20 healthy reasons to eat garlic more oftenFOOD See all FOOD posts
Garlic is popular in every cuisine and is used in many dishes around the world. This aromatic ingredient with pungent, spicy flavor gives not only good taste to our dishes, but is also very good for our health.
Garlic is composed of large number of powerful sulfur-containing compounds, which contribute to its characteristic smell and taste. Allicin – the compound, responsible for the “hot” taste of raw garlic is extremely important because of its excellent anti-bacterial, antivirus, antimicrobial and anti-oxidant properties. Garlic is also a reliable source of selenium and phytochemicals, such as alliin and ajoene, which have a positive effect on the blood, digestive and immune systems of the body, helping in decreasing of the blood pressure and blood purification. An interesting fact is also, that during both World War I and II, soldiers were given garlic to prevent gangrene.
Here is a list of 20 properties of garlic, beneficial for your health.
1. An antibacterial and antivirus agent
Great honor and respect garlic earned for its ability to fight bacteria and viruses. Researchers believe that the allicin, which can be found only in fresh garlic plays a role in preventing food poisoning, killing E. coli, staphylococcus aureus, clostridium perfringens and salmonella.
2. For treatment of skin infections
Studies have found garlic effective against a number of fungal infections, including those caused by Candida and other common pathogens. The chemical compound ajoene, found in garlic can help in the treatment of fungal infections of the skin, such as, e.g. ringworm and “athlete’s foot”.
A study from 2000, published in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology compared the application of mild garlic solutions with application of the popular drug Lamisil in 50 people with diagnoses of “athlete’s foot”. Two months later, the scientists found that a garlic solution that contained about 1 percent ajoene had a 100 percent cure rate, compared with a 94 percent cure rate for 1 percent Lamisil.
3. Blood Thinner
The ajoene, that was already mentioned, has also properties of an anticoagulant, preventing the formation of blood clots in the body, heart attacks and strokes. On the other hand, garlic can also increase the risk of bleeding after surgery.
4. For better mood
Garlic is an excellent source of Vitamin B6 (100 g. contain 60% of the reccomended daily value), which contributes for a healthy immune system and effective growth of new cells. Vitamin B6 may also help you cope with mood swings, as it is needed for the production of hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which affect the mood. It is also important for proper brain development and function and helps the body to produce melatonin – important in helping regulate your internal clock.
5. Protection of the heart and blood vessels
Garlic protects our heart from cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and atherosclerosis. This effect is achieved thanks to the sulfur-containing compounds, that expand the blood vessels and ajoene, which protects us from the occurrence of blood clots.
6. Reducing cholesterol levels
Garlic has the ability to moderately lower the contents of blood triglyceride, thus the total cholesterol, which is reducing the formation of arterial plaque.
A study from The Pennsylvania State University examined the cholesterol-lowering effect of aged garlic extract. The conclusion was, that the supplementation was effective in lowering plasma concentration of total cholesterol by 7% and LDL cholesterol by 10% in hypercholesterolemic men, compared with subjects consuming a placebo.
7. Lowers the blood pressure
Garlic is thought to lower high blood pressure because of the polysulfides, contained in it. They stimulate production of the chemicals nitric oxide and hydrogen sulphide, which helps relax the blood vessels.
8. Fights allergies
Garlic is able to significant decrease the allergic airway inflammation, known as allergic rhinitis. Fresh juice from aged garlic can also quickly stop the itching from rash or insect bites.
9. A medicine for the respiratory tract
Garlic can reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections. It is good for the treatment of lung diseases, such as asthma and difficult breathing and its expectorant properties are invaluable in helping with treatment of bronchitis.
10. Helps with diabetes
The useful substances contained in garlic, moderately increase the level of insulin, regulate the blood sugar in the body and improve glucose tolerance. According to researchers, garlic helps in the treatment of diabetes. A recent study found, that people who took a garlic supplement with their diabetes medications had better control over blood sugar levels. Their cholesterol and triglyceride levels also improved.
11. A natural treatment for warts and corns
It is believed, that the application of wipes impregnated with garlic oil, or fresh garlic juice on the affected areas help treating common warts, plantar warts, and corns.
12. Cancer Prevention
Garlic has the ability to block the formation of cancer-causing substances and enhance DNA repair. Daily consumption of garlic reduces the risk of most cancers. This is achieved due to the contained in the garlic allyl polysulfides.
13. Improvement of iron metabolism
Diallyl polysulfides, contained in the garlic are able to increase the production of certain proteins, that connect with iron, therefore improving the iron metabolism.
14. Boosting your libido
It turns out, that garlic is an aphrodisiac with centuries of history. This feature was assigned to the garlic, because of its property to improve the blood circulation.
15. Against toothache
Just put a little minced garlic directly on the tooth to relieve the toothache – all thanks to its antibacterial and analgesic properties. But keep in mind that it can irritate the gums.
16. Promotes weight loss
According to a recent Korean research, garlic can help regulate the formation of fat cells in our body. This is achieved by a certain anti-inflammatory properties of the compounds contained in the garlic.
17. Reduces arthritis pain
It turns out that garlic can reduce pain and other symptoms in people with rheumatoid arthritis. For this it is useful to mix the garlic with hot aloe gel – this mixture soothes and relieves the pain in inflamed, due to rheumatism joints.
18. Helps unborn to gain weight
Scientists have found that eating garlic helps the baby in womb to gain weight, so the next time you get ready for pregnancy don’t forget about the garlic.
19. Benefits the thyroid
Garlic is a rich source of iodine, which makes it a very effective natural treatment for thyroid problems. Thus, people with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions should consider eating more garlic.
20. Against female genital tract infections
Fungal and bacterial infections of the female genital tract can be successfully treated using garlic, because of its high content of allicin. Useful in such cases can be capsules with garlic oil or powder.