There are many factual benefits of garlic, as well as a variety of not so factual myths.
Were you aware that in ancient times, garlic was thought to have magical properties and was used to ward off evil spirits, devils and vampires?
Although there’s not really any proof behind those myths, garlic has actually been used for over 5,000 years to treat various health conditions and illnesses, including hypertension, cancer, and infections, as well as for its culinary properties.
Garlic is often referred to as a herb, but it actually belongs to the same family as onions, chives, leeks and shallots.
Its pungent flavour and aroma make it a popular ingredient in many different cuisines, but not a lot of people know that garlic is also a powerful and versatile natural ingredient with a number of health benefits.
It is high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese.
And it also contains a compound called allicin, which gives garlic its characteristic smell and many of its health properties.
Traditional medicine has used garlic to treat a variety of conditions, and recent research has confirmed many of the health benefits that have been attributed to garlic for centuries.
So let’s jump in and look at 6 of the most important ways garlic is good for your health.
Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke.
And studies have shown that garlic can help to lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and improving blood flow.
The allicin contained in garlic has been shown to have a blood pressure-lowering effect.
So by adding garlic to your diet, you could help to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Boosts Your Immune System
Garlic has been shown to have immune-boosting properties because of its high levels of antioxidants and sulphur compounds.
It helps to fight off infections and reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms.
And the sulphur compounds can also help to stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infection and disease.
Improves Cholesterol Levels
A major risk factor for heart disease is having high cholesterol.
Garlic has been shown to have a cholesterol lowering effect by reducing the amount of LDL cholesterol, (also known as “bad” cholesterol), in the blood.
Studies have shown that garlic can also increase the amount of HDL cholesterol (known as the “good” cholesterol), which can help to protect against heart disease.
Inflammation is a normal response to an injury or an infection, but long-term inflammation can lead to many diseases, such as arthritis, cancer, and even heart disease.
Garlic contains compounds that can aid in the reduction of inflammation in the body.
It has been shown in studies to help reduce joint inflammation, which might be beneficial for people that suffer with arthritis.
Helps Fight Against Cancer
Due to its high concentrations of antioxidants and sulphur compounds, garlic has been demonstrated to have anti-cancer potential.
Studies have shown that garlic can help to prevent the growth and spread of some cancer cells.
It has been shown to be particularly effective in reducing the risk of stomach and colorectal cancer.
Improves Athletic Performance
Garlic has been shown to have a positive effect on an athlete’s performance.
Studies have shown that garlic can improve exercise capacity by increasing endurance and reducing fatigue.
It can also help to reduce muscle soreness and inflammation after exercise.
As you can see, garlic is a versatile food that offers many health benefits, from boosting your immune system to reducing inflammation and improving cholesterol levels.
Adding garlic to your diet may help to improve your overall health and well-being.
So next time you’re cooking, consider the health benefits of garlic and don’t be afraid to add a little extra in to your dish!