11 Health Benefits of Garlic
Have you ever thought about eating garlic raw? I do it. Sometimes in the morning before I eat anything else, I’ll chop up a clove of garlic and eat it – wash it down with water. Okay, that is a little much for most people, but…
Garlic is popular! From spicing our foods, to taking garlic tablets to even chopping it up to sprinkle on a salad, we all know and love garlic.
Garlic Has Medicinal Benefits
Did you know this? People who eat raw garlic daily have a 44% lower risk of developing lung cancer, according to a study carried out at the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China.
Yes, we know garlic is one of the most common ingredients in cooking, but apart from imparting flavor to food, this tiny, white pod also has immense medicinal properties. Used since time immemorial to treat various ailments, garlic is one ingredient that should be in your kitchen for various reasons.
We know that this article will reveal health benefits of garlic. But, think about this while reading. Nothing has real benefit until it becomes a habit or a sustained activity. Eating garlic once is not going to save the world. One clove of garlic is not going to cure cancer. But, consistency in consumption will help. How can we develop a habit of consuming more garlic? We’ll discuss that in a minute. But, first check out some of the benefits.
Top 11 Benefits of Garlic
1. Garlic can combat sickness, including the common cold:
Garlic supplementation is known to boost the function of the immune system. One large 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared with placebo.
2. Garlic improves cholesterol levels, which may lower the risk of heart disease:
Garlic can lower Total and LDL cholesterol. For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplementation appears to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10-15%
3. Garlic contains antioxidants that may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia:
Oxidative damage from free radicals contributes to the aging process. Garlic contains antioxidants that support the body’s protective mechanisms against oxidative damage. High doses of garlic supplementation have been shown to increase antioxidant enzymes in humans, as well as significantly reduce oxidative stress in those with high blood pressure.
The combined effects on reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as the antioxidant properties, may help prevent common brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
4. Garlic may improve bone health:
No human trials have measured the effects of garlic on bone loss. However, rodent studies have shown that it can minimise bone loss by increasing estrogen in females. One study in menopausal women found that a daily dose of dry garlic extract (equal to 2 grams of raw garlic) significantly decreased a marker of estrogen deficiency.
5. Garlic can help treat skin infections:
Since it has both antibacterial and antiviral properties, garlic is great when it comes to treating skin infections. The chemical ajoene found in garlic may help treat fungal skin infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot.
6. Garlic helps prevent the formation of clots in the body:
The anti-clotting properties of ajoene found in garlic help in preventing the formation of blood clots in the body. While this fact is great for people with heart ailments and those prone to suffering from a stroke and other clotting disorders, it may also increase the risk of bleeding after surgery.
7. Garlic can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol:
The allicin present in garlic helps moderately lower our blood triglycerides and total cholesterol. This compound also helps reduce arterial plaque formation.
8. Garlic can help you lose weight:
According to recent research, garlic may help to regulate the formation of fat cells in our body by converting pre-adipocytes to fat cells (adipocytes) by preventing the conversion.
9. Garlic can give your sex life a much needed boost:
Garlic’s aphrodisiac properties which is due to its ability to increase the circulation and intensifying an orgasm.
10. Garlic can help keep cancer at bay:
Garlic’s anti-cancer properties are due to the allyl sulphides it contains. According to studies, diallyl sulphide found in garlic inhibits the transformation of PhIP (a type of compound that has been associated with increased incidence of breast cancer) into carcinogens.
11. Garlic helps beat iron deficiency and anaemia:
Diallyl sulphides present in garlic increase the production of ferroportin (a protein that helps in the absorption and release of iron) and improves iron metabolism — all of which helps prevent iron deficiency and associated diseases like anemia.
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