Do you know that someone in the world develops dementia every 3 seconds? Over 44 million people in the world suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other memory-related disorder. In the United States alone, 5.8 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. No one knows the true cause of these neurodegenerative diseases and there is no cure.
Seeing this gap in knowledge, scientists decided to investigate if there is an association between our aging digestive system and development of memory problems and whether garlic could prevent the decline.
Here’s what they found!
Role of Garlic in Reducing Risks of Memory Loss Disorders
According to a research study presented at the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting in Florida, scientists who experimented on mice believe garlic provides health benefits to our brains via our guts. The team fed oral supplements of allyl sulfide, an organic compound in garlic, to 24-month old mice and observed that those who were fed the micronutrient maintained healthy gut bacteria which reduce intestinal inflammation and improve short and long-term memories.
Here’s How Garlic Changes Our Gut
Garlic has long been known as a prebiotic and feeds the beneficial bacteria in our guts. Our gut contains trillions of microorganisms and research shows that healthy gut microbiomes have a positive effect on our mental health. In fact, some studies suggest that patients who had low gut bacteria suffered from depression.
Research shows that the number of gut microbiota diminishes with age and that is when memory-related disorders, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, develop. This is because the resident bacteria in our gut regulate immunity, inflammation, production of vitamins, carbohydrate metabolism, detoxification, production of essential neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, and levels of neuronal-derived natriuretic factor (NDNF) gene expression, a gene which affects our memories.
Health Benefits of Garlic
Whether it’s sliced, baked, or beaten to a pulp, garlic tastes wonderful in all our food (even though it may not smell that great). Now, you have got another reason to add this delicious superfood to all your favorite recipes. Aside from preventing memory loss, garlic offers a whole host of benefits.
Fighting Common Cold
Now we know why our mothers gave us garlic mixed in honey when we had a cold. A daily supplement of garlic can reduce chances of cold by 63% and cold symptoms by 70%.
Lowering Blood Pressure
Heightened levels of blood pressure and hypertension can result in a stroke or heart attack. Garlic can help reduce blood pressure in just 24 weeks.
Reducing Heart Disease Risk
Daily intake of garlic can reduce cholesterol level by 10 to 15%. It can also reduce the risks of heart attack, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease by increasing the flexibility of our blood vessels and decreasing blood vessel damage due to inflammation.
Increases Bone Density
Garlic minimizes bone loss, particularly, in aging females, who have low estrogen levels. It also decreased the risk of bone-related disorders like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Decreases Cancer Risk
Garlic consumption has been shown to reduce risks of cancer in the mouth, larynx, pharynx, and the esophagus as well as the stomach.
Suggested Daily Intake of Garlic to Maximize Benefits
Research suggests that approximately 20 grams of garlic in food form should be taken 1 to 3 times a week for best health results. Most experts advice eating raw garlic, which has been crushed or chopped.
Let it sit for 15 minutes to trigger the formation of beneficial compounds like allicin. If you cannot tolerate eating raw garlic, add it in your food towards the end of the cooking time so that the high temperatures do not break down the essential nutrients in it.
There is no reason not to eat garlic; not only is this vegetable crispy and delicious, but it also comes with life-saving benefits and promises longevity. Browse the internet and you will find tons of mouthwatering recipes in which garlic is the star ingredient!