10 Proven Health Benefits of Garlic
Garlic is one of the healthiest plant to exist in human lifetime. A member of the Allium family family and related closely to leeks, shallots and onions, garlic is popularly an ingredient in cooking because of its strong smell and very delicious taste. Despite this, garlic’s main use has been in the health and medicinal properties. It is found in the form of a bulb which contains numerous cloves (typically 10 to 20 cloves) which are encased in a sheath of a usually white or purple-pink like color. Garlic has this strong smell which is favorable for bringing that aromatic smell when it comes to cooking and blending savory dishes.
A popular flavor in dishes like curries, pizza toppings, meat preparation, and stir fries among other things thus providing healthy eating. The following section describes the 10 proven health benefits of garlic though the list is not exhaustive while at the same time these benefits cover so many areas not mentioned.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF GARLIC
Antibacterial and antivirus benefits: Garlic is known to control infection by viruses and bacteria from time immemorial. Control of infection from worms and yeasts/fungi have been successfully prevented and of special interest is the crushed fresh garlic’s ability to treat infections in burn patients from bacteria and also bacterial infections that have been considered resistant to prescribed antibiotics. Garlic has also been proven to regulate body’s response to various bacteria and virus infection. Fresh garlic extracts and powdered form are ideal than in whole food form. Garlic can also be used to prevent food poisoning because of the antibacterial property as well. Parasitic infections are proven to be treated with garlic and another interesting use is the cleaning of cavity-causing bacteria by a garlic form of mouthwash.
Cancer prevention benefits: Moderate to high intake of garlic has been proven to lower risk of most cancer types including that of breast and prostate. Of significant risk reduction when taking garlic several times a week is colorectal and renal cancer. Allyl sulfides in garlic are key to make garlic be considered as an anticancer food with cancer prevention abilities. The sulfides have been proven to prevent cancerous cells from forming by modifying critical cells responses to become cancerous. Other cancers that can be prevented include lung and stomach. The bottom line is garlic can boost the immune system of the body and strengthen against cancer.
Common cold and sickness combat:One of garlic’s major benefit is to combat common colds and flu. Throat irritations and frequent colds can be reduced by daily intake of garlic and due to its antibacterial properties. Severe respiratory tract infections and chronic bronchitis are known and proven to be reduced by intake of garlic as well. For this benefit garlic is taken in the form of supplements and there is reduction of common cold frequency by 63-70%. Garlic can be taken as tea and also mixed with other herbs to form a strong and effective concoction to cure sickness and common colds. It is either ground or sliced for this purpose and added to boiling water to benefit from its properties.
Cardiovascular benefits:Garlic has been proven to have cardioprotective properties and in the form of powder and oils including aged garlic than in food form. These properties are able to moderately lower cholesterol and blood triglycerides. In addition blood cells and vessels are also protected from oxidative stresses and inflammation. Blood clots and blockages are also prevented from occurring inside blood vessels. Another interesting benefit in this section is garlic’s ability to lower blood pressure by the triggering the dilution of blood vessels as well as expanding and relaxing the vessels. Heart diseases are prevented by garlic by lowering homocysteine levels which tends to damage blood vessels. Regular medication and supplementation of high doses of garlic have been proven to help to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels thus protecting the heart system and health.
In line with this, garlic has the ability to maintain the heart’s artery elasticity which usually loses with age. In addition, garlic also prevents blood clot formation in blood vessels while also slowing down the hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis) with the help of the sulfur containing compound. Arterial plaque formation are greatly reduced and prevented by the intake of garlic and this immensely contributes to good heart health. Another special benefit is garlic oil use in protecting the heart of diabetic patients from a condition known as diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy and this is really an immense benefit.
Antioxidant properties and benefits: Garlic has proven good antioxidant properties which help in protecting cells from damage and also aging. This antioxidant property also reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease. The body is also protected against oxidative damage from free radicals thanks to the antioxidative properties of the garlic. The circulatory, immune and digestive system are also healed and detoxed by garlic to maintain them in a healthy state. Furthermore, the antioxidant properties contribute significantly to the antivirus and anti-bacterial properties making garlic a fully integrated healthy plant.
Garlic is known and proven to reduce clinical signs of toxicity including heavy metal toxicity. Garlic also helps the digestive system to maintain its cleanliness by flushing out toxins and also purify the blood. This is effected when the garlic is taken raw with some warm water every day and early in the morning. Cleansing of toxins in the liver is also proven to be effective by using garlic.
Iron metabolism benefits: Garlic has been proven to improve iron metabolism by increasing and maintaining ferroportin which is a protein that helps iron circulate across cells and with the blood circulation. This helps to prevent diseases like anemia and other various iron deficiency. Iron metabolism is also good during pregnancy and also for those with blood pressure problems. This also boosts good blood circulation.
High nutritional benefits: Garlic is highly nutritious and is proven to contain Manganese: 23% of the RDA, Vitamin B6: 17% of the RDA, Vitamin C: 15% of the RDA, Selenium: 6% of the RDA and Fiber: 1 gram. There are also relative good amounts of copper, phosphorous, iron, calcium and vitamin B1 with traces of other various nutrients. It almost contains all that we need and this makes it a truly healthy plant with immense benefits to enjoy.
Skin protection benefits: Because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties, garlic is extremely good at protecting the skin and treat various skin infections. Athlete’s foot and ringworms among others have been known and proven to be treated by garlic. For skin treatment, the oil from crushed garlic cloves will do the trick and application can be daily with some washing off. Garlic allows the skin to be smooth and look much healthier. The antibacterial and antiviral properties are key to good skin health from the garlic. Eczema which is one of the most common skin ailments can be relieved by garlic as well as improving skin elasticity in aging skin. Sores and wounds can also be treated by garlic application which kills germs and bacteria and thus prevent further infection while promoting fast healing time.
Anti-allergy properties: The anti-allergic property which is based on the anti-arthritic property from the diallyl sulphide and thiacremonone contained in garlic improves various allergic conditions and mainly allergic rhinitis. Itching and bug bites can also be instantly stopped by applying raw garlic juice. The boosting of the immune system by consuming garlic helps in minimizing or preventing allergic conditions from occurring. Adding on to this, there are antihistamine properties in garlic that also contribute and aid in dealing with allergic conditions that affect us.
Bone and teeth protection: Garlic also protects the bone and teeth because of its calcium content among other things. In females, garlic can minimize bone loss with the increase in estrogen and also have been proven to help estrogen deficiency in menopausal women. In addition, there are proven beneficial and good effects on osteoarthritis. Garlic cloves can also treat toothaches because of its antibacterial together with analgesic properties. Simple application of the garlic clove on the affected tooth will do the trick but one has to be cautious of gum irritation.
The health benefits of garlic are so integrated that one benefit has an effect on various treatments and ailments. Garlic can be considered as a holistic approach health and good eating because of its deep and rich properties. Its therapeutic properties have been known since ancient times in Egypt, China and India making it a special part of the dish even in present day. Not only does it heals but garlic also provides strength and even boosts sexual life. Boosting of the wellbeing and the immune system has been proven by garlic intake and there is real invigoration experienced when garlic is consumed or applied externally.
The key thing to enjoy the health benefits and properties of garlic is to properly prepare it for a particular benefit. Whether consuming it or applying externally, this knowledge is key to get the right results from the garlic properties. Garlic is considered to be consumed best in its raw form though it can be dried or ground to form powder and some other instances flakes. In other cases oil is extracted from the garlic cloves for consumption and also external usage. Garlic dresses for salads with extra virgin oil are also made to enrich the dishes. Another important key thing to note is the sulfur content in the garlic which forms the basis for the health benefits garlic has.
It also known that sulfur is indeed a part of our health and this makes garlic an intrinsic and important food element for us. There is great benefit of garlic as an antibiotic and this will contribute immensely to the health the world needs so much right now considering the ailments and various health risks currently on the sharp increase and being experienced. Garlic, the world’s healthiest plant some say is truly a remarkable plant and a special gift from nature with its great medicinal and also food quality properties man has been given.