7 Unbelievable Health Benefits of Garlic

Sep 10, 2018 by

Nifty Benefits

By Susan Melony

benefits of garlic

Garlic is one of the most popular additions used in cuisine all throughout the world. It’s easily recognized by its powerful aroma and sharp flavor.

What’s not always recognized about garlic is the wide array of health benefits that you can experience if you consume it on a regular basis. Because of it’s growing popularity there are a now a number of garlic supplements on the market today.

Garlic is powerful stuff, so it’s important not to eat too much of it, but including some in your meals can be immensely beneficial for your health.

Today we’re going to tell you a bit about the health benefits of garlic. After the list, we’ll give you some history about the food and give you some useful information so you can maximize the health benefits that you receive!

1. Fights Heart Disease

One of the most well-known benefits of garlic is its ability to help fight heart disease. Heart disease, which is presently the number one cause of death in the States, can be combated by including a bit of garlic in your diet.

Garlic has been shown to help fight all sorts of diseases of the cardiovascular system. It’s been known to help fight symptoms of atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and diabetes. It can also help to manage blood pressure levels.

A review of many studies done on garlic revealed that it seems to be a consistent cardioprotective agent. This has been proven for both humans and animals.

One of the most impressive things that garlic can do that you won’t see many other heart-healthy foods doing is removing plaque that’s built up in your arteries. One study, which was published in the Journal of Nutrition, revealed this.

The study was done in 2016 and evaluated 55 patients who were between the ages of 40 and 75. All of these patients had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, but those who used an extract of aged garlic reported lower levels of plaque throughout the duration of the test.

2. Helps Fight Cancer

Garlic has been known to help fight cancer, and it’s not in the usual way that fruits and vegetables help to prevent it by providing antioxidants. While garlic does contain antioxidants, it also contains a number of bioactive sulfuric compounds.

These sulfur compounds are linked to having a positive influence on the different stages of cancer development. They can also impact and improve the function of biological processes that help to prevent the emergence of cancer.

The National Cancer Institute actually decreed that areas that have a higher amount of garlic consumption among the population had statistically lower rates of cancer.  They said that garlic can help to prevent cancer-causing compounds from forming and improve DNA repair.

Garlic has even been shown to induce apoptosis, a term that’s used to describe the death of a cancerous cell. By killing cancerous cells you also kill their ability to reproduce. This Is instrumental in helping to prevent the development of tumors.

Another study, which was done in France, evaluated 345 patients who suffered from breast cancer. The study revealed that women who ate more garlic and onions (another food that contains a lot of sulfur compounds) would experience fewer symptoms of cancer and slower tumor growth.

3. Manages Blood Pressure

People who have chronic high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, may experience some benefit from using garlic. One study was done to prove the effects that garlic can have on blood pressure.

The study evaluated people who were prescribed blood pressure managing medications but still had trouble regulating their blood pressure. Those who took garlic experienced a significant improvement to their blood pressure levels.

The study described these patients as having “uncontrollable” blood pressure. Those who used capsules of aged garlic extract for several months experienced a significant decrease in their blood pressure levels.

4. Helps Fight Colds

Move over vitamin C! Garlic has been shown to be extremely effective at fighting colds, more so than the popular vitamin C. In fact, some studies have suggested that vitamin C doesn’t actually have any acute cold-fighting abilities. This isn’t so with garlic!

This is partially because garlic works as a powerful antimicrobial agent. It can help to fight off common bacteria as well as exotic ones. One of the most well-studied applications of garlic antimicrobial ability is fighting the common cold.

One study evaluated people who were using garlic supplements compared to a control group. The study took place over 12 weeks during the months that people are most likely to develop colds, between November and February.

Those who used garlic showed a significantly decreased chance of catching a cold. Those who did catch a cold recovered a lot faster than those who didn’t take garlic. The placebo group had a higher chance of catching a cold and many caught colds more than once during the period.

Allicin, the main active compound found in garlic, is thought to be responsible for these protective effects. This nutrient contributes to garlic’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, as well as its ability to fight fungal infections.

5. Helps Maintain Hair

Another interesting application of garlic is for the prevention of baldness. One study was done in Turkey that evaluated the efficacy of using garlic supplements for people who were suffering from baldness.

What makes this even more interesting is that the garlic wasn’t used internally. It was made into a gel which people would rub into their scalp twice a day. The study went on for three months during which time the subjects would put the garlic gel on their heads twice a day.

The study revealed that people who used garlic reduced the severity of their hair loss. Many of them were using corticosteroids to help them maintain their hair. Those who used both garlic and the topical medicine showed a significant improvement to the health of their hair.

6. Maintains Cognitive Health

Another useful thing that garlic can do is help to maintain cognitive health, particularly by preventing the emergence of cognitive decline.

Alzheimer’s and dementia are two of the most common age-related cognitive difficulties. These problems make it difficult to remember things and perform simple daily tasks. If they progress enough, patients can forget their family’s names, their friends, and even what they look like.

Garlic contains a number of antioxidants that can be useful for helping to prevent cognitive decline. Oxidation can adversely affect the brain, leading to damage in the connections that allow us to think. By preventing this oxidation, it’s possible to reverse or slow the onset of mental decline.

Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the development of plaques in the brain which are known as amyloid plaques or simply Alzheimer’s plaques. These plaques are much more likely to appear as a result of oxidation.

One study revealed that garlic extracts can be useful for helping to prevent the development of these plaques. They concluded that garlic can be a useful medicine for helping to manage Alzheimer’s disease

7. Fights Diabetes

Garlic can also be a very useful medicinal food for people who suffer from diabetes. The plant has been shown to help people manage their blood sugar. It can also minimize the symptoms from some complicationsthat arise among diabetic patients, such as infections, cholesterol buildup, and blood pressure.

One study that was done on rats showed that garlic can be immensely helpful in fighting diabetes-related atherosclerosis and nephropathy. The rats were given a daily dose of garlic extract over a course of seven weeks.

During the study, their blood sugar levels decreased, as well as their cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The rats that were given garlic had57% lower blood sugar than the control group.

Health Benefits of Garlic

  1. Fights Heart Disease
  2. Helps Fight Cancer
  3. Manages Blood Pressure
  4. Helps Fight Colds
  5. Helps Maintain Hair
  6. Maintains Cognitive Health
  7. Fights Diabetes

What is Garlic?

Garlic is a very aromatic spice that is used in all sorts of culinary delights around the world.

Raw garlic is extremely pungent and can’t be stomached by a lot of people. Cooked garlic, however, is much more palatable and makes a great addition to various foods. It adds a distinct flavor and provides extra nutrition.

One of the reasons that garlic is so pungent (and so healthy) is because it contains a variety of sulfuric compounds. These are compounds that have been studied and are proven to help fight disease and improve overall health.

Garlic is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. It’s topped only by turmeric in terms of its nutritional density. There have been more than 5,000 studies done on garlic that have ensured that it is a fantastic food for helping to fight disease.

Most people can benefit from eating at least a little bit of garlic because it provides such a wide range of health benefits. If you don’t enjoy the potent flavor then you can opt for supplements: garlic is available in many places in powdered form contained in a capsule.

Garlic Nutrition Info

There are a wide variety of nutrients found in the garlic plant.

  • Flavonoids, a type of plant-based nutrients that often provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits
  • A variety of amino acids which are the building blocks of protein and contribute to overall health
  • Significant amounts of sulfur and sulfuric compounds

A clove of garlic will provide you with the following nutrients:

  • 4 calories
  • A gram of carbs
  • 0.2 g of protein
  • 0.1 g of fiber
  • 0.1 mg of manganese (3% of your R.D.I.)
  • 0.9 mg of vitamin C (2% of your R.D.I.)
  • 5.4 mg of calcium (1% of your R.D.I.)
  • 0.4 mcg of selenium (1% of your R.D.I.)

There are a variety of other trace nutrients found in garlic but none that contribute so significantly to your daily intake unless you tend to eat a lot of garlic.

About Garlic

Garlic, which is a bulb that grows underneath the soil with green shoots that grow above ground, is a very nutritious food. The plant, which is known as Allium sativum, is part of the amaryllis family which also contains chives and onions.

Garlic grows naturally in Asia and Italy, and can be found in some parts of France. It is grown commercially nowadays in many countries around the world and is quite a popular commercial crop.

Garlic History

Garlic has been used for more than 7,000 years as a food and a medicinal plant. It was one of the most popular culinary medicines in many of the ancient medicine systems. It was considered so powerful that many people would refrain from using it in their foods carelessly

In the 18th century, it was consumed because it was believed to help protect people from the plague. In the two World Wars, people used garlic to help them disinfect their wounds.

Precautions and Side Effects

There are somethings to be aware of before you add a lot of garlic to your diet. It’s important to understand the potential hazards of any food that you consume.

First off, it’s advised against eating raw garlic, especially on an empty stomach. If you eat raw garlic, even a single clove, you may experience heartburn, indigestion, bloating, and nausea. If you eat a lot you may vomit or develop diarrhea.

You’ll also almost certainly develop garlic breath. Many people don’t mind garlic breath but some people find it quite unappealing.

It’s also important not to consume too much garlic immediately after a surgery or if you’re taking medication that makes your blood thin. This is because garlic can increase the risk of bleeding by acting as a blood thinner on its own.

It’s generally believed that culinary amounts of garlic are fine for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. However, medicinal doses, which are quite a bit larger, are not recommended.

If you apply a lot of raw garlic to your skin, then you may develop an irritation similar to what you would feel when using a hot pepper extract.

You should avoid garlic if you have any ulcers or other digestive problems. It can aggravate these conditions.

We hope you enjoy the health benefits of garlic.

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