The Biggest Health Benefits of Garlic
Garlic has been used in history going all the way back to Ancient Egypt. The health benefits of garlic are rigorously studied, with double-blind medical trials noting its properties for preventing high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol.
If you don’t like the taste, you can still enjoy the benefits. Garlic is available in non-pungent tablet form.
I started off researching this topic with more than a little scepticism. After all, garlic does not appear in too many sugary, junk style foods. In fact, the type of person that regularly adds it to their meals is exactly the type to be educated about health, fitness, and nutrition. A classic case of correlation instead of causation?
After delving deep into multiple studies, my doubts evaporated – and my personal garlic consumption has shot up.
Quick List of Garlic Health Benefits:
Garlic contains a multiple compounds, including trace minerals, sulphides, and regular vitamins. You will find out more about those below. First up, here are the widely accepted health benefits:
- Prevents Colds: Not only do regular garlic eaters get fewer colds, those they do get are less severe and shorter. This is connected to a general boost to your immune system provided by garlic.
- Reduces High Blood Pressure: There is significant evidence that garlic reduces hypertension symptoms. This is an important function, as strokes and heart attacks are caused / worsened to this.
- Lowers Cholesterol: Fitness Review readers will already know that not all types of cholesterol are created equally. Garlic has been shown to reduce the ‘bad’ LDL Cholesterol in multiple studies. This in turn lowers risks of heart disease.
- Lowers Alzheimer’s Risk: Along with heart issues and cancer, Alzheimer’s is a big killer. The antioxidant properties of garlic help reduce risk. Benefitting from lower blood pressure also helps.
- Possible Protection Against Cancer: This superfood lowers your risk of all the big killers, with the sulphurous compounds in garlic linked to anti-cancer properties. This is an area which is undergoing significant scientific examination.
Add to this general detoxifying properties, boost to your bones anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties and positives for both your hair and skin.
What Makes Garlic a Superfood?
With medical science now backing up what folk-medicine has known for thousands of years; the next question is this:
- What is in Garlic that makes it such a potent superfood?
One candidate is Allicin. This is a sulphurous compound. Without it, Garlic would not have its distinctive pong or flavour. When you crush a glove, Allicin is produced. Cooking (or leaving Garlic too long) will reduce this.
There are multiple other compounds in garlic. You get Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C, Selenium, Phosphorous, Manganese, Calcium, Potassium, Iron and Copper. Garlic has compounds classed as antioxidants, keeping our systems clear of oxidation and other damage from free radicals.
With scientists now studying the potential anti-cancer properties of Garlic more vigorously, who knows what other compounds will come to light.
How to Boost Your Garlic Intake Levels
Many people worry about bad breath from Garlic. This is a valid concern, there is little worse that that particular pong (especially when the person responsible does not notice).
The best way to keep that smell at bay is to use fresh garlic – not powdered or older cloves. If you find yourself with after-effects, chewing on parsley is a well-known remedy.
A popular alternative is to take Garlic as a supplement. This is odourless and tasteless – just like taking any other vitamin or supplement. Garlic is not expensive in this format, though you would miss out on the delicious taste.
I love it in bolognaise style dishes, in French dishes (Garlic Mushrooms) or as (Gluten Free) Garlic bread. Adding some to olive oil, especially when you leave it to properly diffuse the flavour – is fantastic on salads.
Wrapping Up: Time to Improve Your Garlic Game
Doing down the rabbit hole of medical papers about Garlic was certainly eye-opening for me. This is the topic of increasing amounts of research. It feels like medical science is catching up with what Grandma’s have known for 100’s of generations.
Garlic is a strong candidate for a superfood. Not only does it taste delicious, it has auto-immune boosting properties, reduces blood pressure, keeps LDL cholesterol down, reduces Alzheimer’s risk and may even offer protection against cancer.
Best of all – it tastes delicious!
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