Garlic and Onions for Your Good Health
I found this article on the health benefits of garlic and onion on AOL Health News / Huffington Post, where you can also find references to articles and studies that support the article:
What Makes Onions and Garlic Special?
Some scientists believe the components in onions and garlic called allyl sulfides and bioflavonoids may be key to the research observations of generally lower incidence of cancer and heart disease in people who consume large amounts of garlic and onions, compared with those who eat less.
Nutritional Support for Cancer Prevention
A study from the National Cancer Institute found that eating 10 grams (approximately two teaspoons) or more of garlic, onions or scallions a day was associated with a statistically significantly lower risk of prostate cancer for the participants in the study.
A study conducted at Case Western Reserve University indicated that garlic may help reduce the occurrence rate of pre-cancerous tumors (polyps) in the large intestine.
Garlic and Onions for Detoxification
Many cancers are thought to be caused by damage to DNA, often induced by environmental toxins. A study conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that eating a teaspoon of fresh garlic and a half cup of onions per day increases the levels of a key enzyme for removing toxins in the blood cells of healthy women. The authors of this study believed that men would require a higher dose on average for the same effect, because of their larger body size.
Read Why You Need to Detoxify 24 Hours a Day
Another study, conducted in Scotland, found that eating sautéed onions increases the resistance of the blood cells to DNA damage.
Garlic and Cholesterol
While a highly publicized clinical trial at Stanford University found that garlic did not lower cholesterol levels in healthy people with moderately elevated cholesterol, previous studies have indicated that garlic is more likely to produce beneficial effects on cholesterol in women than in men, and in patients with diabetes or heart disease than in healthy individuals.
News reports of this negative trial failed to recognize that the cholesterol-lowering effects of garlic are not the same for all people and that any trial containing a large percentage of healthy men could miss an effect that might be found if the people studied were patients with diabetes or heart disease.
In addition, while there is so much focus on the connection between cholesterol and heart disease, the benefits of garlic in preventing heart disease are probably due to factors other than changes in cholesterol.
In particular, clinical experiments have shown that regular consumption of garlic decreased calcium deposits and the size of arterial plaque in coronary arteries, prevented unhealthy blood clotting and improved the circulation of the subjects who were studied.
How to Add Garlic and Onions Your Day
The minimum effective amount is generally two teaspoons a day of garlic or two tablespoons of onions or scallions, chopped or crushed.
When shopping, look for the freshest bulbs. Onions should be very firm with an intact outer layer. For garlic, look for a bulb with tightly packed cloves. Pick scallions that are bright green and skip any that are wilted.
In the kitchen, chopped onions or garlic are the starting point for many cooked dishes. They also add robust flavor to main courses, soups and omelets. A sprinkle of chopped scallions or chives makes a perfect garnish to add flavor to dips, sandwiches, salads and grilled dishes. Cooking does not diminish the protective effects of garlic, onions or other alliums.