By Bernard Preston

Allicin benefits

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Author Bernard Preston updated this page on allicin benefits on 3-10-2018.

Chopped onions in this Irish potato and leek soup recipe.

Allicin benefits are to be found in the onion family, particularly in garlic, but also in leeks.

The allium family of vegetables of course add immeasurably to the taste of our food; just as important they have many proven health benefits. Just how they work to prevent cancer, reduce heart disease and as an anti microbial agent is still being researched, but we don't have to wait for these mechanisms to be defined. We can start enjoying them in abundance right now.

Chemically speaking, allicin is an organic compound with two sulphur atoms. That's what gives garlic its pungent smell.

However, it breaks down very quickly in cooking, so it's best added just before serving.

You can spend quite a lot of money on various powders and capsules, but why not just add garlic and leeks, spring onions and shallots to your diet on a daily basis? The taste is simply amazing. Sparkling good health comes from enjoying these foods, not from taking them in tablet form.

Growing leeks and onions is for those with large gardens, but a small patch of spring onions and chives is for everyone. Just pluck off a couple green shoots every day for the salad. They have such a wonderful flavour.

They're also a good source of potassium and vitamin C.

Notice the two sulphur atoms.

The chemical structure of allicin.

Allicin benefits

You might like to read this review in a medical journal which reviews the cancer prevention properties of the allium benefits vegetables but in short they report anti microbial and clot formation, tumour prevention, lowering of cholesterol, and reducing arthritis and blood sugar; in short a host of beneficial properties. There is not one person reading this who would not benefit from enjoying the onion family daily.

Nevertheless, they admit that the mechanisms by which allicin and other flavonoids in the allium family work in producing these amazing benefits are still speculative. That doesn't stop us enjoying leeks and garlic, spring onions and chives on a daily basis.

I find it very scary that oncologists are now saying it's no longer a question of if you will get cancer, but when the dreaded lurgy will strike. The suggestion is that almost no one will escape.

Allicin is a very labile substance; it breaks down very quickly when exposed to light and heat. Once extracted from garlic or leeks, it loses its potency within hours.

Growing leeks

Roll on the allicin benefits and, for those with the time and inclination, growing leeks for example is not rocket science.

It took me only an hour yesterday to plant out these leeks. Within a couple months we'll be enjoying them on a daily basis.

Newly planted seedlings when growing leeks.

It's now five years since I first planted out those leek seedlings; now there are clumps of them all over the vegetable garden where they also reduce infestation by various bugs.

It is, of course, anecdotal but I strong believe that it's largely because of the protection that flavonoids like allicin bring to our health that both my wife and I enjoy a life without medication, despite being seventy years old.

Yes, gardening and walking also contribute to our physical strength and well-being. Last week we hiked the Whale Trail in South Africa, a distance of forty miles in five days over very rough terrain.

We enjoy allicin benefits every morning in eggs Hilton, our variation of the great Florentine dish; satiety is the word; it stays with you for the whole day so there is no need to snack at 11 o'clock, and it causes no surge in blood glucose as a more traditional cereal breakfast does, particularly if there's added sugar. That's what makes us insulin resistance and obese.

Folk complain of little time to prepare their food in the morning; either we make thirty minutes or so, or we'll be spend a lot more hours consulting the oncologist and heart specialist, and taking bucket loads of pills.

Growing leeks two months after planting.

Quercetin

Bioflavonoids have anti inflammatory properties, hence the interest to this chiropractor, and an antioxidant. Every time you buy french fries, cooked in old oil, high in oxidised low density cholesterol releasing dangerous free oxygen radicals, you need protection yielded by anti oxidants. This is why the quercetin in onions is recognised for its anti cancer properties.

Eating onions daily has been shown to be lower the incidence of many cancers particularly of the GI tract, but also the ovaries, for example.

Allicin benefits are the sorts of foods we should all be enjoying on a daily basis if we have no desire to get cancer. Couldn't be bothered? Those who will not hear, must feel is a great Dutch saying.

Osteoporosis

Hip fracture is obviously common in the elderly. Swiss researchers found that onion consumption was associated with a 20% lower incidence of hip fracture.

That alone makes allicin benefits in the diet on a daily basis critical for every woman.

Diabetes

Onions are a good source of chromium, an element associated with better regulation of insulin.

Anti clot formation

Another of the many allicin benefits is a proven anti platelet property; they improve the health of blood vessels and lessen strokes and heart attacks.

The allium family has many members; have fried onions with your eggs Florentine for breakfast, spring onions and chives with your green salad at lunch, and plenty of garlic in that beef stew tonight.

Do you know what the symptoms of heart attack are? We should all know them cold.

Healthy choice foods

A divine green salad with allicin benefits from the spring onions.

The allium family certainly is one of the all time healthy choice foods, so easy to cook and adds immensely to any meal, raw, fried or stewed. The tiny spring onions chopped into our daily green salad makes such a difference to what could otherwise be a rather dull dish.

So, whether it's vichyssoise, a mutton stew or simply a slice of raw onion on a hamburger, the allicin benefits are vast and I suspect largely under-reported, and at this stage unmeasurable.

Don't forget the garlic either. That goes into our eggs Florentine every morning, into the hummus at lunch and usually finds it's way into the main dinner dish in one way or another.

Just eat more onions if you want to be healthier.

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Bernard Preston

Bernard Preston is crazy about simple, definitely non-cordon-bleu, healthy food. Stuff that tastes great, does wonders for your mind and body and can be prepared in a jiffy; the allicin benefits in the onion family are a case in point.

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