Eating garlic is considered healthy. Studies actually suggest this, but it’s probably not the tuber alone. Experts classify the facts and give tips against the smell.

The smell and taste of garlic divides minds: some love it, others just find it disgusting. No matter how you take it with garlic – the tuber is considered healthy. It provides carbohydrates, protein and fiber, but also minerals, B vitamins and vitamin C.

The cause of the smell of garlic

But why does she smell like that? “The typical aroma of garlic is due to sulfur compounds,” explains Prof. Martin Smollich from the Institute for Nutritional Medicine at the Schleswig-Holstein University Medical Center in Lübeck.

Let’s take a closer look at the stink: First of all, this is the alliin, a sulfur-containing amino acid. It is odorless. But as soon as the cells are damaged by cutting, pressing or chewing, allicin is formed from them – and it smells. Allicin, in turn, breaks down into other odorous sulfur compounds, including ajoene. “Both allicin and ajoene are characteristic of the taste and smell of garlic,” says Smollich.

But that’s not all: According to the nutritionist, these two sulfur compounds are probably also responsible for the positive, i.e. health-promoting effects of garlic.

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Healthy garlic – the effect of sulfur compounds

Allicin and ajoene are said to have a blood thinning and antihypertensive effect. How to prevent cardiovascular diseases or thrombosis. The sulfur compounds are also said to have a beneficial effect on the cholesterol level and have a positive effect on growth processes.

Garlic also scores with its mixture of phytochemicals and has the image that it checksmate viruses, bacteria and fungi. “It apparently works like a natural antibiotic,” says Daniela Krehl, nutritionist from the Bavarian Consumer Center. Whereby the tuber is by no means a food for healing in the sense of a medicine, but rather one for disease prevention.

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Garlic wonder drug? The limits of the tuber

According to scientist Martin Smollich, numerous studies provide evidence of the beneficial effects of garlic. For example, the tuber is said to put an end to cold viruses or prevent periodontal disease. “However, this was mainly determined on cell cultures in the laboratory and in animal experiments,” the expert classifies.

Even if there are many indications that garlic has a health-promoting effect: “You cannot say that the beneficial influence on fat metabolism or on the blood circulation is due to garlic alone,” explains Smollich. Because the bottom line is the overall nutrition, according to the expert. “You can’t eat badly, for example, consume tons of meat and sugar and believe that you can now easily compensate for this with a lot of garlic.”

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Do not eat too much garlic for a healthy effect

Eating fresh garlic every day doesn’t hurt. But it shouldn’t be more than five grams per day, recommends nutrition expert Daniela Krehl. A higher dose could irritate the gastrointestinal tract and possibly lead to heartburn.

It has not yet been adequately proven whether dietary supplements containing garlic have the same positive effect as the fresh tuber. In general, however, one should definitely pay attention to the interactions between garlic products and medication, advises Krehl. And if in doubt, discuss taking them with your doctor beforehand.

With mint or vinegar against the garlic smell

Anyone who processes garlic fresh in the kitchen has a different problem: What helps against smelly hands after preparation and bad breath after eating?

“After eating it can help to chew parsley, sage, mint or some coffee beans,” says nutritionist Smollich. Also worth a try if you are a little harder: chew a few pieces of lemon. “Even a glass of milk after a meal can drive the garlic odor out of the mouth,” says consumer advocate Krehl.

By the way: Our colleagues from myHOMEBOOK have put together 3 tricks for you on how to easily peel garlic. Check out the video here!

To remove the smell from your hands, you can wash them with vinegar and lukewarm water, for example. Or rub some coffee grounds into your damp hands and then wash them off.

With material from dpa

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