11 Proven Health Benefits Of Garlic (#7 Is My Favorite)
The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
The father of medicine used garlic in the treatment of his patients, and today even modern science has recognized most of its benefits.
We give you 11 science-backed benefits of garlic
- Garlic contains allicin, a compound that provides mighty medicinal properties; Garlic is part of the Allium (onion) family
Garlic is a close relative of onions, shallots and leeks.
It grows well in almost every part of the world, and it is largely used in every kitchen. People love it for its scent and delicious taste.
But, history say that in the past, garlic was only appreciated for its healing properties.
Its use is mentioned in the historical records of the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese.
Here is what its majesty looks like:
The entire white part is referred to as ‘garlic bulb,’ and its segments are known as cloves. Garlic bulbs usually have 10-20 cloves.
The latest scientific research has shown that most benefits of garlic come due to the presence of a particular sulfur compound that is formed during mechanical processing of the cloves, regardless of whether they are chopped, crushed or chewed.
Allicin is also gives garlic its distinctive scent.
Allicin enters the body through the digestive system and it is distributed throughout every tissue in the body, where it performs its powerful action.
Bottom line: Garlic belongs to the onion family, and it is commonly grown for its healing and cooking properties. Chopped garlic releases allicin, a sulfur compound that provides most of its benefits.
- Garlic is low in calories and high in nutrients
Garlic has an astonishing nutritional value.
A single ounce of garlic, or 28 grams, provide:
- Manganese: 23% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B6: 17% of the RDA.
- Vitamin C: 15% of the RDA.
- Selenium: 6% of the RDA.
- Fiber: 1 g
- Healthy amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1
But, that is not all. Garlic contains trace amounts of other nutrients as well. In other words, it contains a tiny bit of everything your body needs.
An ounce serving of garlic has 42 calories, and it provides 1.8 grams of protein and 9 grams of carbohydrates.
Bottom line: Garlic is poor and calories and rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese. It is packed with trace amounts of many essential nutrients.
- Garlic fights sickness and common cold
Garlic supplementation has shown to boost immunity.
According to a 12-week study, daily garlic supplementation reduces cold cases by 63% when compared to placebo treatment.
Garlic supplements also reduced the symptoms of common cold by an amazing 70%. In the placebo group colds lasted for 5 days, and in the garlic group it was reduced to a day and a half.
Another study showed that regular application of healthy doses of garlic extract, or 2.56 approx, reduces the number of days by 61%.
If you are often bothered with colds, consider adding more garlic to your menu.
Bottom line: Garlic supplements prevent and reduce the symptoms of common diseases like flu and colds.
- Garlic contains active compounds that aid in controlling blood pressure
Heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases are just some of causes for death cases in the world.
Hypertension is the leading contributor to these diseases.
Human studies have shown that garlic supplements can control blood pressure.
One of the latest studies found that garlic extract doses of 600-1,500mg can be as powerful as Atenolol in lowering blood pressure within a 24 week period.
Keep in mind that the doses of garlic supplements have to be pretty high to obtain the desired result. In raw product, that would be about 4 garlic cloves per day.
Bottom line: High doses of raw garlic regulate blood pressure in patients who suffer from hypertension. Supplementation is sometimes as effective as conventional solutions.
- Garlic regulates cholesterol, and thus reduces the risk of heart disease
Garlic has the power to lower total and bad cholesterol.
Garlic supplementation reduces total and LDL cholesterol by 10-15% in patients with high cholesterol levels.
It is interesting to mention how garlic lowers bad LDL cholesterol without affecting the HDL cholesterol, or the good one.
However, garlic does not reduce the number of triglycerides, another known contributor for cardiovascular problems.
Bottom line: Garlic supplements reduce total and bad cholesterol, especially in patients who deal with high cholesterol. However, it does not affect HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Antioxidants in garlic prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Free radicals cause an immense oxidative damage which leads to premature aging.
Antioxidants in garlic strengthens various protective mechanisms in the human body.
Proper doses of garlic supplements can increase antioxidant enzymes in people, and also decrease the oxidative stress in patients who deal with hypertension.
The ability to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, along with the antioxidant potential, may aid in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other common brain diseases.
Bottom line: Antioxidants in garlic prevent cell damage and premature ageing. They also reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.