Garlic is one of the most commonly used cooking spices adding aroma and flavor to many food dishes, but it has some impressive health benefits too. The key medicinal ingredient in garlic is allicin, which has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties. In addition, garlic is packed with vitamins and nutrients. Some of these include vitamins A, B, B2 and C, as well as protein, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, manganese and many others.
A little garlic every day can go a long way in helping you to protect, as well as boost, your health. To reap the most health benefits from garlic, eat it in its raw state. Cooked garlic loses a significant amount of its medicinal qualities.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of garlic.
1. Lowers Cholesterol Level
Studies have shown that eating 600mg to 900mg of garlic everyday lowers cholesterol level and reduces arterial plaque formation by 5% to 18%. The antioxidant properties in garlic help scavenge harmful free radicals, which can contribute to damage caused by LDL (“bad cholesterol”) in the blood. Garlic also blocks the liver from making too much LDL. So, when fresh garlic is consumed on regular basis it can significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels without hurting beneficial HDL cholesterol levels.
2. Reduces Arthritis Pain
Garlic has also been shown to reduce pain and other symptoms in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Ground garlic mixed with hot aloe lotion calms and eases pain in inflamed and aching joints due to rheumatism. Various chemical compounds present in garlic also are believed to aid in reducing inflammation associated with various forms of arthritis.
3. Reduces Weight
Many researchers believe that the anti-inflammatory property in garlic helps regulate the formation of fat cells in the body, one of the primary factors in obesity. Garlic also is highly diuretic in nature due to its essential oils and its low molecular weight sugars. Regular consumption of raw garlic or garlic supplements can help you maintain a healthy body weight.
4. Inhibits Cancer
Garlic helps to prevent cancer, especially of the digestive system, while also prevents certain tumors from growing larger and reducing the size of certain tumors. The presence of allyl sulfur in garlic can slow down the progress of cancerous cell growth. Daily intake of garlic is important for those who have a family history of cancer to lower their risk of many types of cancer.
5. Prevents Hypertension
Studies have shown that garlic also reduces high blood pressure. Garlic acts as a vasodilator which helps to widen the blood vessels, making blood flow smoother. Also garlic plays a huge role in preventing the formation of blood clots. This helps to lower blood pressure. People with high blood pressure must take garlic capsules daily for up to five months to lower blood pressure level. It is essential to consult a health expert before taking garlic supplements.
6. Combat Allergies
Garlic has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that help the body fight different types of allergies. It also has been shown to reduce airway inflammation due to allergies (allergic rhinitis). It is highly recommended that people with allergies take a daily garlic supplement during the allergy season. Raw garlic juice is a good option for rapid relief from itching due to rashes, bug bites or any other kind of allergy.