Good nutrition is extremely important in helping your body to work optimally. It’s no surprise then that one herb may increase your life expectancy. What is it?
Researchers from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, at the University of Oxford, found that garlic reduced cholesterol in participants by 12 percent.
Sixteen trials were analysed, with data from 952 subjects, which informed the study.
The reduction of cholesterol persisted for at least six months.
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The American Heart Association explains (low-density lipoprotein) LDL cholesterol contributes to fatty build-ups in the arteries.
Medically known as atherosclerosis, this condition narrows the arteries and increases the risk for heart attack and stroke.
Another study by the University of Exeter supported the notion that garlic reduces cholesterol levels.
Researchers from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, found that garlic lowered systolic blood pressure in those with hypertension.
Systolic blood pressure is the top number of a blood pressure reading.
This measures the amount of pressure in your arteries when the heart contracts.
Those with hypertension suffer from high blood pressure readings of 130/80mmHg and above.
People with high blood pressure are at higher risk of kidney disease, heart failure and dementia.
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Not only has garlic been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and high blood pressure readings, the herb also contains antioxidants.
Researchers from the Department of Experimental Medicine and Biotechnology, in India, found that garlic “contains antioxidant phytochemicals that prevent oxidative damage”.
All three of these benefits have also been linked to reducing a person’s risk of dementia.
Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, supported this by stating high cholesterol and hypertension increases a person’s risk of dementia.
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The researchers added: “Oxidative damage is a major factor in cardiovascular disease and dementia.
“Garlic may help reduce the risk of these diseases.”
The herb is part of the lily, or alium, family, and plays a central part in Mediterranean and Asian cooking.
BBC Good Food describe raw garlic as “fiery, pungent and crunchy when raw”, adding that as it cooks, it becomes “more mellow and creamy”.
Slowly fried garlic can be used as a base for sauces, casseroles and soups.
Raw, dried garlic can be used in dressings, salsas and butters.
Keep unbroken garlic bulbs in an open container in a cool, dry place – they’ll last for a couple weeks.
Individual cloves will keep for up to 10 days.
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