Garlic is one of the most common ingredients in traditional medicine, which is why it is part of many home remedies to treat different ailments. Likewise, it is used in cooking to enhance the taste of a large number of dishes.
Among the medicinal uses of garlic highlight its qualities to reduce blood sugarimproves circulation, protects the digestive system and raises the defenses to beat the common cold.
According to information from the specialized portal MedlinePlus, glucose is an important source of energy for most cells in the body. However, being the fundamental basis of carbohydrates, their blood levels may be increased by eating carbohydrate-rich foodssuch as fruits, cereals, bread, pasta and rice.
Blood glucose monitoring is essential for identifying possible cases of diabetes, as well as for following up people already diagnosed with the disease. Generally, this test is done on an empty stomach, that is to say when the person has not eaten the first meal of the day.
MedlinePlus notes that it is advisable to consult a medical specialist to schedule a blood sugar test if the following symptoms occur:
- Increased frequency of the need to urinate.
- Recent significant weight gain.
- Blurry vision.
- Confusion when speaking or changing behavior.
- Fainting episodes.
- Seizures (for the first time).
- Unconscious or coma.
Garlic to lower glucose levels
The Colombian vade mecum of medicinal plants mentions that, in studies conducted on rats to which garlic extracts were administered, “a decrease in total plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels has been observed”.
Another study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism found that “garlic ameliorates insulin sensitivity and associated metabolic syndromes in fructose-fed rats.”
“After eight weeks, serum glucose, insulin, triglycerides and uric acid levels, as well as insulin resistance, as measured by the glucose tolerance test, were significantly increased in rats fed to fructose compared to rats fed fructose corn starch,” the research stated in its findings.
The article also pointed out that feeding raw garlic to fructose-fed rats reduced serum glucose, insulin, triglycerides, and uric acidas well as insulin resistance compared to fructose-fed rats.
“Garlic also normalized increased serum nitric oxide levels and decreased hydrogen sulfide levels after fructose feeding,” the results state.
The results of experiments conducted on rats suggest that garlic consumption is beneficial in reducing blood glucose, insulin, triglyceride and uric acid levels. However, more evidence is still needed to know its effect in humans.
Nevertheless, the nutritional properties of garlic make it a remarkable ingredient to accompany the meals of the day, not only for its touch of flavor, but also for its contributions to health.
According to Miguel Ángel Martínez Olmos, member of the nutrition area of the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (SEEN), quoted by CuídatePlus, garlic contains significant amounts of micronutrients such as manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C and selenium.
In addition, garlic is a low-calorie food rich in polyphenols and other antioxidant substances. It also highlights its content of potassium, calcium and vitamins of group B.
Of course, it should be mentioned that consuming garlic alone will not immediately improve people’s health. In this sense, it is essential to accompany responsible consumption in the diet with habits such as exercise and a balanced diet.