Garlic is one of those herbs given by nature to the human being to enjoy its diversified health benefits. It is a rich source of vital substances such as Allicin which is highly used as a medicinal ingredient for the treatment and relaxation of different health conditions. Here we are going to discuss some more common benefits of garlic and its effects on your health.
11 Benefits of Garlic
Rich with Medicinal Properties
Garlic remains loaded with potent medicinal properties which make it effective for the natural treatment of different health conditions including minor to serious ones. Garlic is a plant that belongs to an allium or onion family. Whether you eat a garlic clove directly or use it as an ingredient in your cooking in every form it benefits your health. Though you may feel bitterness if you eat it raw but when used in a recipe it really enhances its taste greatly.
This is one of those herbs which is in use since ancient times by human civilization for its medicinal features and benefits for different health conditions. As per the researchers, the reason behind the medicinal benefit of garlic is the sulfur compounds that form while you chop, crush, or chew a clove of garlic. Out of these sulfur compounds, allicin is the most recognized one. This particular compound only remains present in a freshly cut or crushed garlic. So to avail of its associated benefits for your health, you should only eat fresh garlic to fulfill your purpose.
Apart from allicin other compounds that also contain medicinal properties include s-allyl cysteine and diallyl disulfide as per the Trusted Source. All the sulfur compounds existing in garlic enter inside your body through your digestive tract and then circulate all corners of your body and exhibit its biological effect or work.
Relieves from Common Cold and Sickness
Garlic herb intake also works on your immune health by boosting it. Whether you want to eat raw garlic or garlic supplements both of them work effectively and stimulate your immune system function. Hence, prevents your risk of developing common illnesses including cold and cough which occur as a result of the weak immune power of a person.
In a study that was conducted on a large group of people for 12 weeks time determined that the daily intake of garlic supplements brings a reduction in the cases of common colds by 63% with comparison to placebo tests. Also, it managed to reduce the duration of cold symptoms in people by 70% with comparison to placebo group people.
Another study that was conducted to evaluate the effect of aged garlic in people for relieving cold symptoms, it was found that the doses of aged garlic of about 2.56 grams every day helped in faster recovery by relieving the cold and flu symptoms within a few days with comparison to placebo group people. Also, the garlic group people experienced a very less number of cold and flu-associated symptoms than the placebo group.
However, one survey report suggests that the existing evidence is not sufficient. For a conclusive report, further researches are required to be conducted in this regard. Still including garlic in daily meals may prove beneficial for people who are the regular victim of the common cold.
Contains Very Few Calories
What is best about garlic is that in spite of being abundant in various nutrients it contains very few amounts of calories. Hence, this feature makes it beneficial for everyone. One clove of garlic i.e. 3 grams of raw garlic contains the following nutrients-
- Vitamin B6- 2% of the daily value
- Vitamin C- 1% of the daily value
- Manganese- 2% of the daily value
- Selenium- 1% of the daily value
- Fiber- 06 grams
- Carbs- 1 gram
- Calories- 5
- Protein- 2 grams
- A moderate amount of Vitamin B1, calcium, iron, phosphorus, copper and potassium
Apart from the above-mentioned nutrients garlic also contains many other nutrients in trace amounts. In a more precise term, it can be said that it contains everything that is vital for your health.
Improves Cholesterol Level and Reduces Heart Disease Risk
Increased cholesterol level is one of the most common serious health concerns nowadays because of unhealthy lifestyle routines, increasing intake of unhealthy meals and lack of sufficient exercise that is needed to keep your body fit and active. An increased cholesterol level in the body impacts your arteries making it simply harder for smoother and healthy blood circulation throughout the body. Hence this increases the risk of heart attack and other life-threatening cardiovascular health concerns.
However, people struggling with cholesterol health issues can get relaxation by including garlic in their diet routine. The medicinal substances existing in garlic help in lowering your total cholesterol as well as LDL i.e. bad cholesterol level and prevents the major health risks associated with an increased level of total cholesterol or bad cholesterol level.
Also, it promotes the generation of HDL i.e. good cholesterol level in your body that helps to keep your cholesterol health check. Improving your cholesterol health reduces your risk of heart attack and other heart health concerns which are very common in the cases of people with high cholesterol.
In a study on people with high cholesterol health problems, the garlic supplement intake helps in reducing total and LDL by 10 to 15% as per the Trusted Source. The best thing about garlic is that it primarily impacts LDL by reducing it and its effect on HDL is very less. That is what makes it beneficial for your heart health.
Helps in Reducing Blood Pressure
An unhealthy lifestyle routine, excessive stress, and weight gain are some of those factors that make most of the people a victim of high blood pressure which further opens up your path of cardiovascular health risk. So it is very essential to reduce your increased level of blood pressure on time before you get a victim of its serious consequences such as heart attack and stroke.
However, this major health risk can be prevented to a great extent by using garlic in your everyday diet. Among many medicinal health benefits associated with garlic intake, this is one of them. A study conducted on humans to evaluate the effect of garlic supplement for reducing high blood pressure levels who were already struggling with this health issue. The result shows a significant reduction in blood pressure levels in these people.
Another human study conducted to evaluate the effect of aged garlic extract on reducing high blood pressure. The result shows that people managed to reduce their blood pressure level very effectively and the effect was similar to the prescribed medicine Atenolol for reducing blood pressure over a period of 24 weeks.
It is determined that to get an effective result out of the usage of garlic supplements one needs to have its high doses that will fairly be equivalent to four cloves of garlic every day. With this amount of daily garlic intake, one can naturally reduce their blood pressure level and maintain it to a healthy level.
Prevent Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Risk
Being rich in effective antioxidants content daily garlic intake protects your health against oxidative damage risk. The antioxidant content existing in garlic gives support to your immune system by boosting it and protects you from the free radical attack that accelerates the aging process.
It is found in research that garlic supplements intake helps in increasing the level of antioxidant enzymes in the human body that works very effectively in reducing oxidative stress especially in people with high blood pressure health conditions.
By reducing the risk of oxidative damages it also gives protection against major brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Dementia which are two common brain health concerns often associated with aging-induced concerns in humans.
As garlic supplements are beneficial for reducing both high blood pressure as well as cholesterol level so this combined effect proves beneficial for reducing the risk of these commonly known brain diseases naturally as per the Trusted Source.
Improves Athletic Performance
Benefits of eating garlic or garlic supplement are not limited to giving protection to your body against different diseases risk instead it goes far beyond that by improving your athletic performance. In fact, it is one of the old age well-recognized substances that is used for enhancing the performance of sports persons.
Since ancient times garlic is used as a natural remedy to relieve or reduce fatigue and for uplifting the working capability of laborers. It is the effectiveness of the garlic supplement that makes it a considerable choice for Olympic athletes in ancient Greece.
A study on rodents has evaluated that the garlic intake helps in improving exercise performance however, there are a limited number of human studies available to support this claim.
In a study that was conducted on people diagnosed with heart diseases found that regular intake of garlic oil for six weeks time managed to reduce the racing heartbeat issue by 12%.
Also, it helped in increasing their capacity to workout. Another study suggests that exercise-induced fatigue can be reduced effectively with regular garlic supplement intake which ensures smoother level exercise performance every day without any interruption.
Strengthens Bone Health
The beneficial compounds existing in garlic also prove effective for your bone's health. These compounds help in strengthening your bones and reduce the risk of different bone diseases.
Studies have been conducted on a rodent to evaluate the effect of garlic on bone health and the results say that the substances in garlic can reduce bone loss in females rodents by increasing the level of estrogen hormone in their body. However, no human studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects of garlic on minimizing bone loss problems.
One study on menopausal women shows that daily intake of dry garlic extract that will be equivalent to 2 grams of raw garlic help in increasing the level of estrogen hormones. Thus by decreasing estrogen deficiency it helps in reducing further bone loss problems in women. Hence, it can be said that some foods like garlic and onions have the potential to cure and relieve osteoarthritis health conditions.
Help in Detoxification of Heavy Metals in Body
This is another vital benefit that you get from regular garlic intake either raw, cooked or in supplement form. The sulfur compounds existing in high doses of garlic protect your body against damages associated with the toxicity of heavy metals.
A 4-week study that was conducted on car battery plant workers where they have high exposure to lead, shows that regular garlic intake reduced the levels of lead in their blood by 18% which is really appreciable.
Also, it reduced some medical symptoms of toxicity such as blood pressure and headaches. The effect of three doses of garlic every day shows a better effect than the medicine D-penicillamine. Thus it proves beneficial and effective in detoxifying heavy metals in the body.
It Can be Consumed Versatile Way
You can consume garlic in a versatile way by adding it in different recipes which makes it easier for you to include in your everyday meal plan. Whether you like the taste of a raw or dry garlic extract or not but when it is used in cooking it takes the taste of your recipe to a different level.
It enhances the taste of different savory dishes such as soups and sauces. You can use garlic in your recipe in several ways like you can use whole cloves directly or use them cut into small pieces or use its smooth paste or powder whichever seems best to you depending on your personal taste preference.
However, along with its versatility, there are few negative sides to this herbal spice. Like some people are allergic to this herb or spice whereas some face difficulty of bad breathing associated with garlic intake that has its own strong smell.
People who are on certain medications such as anyone affected with a bleeding disorder or taking blood thinner medication currently should first consult with their doctor before increasing the doses of garlic in their meal plan.
Garlic May Increase Your Longevity
The versatile health benefits associated with aged raw garlic extract or through garlic supplement intake aid your body’s potential to live longer. Though there is no means to prove this potential effect of garlic in humans but it seems too obvious when you find something that gives positive support and boosts to your all vital organs and their functions, reduces your risk of major illnesses as well as prevents common cold and sickness risk.
Garlic helps in reducing increased cholesterol and blood pressure level which are two vital health factors that increases the risk of cardiovascular health concerns such as heart attack and stroke. Both these health conditions are two leading killers of human life worldwide.
Another vital factor or health benefit of garlic that supports your good health is by giving protection against infectious diseases which are other common reasons for death especially in people with dysfunctional immune systems or in older adults. Hence, by giving protection against all common potential reasons for death regular garlic intake may help you to live longer.
Garlic Effects on Body
The usage of garlic directly or as an ingredient in a recipe exhibit following effect on your health-
- Reduces Hardening of Arteries – With aging your arteries get harder over time and it loses its ability to flex and stretch, also known as Atherosclerosis. This negative impact on arteries' health can be reduced by compounds existing in garlic with its potent medicinal effect.
Regular intake of garlic supplements twice in a day, continuously for 24 months can reduce the progression rate of arteries hardening. In a study, increased doses of this supplement for a period of four years show more benefits for women compared to men.
- Lowers Prostate Cancer Risk- Prostate cancer which is a very commonly occurring cancer type in men is preventable with garlic or garlic supplement intake. In a study on men in China, it was found that men who eat at least one clove of garlic each day reduced their risk of developing prostate cancer by 50% with comparison to those who were not having garlic at all.
A research on larger population shows a positive impact on men by lowering their risk of prostate cancer. However, this effect of garlic was not proved when one study was conducted on men living in Iran. An early clinical report says that the doses of garlic extract supplements may help in reducing prostate cancer risk as well as in reducing the severity of its symptoms.
- Reduces High Blood Pressure- Garlic cloves intake show its positive effect by reducing high blood pressure level. It can help in reducing systolic blood pressure i.e. the top number by 7 to 9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure i.e. lower number by 4 to 6 mmHg in people with high blood pressure condition.
- Reduces High Cholesterol and Other Fats in Blood- The medicinal property-rich substances existing in garlic show its positive effect by reducing the level of high cholesterol as well as other fats or lipids in the blood known as Hyperlipidemia.
However, to get this positive result in reducing total cholesterol or the level of bad cholesterol one needs to eat garlic continuously for 8 weeks' time. Remember, taking garlic does not show any benefit for increasing the level of HDL or good cholesterol in the blood or reducing the other fats existing in the blood called triglycerides.
- Controls Diabetes- Taking garlic on a regular basis may moderately reduce the level of pre-meal blood sugar both in people with or without a diabetic health condition. A study on diabetic people says that taking garlic continuously for three months shows its positive effect in controlling their diabetes health. However, whether garlic has any impact on reducing post-meal diabetes level or not is unclear.
- Prevents Tick Bites Naturally- Taking garlic for at least 8 weeks period has shown its positive effect by reducing the count of tick bites in people. However, it is not yet clear how garlic is effective over the use of commercial repellants.
- Relieves from Jock Itch and Ringworm- The medicinal properties of garlic herb make it an effective content when used in an over-the-counter gel for relieving jock itch and ringworm concerns. Daily application of a gel containing 0.6% of ajoene that is a compound existing in garlic, two times in a day at least for one week proves very effective in treating ringworm and jock itch problem as it works just like an antifungal medicine.
- Relieves from Athlete’s Foot Condition- You can get relief from the Athlete’s foot or Tinea Pedis symptoms by applying a gel containing 1% of ajoene that is a chemical existing garlic. This shows a similar effect or relaxation that you get from Lamisil, a medicine prescribed for the treatment of the Athlete’s foot.
Garlic is among the most easily available herbs around the world. So anyone can reap potent benefits of garlic and its effects that are positive ones for your health by including it in regular meals if raw garlic is difficult for you to consume. Also, its supplements products are equally beneficial for your health boost. However, if you are suffering from any major illness then consult with your doctor first before increasing your doses of garlic for preventing any health risk.View Article Sources