the other hand, is inactive and has actually been linked to increasing the risk for the said condition.
Aside from being effective against elevated blood pressure and other health issues related to the heart and blood circulation, other studies have also shown that this popular spice — a staple ingredient in many Mediterranean and Asian dishes — is also effective against other health problems.
For instance, garlic was found to be particularly effective at reducing the intensity and duration of colds, as well as combating infections from pathogens that cause issues such as acne and athlete’s foot, among others.
Garlic, as noted by earlier studies, is also surprisingly efficient, not just at removing lead from the body but also at addressing its side effects, such as irritability, headaches, deep tendon reflex, and systolic blood pressure.
In addition, garlic was also found to be quite impressive when it comes to supporting the body against the ravages of free radicals. This is largely due to its high levels of antioxidants. Because of this, garlic has been noted as being a potential tool against cognitive decline, brain deterioration and even certain cancers, all of which are believed to be caused by oxidative damage from free radicals in the environment. Not bad for an herb once dubbed by people as the “stinking rose.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.food.news/2020-12-11-garlic-blood-pressure-busting-superfood.html
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