Health tip: why should you always crush garlic before eating?

Presse Santé

Vegetables from the garlic family, together with cruciferous foods, are most often associated with a reduced risk of developing several types of cancer.

Whether it’s garlic, onion, green onion or chives, these vegetables really deserve a place of choice in your eating habits … provided you respect a little formality.

Crushing a garlic clove or slicing an onion are seemingly trivial operations that are done mechanically, without thinking. However, these simple gestures are essential for cancer prevention!

For example, crushing a garlic clove leads to extremely significant changes in its chemical composition: an abundant molecule present in garlic (alliin) is then converted to allicin by an enzyme, a very unstable molecule that is subsequently converted to about thirty other compounds.

These newly formed molecules have the peculiarity that they contain one or more sulfur atoms in their chemical structure and their appearance does not go unnoticed! Crushing garlic cloves therefore converts the odorless inactive molecules present in this vegetable into highly volatile compounds, which give garlic its characteristic aroma.

The same type of reaction occurs with onions, except that instead of making allicin, crushing these vegetables causes the appearance of an eye irritant that can make many people cry!

However, much more than just the production of odors and flavors, the production of allicin by grinding garlic is very important for cancer prevention.

While the molecule present in the intact onion (alliin) has no special biological activity, allicin and its derivatives, on the other hand, have exceptional anti-cancer activity and are the main generators of the beneficial properties of this vegetable in cancer prevention.

Less colon and stomach cancer

Several studies have shown that people who regularly eat garlic vegetables have a lower risk of developing several types of cancer, especially gastrointestinal cancer, such as stomach and colon cancer. For example, a study in Italy found that frequent consumers of garlic were half as affected by stomach cancer as people who ate it very rarely.

Garlic helps remove toxic pollutants in the body

Research conducted in recent years has made it possible to define at least one major mechanism by which garlic vegetables prevent the development of several cancers, especially those affecting the digestive system. The fragrance molecules released by grinding these vegetables have the ability to accelerate the excretion of carcinogenic toxicants from the body, thereby reducing the risk of these substances attacking the genetic material and causing mutations that can initiate cancer.

Garlic and its relatives are therefore not only essential ingredients in the art of cooking, but also a very important aspect of dietary cancer prevention strategy. These vegetables are actively involved in the excretion of toxic compounds from the body, in addition, they directly attack microtumors, which form spontaneously and prevent them from growing.

But remember that if you want to promote the production of anti-cancer molecules in garlic and take advantage of their beneficial properties, crush the cloves for a few minutes before adding them to meals or salad dressings.

Enjoy your meal !

* Presse Santé strives to impart health knowledge in a language accessible to all. IN NO EVENT can the information provided replace the advice of a healthcare professional.

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