Garlic is more than just a food, it is often considered to be a potent medicine. According to the Greek physician, Hippocrates, garlic can be used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. Modern science has confirmed many of the ideas presented by Hippocrates, and garlic continues to be recognized as having many health benefits.
Consider these 11 major health benefits that garlic offers:
Garlic contains allicin, which offer potent medicinal properties. Because garlic is a member of the onion family (Allium) and is closely related to onions and leeks, it is not only a popular cooking ingredient but when garlic cloves are crushed, chopped or chewed, allicin is released (which is responsible for the delicious smell of garlic).
Garlic is a low-calorie food. Garlic contains tons of nutrients considering how few calories are contained in this glorious bulb. With 23% of the RDA of manganese, 17% of the RDA of vitamin B6, 15% of the RDA of vitamin C, 6% of the RDA of selenium, and 1 gram of fibre contained in one small gram of garlic, along with extra boosts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1, and other trace nutrients, garlic packs a real nutritional punch with only 42 calories.
Garlic fights sickness, even the common cold. Garlic helps to boost the immune system. A recent study showed that even garlic supplements can reduce the incidence of colds by more than 60%. Not only can it reduce the incidence of common colds, but it can reduce the severity of symptoms by about 70%. Add garlic to your diet to boost your immune system and even prevent the common cold!
Garlic can help to reduce blood pressure. With cardiovascular disease being one of the major killers worldwide, garlic can help. Garlic can help to reduce blood pressure in humans. It should be noted that high doses of garlic or garlic supplementation are required for this benefit. A person needs about four cloves of garlic per day to get enough allicin to help reduce blood pressure.
Garlic helps to reduce cholesterol levels. Garlic can help to reduce the bad (LDL) cholesterol levels by 10-15% when supplements are used every day. It can also reduce triglyceride levels, which are thought to be responsible for an increased risk of heart disease.
Garlic contains high amounts of antioxidants. Oxidation is thought to be a primary cause of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and garlic helps to provide protection against these problems.
Garlic increases longevity. When garlic helps to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, garlic can help to decrease the risk of many chronic health concern and increase longevity.
Garlic improves athletic performance. Garlic is known to reduce fatigue and improve work performance. In ancient Greece, garlic was used to enhance the performance of athletes. Studies done on humans have shown an improvement in peak heart rate of 12% and an improvement in exercise capacity after only 6 weeks of taking garlic oil supplements. Other human studies have been inconclusive, but there is some suggestion that exercise-induced fatigue may be limited when adequate garlic supplements are used.
Garlic can help detoxify the body. Garlic can protect the body from damage from heavy metal toxicity. The symptoms of toxicity, such as headaches and high blood pressure, can be reduced by three doses of garlic each day.
Garlic improves bone health. Early rodent studies have shown that garlic may help to slow bone loss by increasing estrogen in females. Studies have shown that daily garlic doses reduce estrogen deficiency, which can help to improve bone health, and decrease the risk of osteoarthritis.
Garlic is easy to add to your diet and makes food taste wonderful. Because garlic is so easy to add to your diet, and is a tasty addition to many soups, sauces and other dishes, it’s easy to add the health benefits by adding regular doses of garlic. If adding garlic is a challenge, try adding supplements like garlic extract and garlic oil. One clove for each meal, two to three times per day, offers maximum health benefits.
The best way to add garlic and get the maximum health benefits is to eat it raw, but this can lead to some problems like bad breath. Any amount of garlic, in any form, is still beneficial!