AN EXERPT OF MY UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH PROJECT.
One of the most stressful periods of my campus life was during my undergraduate research project when I had to juggle between attending lectures, spending long hours in the laboratory, trying to catch up with absentee (and ever-busy) supervisors and studying for CATs and exams.
In this project, I wanted to find out weather garlic (Locally known as Kitungu saumu) in its raw state, can be used as a natural preservative for meat so as to reduce the use of chemical and artificial preservatives. I therefore had to screen garlic extract for its anti-bacterial properties and compare with standard antibiotics (penicillin and co-trimoxazole)
During this time, I had to give up a predominant part of my social life for the sake of discovering that little science genius in me.
It was a pleasant (though tiresome) experience, and I decided why not share it out here?
- Our Health at Siege.
Almost everything we consume these days has a certain percentage of contamination (intentional or unintentional) which intoxicates our bodies. All the way from canned foods, micro-waved foods, processed foods, GMOs etc.
Most of these effects are long term and so we will never notice them until later in ‘old age.’
Increasing cases of organ damages, immune system disorders, reproductive defects, digestive system disorders (Like in My Experience..), food allergies, and chronic illnesses such as cancer, are attributed to the high amount of chemicals we consume in our ‘modern’ diets. The future generation is even at more risk.Most chemical food additives and preservatives are nutritionally deficient and packed with toxins, carcinogens (cancer causing agents) as well as allergens.
If you visited my kitchen, you would find me using garlic in almost every stew I make due to its spicy flavor and the sweet aroma it gives my food. This way, I don’t need to add any more artificial (‘chemicated’) spices.
With just a few bulbs of garlic in my kitchen, my budget is cut down and my food tastes a lot more natural and sweeter
3. Garlic for Cooking
Although cooked garlic still got medicinal and nutritional benefits, a large percentage of its value is lost on cooking. This is because its active compound called Allicin (a compound of sulphur) is destroyed by heat.
You may therefore want to eat it raw for more effectiveness, but not forgetting that it may cause bad breath and ‘garlic’ sweat.
- So Garlic is a Natural Anti-Bacteria!
In my research project (in summary) I covered one group of my meat balls with garlic extract and left them at room temperature for five days. The other group was left uncovered, some stored at room temperature, while refrigerated. After 5 days, I did a culture to identify the presence of two types of bacteria, E.coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
I used two types of standard antibiotics which are known to work against these bacteria as positive control; penicillin and cotrimoxazole respectively.
The results were unbelievable! The meatballs that were covered with garlic extract survived the 5 days with very minimal growth of bacteria as compared to the ones that were not preserved!
It then goes without saying that garlic has significant anti-bacterial properties. You could therefore start considering using garlic to preserve your meat instead of purchasing canned beef that’s full of toxic chemicals. That simple decision could just change your life for the better.
To me, this is the simple package of pride that comes with being a young scientist since we may never get the chance to be as great as the likes of Michael Faraday and Sir Isaac Newton.
- Garlic has Medicinal as well as Nutritional Benefits.
Aside from its pleasing taste and sweet aroma, garlic has been proven to be highly nutritious as well as medicinal thanks to its active compound, allicin.
Nutritionally, garlic is a good source of:
- Fiber which helps prevent constipation
- Vitamin B complex
- Minerals such as Copper, Potassium, Iron and Manganese
- It is also low in calories thus suitable for those on weight loss
- Is a detoxifier which prevents organ damage by reducing metal toxicity
- Strengthens the immune system, thus combating infections such as common cold.
- Lowers blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart diseases
- Is used to treat yeast infection
- Is an antioxidant which prevents cell damage thus retarding the process of aging
We’ll talk more about how to include garlic in your diet as well as how to use it as a natural remedy for illnesses such as common cold and yeast infection.