Garlic is used widely as a flavoring in cooking, but it has also been used medicinally for thousands of years. Modern-day research is confirming many long-known health benefits of garlic.
With this in mind, here are seven reasons to start eating more garlic:
- Boosts Your Immune System
Garlic has been shown to be helpful for people who get sick from the common cold or flu. Increasing garlic intake in the diet was found to decrease the occurrences of these illness as well as lessening the severity and time of those who had already become ill.
- Reduces Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks. Studies show that garlic is able to significantly reduce a person’s blood pressure. In fact, some studies have found that aged garlic extract was just as effective at lowering blood pressure as one commonly prescribed medication.
- Helps to Lower Bad Cholesterol
Lowering your blood pressure is one way to keep your heart healthy. Another important way is to reduce your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels. According to some studies, adding more garlic to your diet has been shown to reduce LDL levels by as much as 15%.
- Improves Brain Function
Free radicals and oxidative stress contribute to aging our body, including our brain. Increasing antioxidant-rich foods in your diet can boost brain health. Garlic contains powerful antioxidants that may protect against common brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Helps to Strengthen Bones
Several studies have shown that women who were on a diet rich in allicin — a compound found in garlic — had decreased estrogen deficiency. This appears to be a key factor in decreasing the risk of developing bone loss.
- Powerful Antibiotic
Garlic has strong antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-fungal properties and has been used for centuries to fight bacterial infections. One study found the compounds in garlic to be more effective than popular antibiotics in fighting Campylobacter bacterium.
- Anti-Cancer Properties
Garlic contains several compounds such as flavonoids, inulin and saponins which are well-studied for their cancer-fighting properties. Studies show that these compounds found in garlic appear to inhibit cancer cell growth and block tumors.
Isn’t it great to know that aside from being a wonderful flavoring for your food, garlic also has powerful medicinal properties that may offer you many health benefits? So, why not begin today to add more garlic to your food! By the way, for sake of your social life, you may want to keep some mints handy.