BAM, say hello to Garlic, the wonder spice

Garlic, one of the favorite spice ingredient we all love to put in our dishes. No matterwhat dish it is, we cannot resist garlic and its flavors. In addition to its huge potential as a spice, its medicinal value is huge. Studies in the past and those under way have shown that the pungent root may promote healthier responses in blood vessels. Scientits found compounds in garlic that cause tissues or blood vessels to release a chemical called hydrogen sulfide. In large quantities, this compound can be deadly, but it's also an essential molecule within the body, causing blood vessels to relax and reducing dangerous inflammation. But how you take your garlic matters, the research showed. "If you prepare it in certain ways, you can lose the compounds that cause it to release hydrogen sulfide, so that helps explain why there has been such great variability in studies," noted senior researcher David Kraus, an associate professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. On ecan find the work online in PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reports livescience.

Other studies of garlic's health effects have failed, because they look for activity that is impossible -- a reduction in blood cholesterol levels, for example. One such trial was done by Christopher D. Gardner, a nutrition scientist and assistant professor at Stanford University's Prevention Research Center in California. Some researchers feel that "the benefits of garlic on cardiovascular disease remain controversial, because they have not been established by the gold standard method of placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical studies," he said. Scientists stressed that the study only looked at the effect of fresh garlic, not garlic supplements. "What we are proposing is that you eat a garlic-rich diet," he said. "We haven't really tried to look at supplements yet." Using too much of a garlic is not good ofcourse. It makes the food stink and upsets your digestive track. The term "Garlic-rich" has different meanings, depending on the part of the world. In the Middle East, that would be 5 to 10 cloves of garlic a day and If you go to the Far East, it would be even higher. Indians use a lot of garlic than any one does. Well, no matter what you cook, put 2-3 cloves of garlic and the rest be taken care of.

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