Health Benefits of Garlic
There’s a lot to be said about the humble little clove of garlic. While there might be some superstitions attached to it, such as that it keeps vampires at bay, there are also plenty of actual proven health benefits of garlic. The following are just a few.
1. Garlic is Medicinal
The garlic plant is closely related to onions and is a member of the onion family (the Allium family). One thing that not many people know about it is that it was used as a form of medicine by many ancient civilizations including the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. The health benefits of garlic are mostly down to the sulfuric compound Allicin. Allicin has a number of positive health benefits, even if it is also what gives garlic its smell.
2. Garlic is Low in Calories but High in Nutrients
Garlic is a very nutritious little plant. A single ounce of garlic (about 28 grams) has 23% of your RDA (recommended daily allowance) of Manganese, 17% of your RDA of Vitamin B6, 15% of your RDA of Vitamin C, 6% of the RDA of Selenium, 1 gram of fiber, and a decent amount of other important nutrients. One ounce of garlic has a small amount of everything your body needs and just 42 calories. It also has almost 2 grams of protein and 9 grams of carbs. Not bad at all.
3.Garlic Keeps You Healthy
Supplementing with garlic is a great way to bolster your immune system. A 12-week study found that supplementing with garlic reduced the number of colds people caught by 63% when compared to the control group. It also reduced how long a cold lasted by 70%. People who have garlic regularly are also far less likely to take sick leave. If you feel you catch too many colds then think about including garlic into your diet.
4. Garlic Reduces Blood Pressure
Cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, and the like are easily the world’s biggest killers and the biggest cause for those problems is high blood pressure and hypertension. Studies have shown that eating garlic can reduce blood pressure. One study even found that 600-1,500mg of aged garlic extract was just as effective as Atenolol; a medicine designed to reduce blood pressure. It’s worth noting you need a lot of garlic for this though. The amount of allicin it takes to reduce your blood pressure is about four cloves worth.
5. Garlic Improves Cholesterol Levels
Another leading cause of heart problems is cholesterol. The good news is that garlic is great for reducing LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) but it isn’t quite so perfect. Unfortunately garlic doesn’t seem to have much of an effect on HDL (good cholesterol), nor does it seem to have an effect on triglyceride (another heart attack risk factor) but reducing bad cholesterol is still important. Combine garlic with a HDL increasing food and you have a powerful combination.
There you have five of the most important health benefits of garlic. It keeps you healthy in more ways than one so there’s no reason you shouldn’t be putting garlic in your diet.
Nutrition Facts Garlic (1)