Garlic is a type of Allium (family of onion, leeks, shallots, etc.) vegetables. It has been used for centuries as a flavoring culinary condiment in almost every corner of the earth. Do you know what are the health benefits of eating garlic? Since, the age of the Pyramid, garlic has been used for the treatment of several diseases.
Other than the nutritional value, garlic is found to be an immunity strengthener with significant antibiotic and other medicinal properties. For these reasons, it is suggested as one of the most beneficial herbs for protection against many diseases. In addition to cooking ingredients, consumption of raw or pickled garlic cloves or slices can prevent a variety of diseases and treat some illnesses.
Here, I shall highlight 12 amazing benefits of eating garlic based on my studies of the academic journals and medical news.
1. Reducing Risk of Heart Disease
Garlic reduces the risk of heart diseases as it releases nitric oxide which relaxes the blood vessels and functions against building up plaque (a process that hardens and narrows the passage of blood) in the artery. Another reason of heart problem is due to blood clots, which is the result of binding of platelets to proteins. Garlic prevents blood platelets from binding to protein. However, garlic alone is not enough to prevent heart disease. You need to protect your heart through regular exercise, walking, and eating heart-healthy foods, and quit drinking alcohol and smoking.
2. Lowering Bad Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, and, Hypertension
Garlic has a compound named ‘Allicin” which oxidizes LDL (Bad cholesterol). Studies have found that garlic extract supplementation improves blood lipid profile resulting significant decrease in blood pressure (both systolic and diastolic). There is also research concluded after three months’ experiment that garlic extract supplement reduced high cholesterol levels, and also blood pressure in the patients with hypertension. Their study was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. The dose of the supplement is between 600 to 1,500 mg, roughly equivalent to four cloves of garlic per day.
3. Helps Diabetes Patient from Cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy is a chronic disease induced by diabetes. It abnormally thickens, enlarges, or stiffens heart muscle, which may cause death by chronic heart illness. A laboratory research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that garlic has significant potential for protecting the heart from diabetes-related cardiomyopathy. Human study on this research is yet to be performed. It is also essential to avoid foods and drinks which deteriorates diabetic condition.
4. Improving Immune Function:
Garlic can play an effective role in improving the immune system of your body at the time while we need it essentially to live with COVID-19 pandemic. Allicin in garlic can provide antibacterial defense, as scientists believe that the antibacterial property may block the entry of viruses into the cells of our body by strengthening the immunity function.
5. Lowering of Inflammation
Scientists viewed in the Harvard Health Publishing (November 2020 in Phytotherapy Research) that chronic inflammation results in chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc. In a study on 70 women with inflammatory autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis, a group of them who took daily 1,000 mg garlic supplement for 8 weeks had lesser inflammatory pain and fatigue and lesser joint pain compared to those who did not take it. According to a recent study, garlic extract is found to be effective against multi-drug resistant strains of Pathogenic bacteria associated with Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
6. Improving Digestion
The antibacterial, anti-parasitic, and antiviral compounds of garlic are said to be 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics. It can fight against the Campylobacter bacterium, which is the most common cause of intestine infection. Diallyl sulfide of garlic can boost the absorption of food nutrients removing toxins, parasites, and pathogens from the colon. It can thus improve digestion and eliminate waste and toxins.
7. Helps Lowering body weight
Garlic can suppress appetite. It boosts your energy levels and burns all calories preventing overeating. It can increase your metabolism and prevents gaining extra weight. Garlic is also contributive to fat-burning. If you can implement a healthy diet and exercise simultaneously, it would significantly lower your body weight.
8. Prevention of Prostate and Stomach Cancer Risk
Several scientific researchers have found that the organic allyl sulfur component of garlic can effectively fight against cancer inhibitors. There is also strong evidence of preventing prostate and stomach cancer by consumption of garlic cloves. This finding is established through epidemiologic studies by comparing a batch of populations who consumed garlic and those who did not. Another study conducted by the doctors of China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China concluded that Allium vegetables, especially garlic intake can reduce the risk of prostate cancer (Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention).
9. Medicinal Impact for Treating Brain Tumor cells
Brain cancer cells are difficult to treat. The organo-sulfur compound of garlic is found effective in treating a type of brain tumor, known as glioblastoma. A study at the Medical University of South California (MUSC) has found that garlic compound produces reactive oxygen species in rapidly growing brain cancer cells. Cancer cells have an incredibly high metabolism. The rapid growth of brain cancer cells leads to death within a short period of diagnosis. Those who have the habit of consuming garlic can prevent the growth of the cancer cells unknowingly before they are even diagnosed.
10. Protect Common Cold and Flu
Regular consumption of garlic may help prevent common colds and flu. Even, it can reduce the severity of symptoms, if you are caught by cold or flu-like diseases. One study has shown that taking garlic supplements reduces 63% risk of getting cold. On another study, it was observed that the average duration of cold suffering was 61% shorter by garlic consumption. If you are feeling flu-like symptoms, you can avoid it or reduce the severity by taking one or two cloves of garlic or crushed garlic with hot water before your meals. You can also gain the long-term benefits of eating garlic in empty stomach. Kids may also be relieved from cold congestion earlier, by hanging cloves of garlic around the neck.
11. Minimize loss of Bones
Garlic may help in minimizing bone loss by increasing estrogen among females. A daily dose of garlic can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. One study found that regular consumption of garlic extracts supplement decreases estrogen deficiency, which is the main cause of women’s menopausal symptoms. From this finding, it was suggested that regular consumption of garlic may result in increased bone health in women. Although, no human trial has been conducted yet to measure this benefit.
12. Help Skin Treatment
Garlic has antifungal and antimicrobial properties. You can be less susceptible to fungal infection by taking garlic regularly. Applying garlic paste with olive oil on the area of your fungal-affected skin can cure you without any other medication. Its antioxidant feature can protect your skin damage from free radicals. Or, if you have acne, you can kill bacteria by rubbing garlic over your bumps. By using garlic extract over time, you may have anti-aging effects, since garlic helps the growth and longevity of skin cells.
Garlic is a super herb with numerous benefits to human health. The above-mentioned 12 health benefits of eating garlic are not all. If you can make habit of eating garlic regularly, you can gain a host of many other benefits that are not discussed or not yet studied. By taking garlic regularly, you can protect your heart health, lower your blood pressure and prevent building up cancer inhibitors in your body and protect your skin from aging or prevent loss of bone and gain many other such benefits. It should lead you to live long and live in a good health. However, garlic not alone can protect you, unless you maintain other good habits of eating, drinking, exercise, etc., and above everything, God is in your favor.
Disclaimer: Facts and recommendations that are made in this article are sourced from scientific research-based journals and relevant writings on the topic. But we do not prescribe any treatment as a medical alternative given by any qualified practitioner.