Garlic’s reputation is well established and has been heralded for its health benefits for centuries. The Greeks, Romans, Native Americans, Japanese, Chinese, and Egyptians have been using it as a tasty cooking spice and health elixir. Recent research also indicates that weight management is another viable reason for adding this seasoning to our diet. Overweight people everywhere should consider garlic’s natural weight loss properties as a part of an overall diet strategy.
Research Studies Reveal Garlic’s Impact on Weight Loss
A study that investigated garlic’s effect on mice that were fed a high-fat diet shows promising results about this popular seasoning’s link to weight management. In one study, researchers gave mice a diet aimed at fattening them up for a period of eight weeks. Then, the scientists fed mice the same high-fat diet with two to five percent garlic-approved additives mixed in over the next seven weeks.
Study findings indicated that the addition of this flavorful seasoning to the mice’s diet decreased body weight with an added benefit of less fat stored. Shape reports that this spice minimized the negative impact of the unhealthy diet on both blood makeup and liver health. Oxford Academic explains garlic’s antiobesity influence as attributable to the activation of AMPK, a boost in thermogenesis, and suppression of genes linked to adipogenesis.
Verywell Fit cites findings published in The Journal of Nutrition reporting that supplements have been shown to reduce waist measurement numbers. A 2016 study published in the same journal found that garlic’s powder supplements contributed to lost pounds and lower fat ratios.
The research does not end there. A 2012 study found that the extract version of this seasoning can help postmenopausal women lose weight. Verywell Fit writes that this study conducted research over a three-month period on dieters in this demographic who took extracts on a daily basis and compared it to dieters who did not consume the spice. The study participants who ate the extracts had better results in losing more weight than their counterparts as measured by BMI rankings and body fat ratios.
Garlic’s Weight Management Benefits
There are several reasons this spicy vegetable facilitates weight management efforts. One main reason dieters should consider upping their intake relates to the fat-burning benefits of the allicin chemical present in garlic’s chemical makeup. Researchers tout garlic’s ability to rev up weight loss through stimulation of the fat-burning process in the body.
Also known as an effective appetite suppressant, this well-known spice helps dieters feel full for longer which discourages the urge to overeat. Unlike many of the synthetic products on the market designed to suppress appetite, this popular seasoning is a natural weight loss supplement that offers many other health benefits as well.
Additionally, every time you indulge in a garlicky meal, you reap the benefits of this diuretic. Frequent urination results in ridding the body of excess fat.
Different Ways to Consume Garlic’s Taste and Health Benefits
There are a number of popular ways to eat this tasty vegetable. While it can be a bit strong for some people in its raw state, there are definite advantages to trying to work some of this raw spice into your diet. The good news is that you can also eat it cooked and still enjoy the benefits too if you follow a few simple instructions. As is true with most food preparation, finesse is required for the best results.
Eat It Raw
Eating this tasty bulb raw is the easiest way to ensure that the full benefit of the allicin remains intact and is not lost during the cooking process. Granted, the idea of eating it raw might bring tears to your eyes. There are smart ways to incorporate the raw version of this fragrant bulb into your diet without forcing it down.
You can always shake a liberal amount of it onto an omelet that is finished cooking to be sure to keep from cooking out all of the healthy ingredients. Many people swear by the tastiness of a salad with this spice’s powder sprinkled on top. Salad dressing is another delicious option for mixing in some of the raw stuff for a tangy epicurean treat.
Crush before Cooking
By far, one of the most popular ways home chefs choose to cook with this favorite seasoning is to chop it and toss it into a pan. Who can resist the wonderful fragrance, especially when mixed with onions?
A common trick that will ensure that the health benefits remain intact during the cooking process is to crush the bulb before cooking and letting it sit for about ten minutes before tossing it in the pan. Shape reports that taking this simple step will maintain about 70% of the desired health benefits.
While there is no doubt that the raw version is best from a health perspective, there are certain cooking hacks that can provide the best of both worlds as a compromise. For instance, The Cleveland Clinic suggests keeping temperatures low. Using slow cookers or tossing it in at the last minute when simmering your favorite dish at below 140 degrees Fahrenheit will also protect the health benefits.
Concerns about Supplements
While supplements provide a no-muss, no-fuss way of getting the beneficial allicin you want for your weight loss goals, there are inherent problems with this option. NCBI points out the fact that a lack of standardization in the supplement marketplace makes it difficult to truly know how much allicin content is in each capsule or tablet. For example, NCBI reports that a person might have to take as little as 0.7 to as much as 27 tablets to actually get the same benefits as 2g of the raw version in crushed form.
Like most things in life, it is important not to overdo it and go crazy with this flavorful seasoning. The good news is that it is unlikely that this would happen easily. But, there are some unusual situations where it is important to be more careful.
Livestrong warns that eating in excess of one clove a day could create some unfavorable blood clotting challenges. Based on that issue, it makes sense to forego excessive intake of this spice before going in for a medical procedure.
Other possible side effects reported by WebMD are vomiting, diarrhea, burning sensation in the mouth, gas, heartburn, body odor, and bad breath. Consuming this aromatic spice raw is more likely to cause these negative side effects.
Research findings support garlic’s many health benefits including weight management. The best way to consume garlicky dishes or beverages is to incorporate the raw version into recipes. It has proven to be an appetite suppressant, a metabolism booster, and a diuretic. Overweight people should take comfort in knowing that losing unwanted pounds is as much about what you eat as how much you eat. Adding garlicky foods to the family’s menus can be part of the answer.
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