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MEDITERRANEAN DIET
Garlic
A natural antibiotic
It has thousands of beneficial properties, but you need to eat it raw.
Beware, however, of the contraindications
by Novella Pranzo
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Garlic. Photo by Dario Ersetti

Green peppers with mussels

 

   4 servings:

 

- 500 g of Taranto mussels

- 500 g of green peppers

- 1clove of garlic

- 5 cherry tomatoes

- extra virgin olive oil

- (salt)

- a slice of homemade bread

 

 

 

 

   Nutrition facts per serving:

 

- energy: 574 Kcal (with fried bread); 416 Kcal (with toasted bread)

- protein: 18 g

- lipids: 28,5 g (with fried bread ); 11 g (with toasted bread )

- glucides: 65 g

- cholesterol: 135 mg

 

What a lot of extraordinary properties garlic has! It could be defined as a “magic” vegetable. Its antibiotic and antibacterial properties are long recognized and it can never be repeated too often how much good it does us to eat it daily.

It can be used both raw and cooked but it must be made clear that to keep its beneficial properties intact it really has to be eaten raw.

Garlic is one of nature’s most efficacious anti-oxidants, with its capacity to protect the cells of our organism from premature ageing. The precious garlic bulb, in fact, contains a sulphuric essence whose active principle is allicin, which play an anti-bacterial and anti-infection role, thus strengthening the immune system.

It is a natural stimulant for the immune system and improves the intestinal function and improves the whole circulation system.

Moreover, with its toning up and equilibrating properties, it strengthens muscle tone in the heart, helps to fluidify the blood, thus preventing the formation of thromboses, thanks to the presence of ajoene and lowers blood pressure.

Clinical studies have shown that the consumption of garlic reduces the cholesterol levels in the blood thanks to its inhibitory action on the enzymes that produce cholesterol. Garlic, in fact, “cleans” the arteries of LDL (or so-called “bad” cholesterol).

It also has a balsamic and vasodilative action and acts a san expectorant for the airways affected by bronchitis, with catarrh or colds, working actively on the micro-organisms responsible for colds and flu viruses, helped by the presence of vitamin C.

The use of garlic in cosmetics is interesting, too. The presence of compounds deriving from the sulphur make it a nail and hair strengthener. It reduces hair loss and combats skin and scalp impurities. And that’s not all; it can be used also in the prevention of and battle with calluses, corns, chilblains and warts. It is also an insect repellent and good for soothing their bites.

It is, however, necessary to be very careful, because garlic can also have undesirable effects and it is unadvisable for people suffering chronic gastrointestinal ulcers and gastric hyper acidity, and numerous other ailments that could be exacerbated with the consumption of garlic. Like with any substance, even natural ones, we must always consult our doctors and avoid do-it-yourself remedies

Garlic is also recommended to people on a reducing diet, because it helps lipolysis (the dissolving of fat cells), it speeds up the metabolism and has diuretic properties.

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