The medicinal qualities of garlic have been treasured for thousands of years just like turmeric that we covered earlier.
Known for its usefulness in treating a wide range of sicknesses and health problems, garlic was prescribed by Hippocrates in ancient Greece and also used by Chinese, Egyptian and Roman physicians, as well as numerous other respected cultures over the years.
In addition to the flavorful addition garlic makes in a variety of food dishes; garlic can also enhance the immune system, decrease high blood pressure, protect against neurological disorders, and could help you live longer.
Garlic is considered a jack of all trades in regard to your health, working its magic on one level while producing benefits you might not expect at a completely different area.
Garlic is a member of the allium family in addition to onions, leeks and shallots. Garlic is nutritious and delicious. You can cash in on the properties of garlic by simply peeling off the papery outer layer and crushing a clove releasing the powerful sulfur compounds.
Garlic has an impressive nutritional profile. Garlic contains at least a pinch of numerous substances that are required for good health, including vitamins C and B6, copper, selenium, manganese, calcium, and potassium. Garlic is low in calories at 42 per ounce, and delivers a small shot of protein, a few carbohydrates, and some fiber.
The allicin in garlic is what gives it the distinctive smell. Of the active compounds, allicin yields the most potent biological effects, entering the digestive system and traveling to all parts of the human body.
You won’t get the same effects from garlic if you toss a whole clove into a stew or sauce. Release the allicin by cutting, chopping or crushing the clove. For best results let the garlic sit for a few minutes before adding it to a recipe.
Some individuals chew garlic cloves for medicinal reasons; however, due to it’s intense flavor, most choose to use garlic to augment the flavor in savory dishes.
Below are four benefits you can enjoy from adding the spice of garlic to our life.
1) Improve Heart Health
Cardiovascular disease the leading cause of death around the globe. Incorporating garlic has been proven to enhance circulatory health.
Hypertension and irregular cholesterol levels have been associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Garlic can help normalize both of these conditions.
In a 24-week study, the effects of garlic on dropping blood pressure was compared to the prescription drug Atenolol. Doses of aged garlic extract between 600 and 1500 mg per day was proven just as effective as Atenolol in lowering participants’ blood pressure into normal ranges.
Approximately four cloves of garlic a day would be required to deliver the same amount as the extract used in the study.
An investigation of multiple studies on how garlic affects cholesterol levels concluded that subjects experienced a decrease in total cholesterol averaging between 10% and 15%.
Decreased levels of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, were also noted, as compared to HDL, “good” cholesterol, which remained unchanged.
2) Immune System Enhancer
Eating garlic is your best choice in reducing the possibility of coming down with the common cold or flu.
One study with a large number of participants concluded that documented incidents of colds was reduced by 63% in the group taking a garlic supplement as opposed to the group taking a placebo. Of those subjects in the garlic group who did catch a cold, the length of time they had cold symptoms was 70% lower than the others. The average length of time was one-and-a-half days compared to five days.
A work-related study indicated that employees who took approximately 2.5 grams of garlic extract daily decreased their total sick days by over 60%.
3) Protects Brain Function
Antioxidants work in the body to eliminate free radicals, resulting in minimized oxidative damage that promotes aging and disease. Garlic is packed with antioxidants and stimulates the body’s production of antioxidant enzymes.
When the positive effects of garlic on high blood pressure and cholesterol levels are considered in combination with increased antioxidant levels, the possibility for preventing neurological degradation increases, resulting in reduced risk of garlic-eaters developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
4) Supports Bone Health
Garlic could be beneficial in correcting hormonal imbalances that lead to osteoporosis, which is a common problem for women as they become older.
In a clinical study conducted with postmenopausal women; daily doses of approximately 2 grams of fresh garlic boosted estrogen levels, correcting a deficiency related to bone loss. Similar animal studies confirmed this same effect.
In addition to onions, garlic has also been proven to have positive effects on patients diagnosed or suffering from osteoarthritis.
5) Acts as a Detoxifier
One of the most devastating results of exposure to heavy metals is organ damage. Garlic helps the body flush toxic substances out as part of its natural cleansing process.
Employees in a battery manufacturing plant exposed to high levels of lead reduced metal levels in the blood by 19% in a single month by taking enormous doses of garlic. The incidents and intensity of headaches also decreased. Garlic also did a better job of dissipating clinical symptoms compared to D-penicillimine, the prescription drug used by the control group.
6) Run Faster and for longer distance
Known to improve athletic performance, garlic was given to competitors in the original Greek Olympic games. Garlic was also administered to manual workers to battle fatigue.
Rats ran faster for longer periods when they ate garlic. Human trials showed garlic helped reduce fatigue levels as a result of strenuous exercise.
During a 6-week study, heart disease patients taking garlic oil decreased his or her average peak heart rate by 12% and improved overall capacity for tolerating exercise.
There are numerous health benefits of adding garlic to your diet. We also talk about it how it functions well with forskolin (a coleus forskohlii herbal root extract) to support healthier overall optimization and function.
Be careful with medicinal doses (one raw clove, three meals a day) if you’re using blood thinners.
You must chop, crush, or chew garlic cloves to release the active compounds. Also keep in mind you’ll get the highest amounts of allicin from fresh, raw cloves. Garlic is available by the bulb, in pastes, powders, oils, or supplements.
If you’re on a medicinal regimen of garlic or consuming a lot of fresh garlic, it’s recommended you use a good mouthwash.
There is no concrete evidence that garlic can extend lifespan. However, garlic’s ability to improve circulation, fight sickness, and flush toxins from your body improve the likelihood you’ll live longer, stay stronger, and will be protected against cognitive diseases.