Health Benefits of Garlic
Garlic has been referred to as the healthiest food on the planet. Garlic contains a compound called Allicin, which has potent medicinal properties. Whole books have been written about its health benefits. Too numerous to compile here. Below are some of the health benefits of garlic.
*Boosts Immune System
Garlic supplementation is known to boost the function of the immune system. It helps to ward off or reduce the severity of common illnesses like the flu and cold. It also alleviates stress and fatigue.
High intake of garlic (roughly translated as daily intake of this food) has been found to lower risk of virtually all cancer types except cancer of the prostate and breast cancer. However, moderate intake of garlic (roughly translated as several times per week) has been repeatedly found to lower risk of only two cancer types - colorectal and renal cancer. Garlic limits cancer growth and the progression of several diseases.
*Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Garlic can lower total and LDL cholesterol which lowers the risk of heart disease. Garlic's unique set of sulfur-containing compounds help protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation - two of the culprits in vascular plaque formation and clogging. Ajoene, a disulfide in garlic, has repeatedly been shown to have anti-clotting properties - preventing clots from forming inside of the blood vessels. The role of garlic compounds in preventing platelet aggregation, which can trigger a heart attack or stroke is well documented.
*Controls High Blood Pressure
High doses of garlic appear to improve blood pressure of those with known high blood pressure (hypertension). Compounds in garlic dilates blood vessels which helps lower blood pressure. In some instances, supplementation can be as effective as regular medications.
Garlic has been shown to work similarly to NSAID pain medications (like ibuprofen), shutting off the pathways that lead to inflammation.
Garlic's numerous sulfur-containing compounds are known to activate the liver enzymes responsible for expelling toxins from the body. Another factor lies in the presence of both allicin and selenium, two important nutrients that play an integral role in the protection of the liver from damage.
*Antibacterial and Antiviral
The antibacterial and antiviral properties of garlic are perhaps its most legendary feature. Garlic has proved beneficial in controlling infection by bacteria and viruses, and also infection from other microbes including yeasts/fungi and worms.
*Protection From Metal Toxicity
The sulfur compounds in garlic have been shown to protect against organ damage from heavy metal toxicity.
*Prevents Alzheimer’s and Dementia
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.
Calorie for calorie, garlic is incredibly nutritious. 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of garlic contains Manganese: 23% of the RDA, Vitamin B6: 17% of the RDA, Vitamin C: 15% of the RDA, Selenium: 6% of the RDA, Fiber: 1 gram. Garlic has decent amounts of Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron and Vitamin B1. Garlic also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. In fact, it contains a little bit of almost everything a human body needs. All these is coming with 42 calories with 1.8 grams of protein and 9 grams of carbs.
*Wards off Vampires
Only in folklore and movies!