Nothing beats the smell of garlic roasting in the oven or sauteeing in a pan on the stove. It’s traditionally used in many Asian dishes but has taken hold in American cuisine as well. Not only does garlic taste delicious, but it can have some surprising health benefits.
Vitamins in Garlic
Though just one clove of Minced Garlic is small, it has a many vitamins and nutrients. It usually contains 2.81 mg of vitamin C, 1.28 mcg of selenium, 0.15 mg of manganese, and 0.15 mg of iron. One or two cloves of garlic a day is enough, as any more than this could cause an upset stomach and bad breath.
Lower Blood Pressure
Garlic is considered an anti-inflammatory, and this allows blood to move through the body more freely. One study shows that patients who took garlic supplements of 600-1,500 mg of garlic daily lowered their blood pressure by as much as 10%.
Lower Cholesterol and Heart Disease
Eating garlic regularly or taking supplements can lower cholesterol. The garlic must be taken every day, as the improvement is mostly seen after five months, when the vitamins and minerals have built up in the body.
Because it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, garlic reduces the chances of heart disease. It relaxes hardened blood vessels and keeps platelets from gathering together. Garlic makes nitrous oxide, which keeps the blood vessels relaxed. It can also reduces blood clots as it keeps platelets from sticking together.
Garlic contains allicin and alliinase, which can help improve the immune system. It causes immune cells like macrophages and lymphocytes to activate. Because garlic has microbial and antibiotic properties, it may also help to prevent colds and the flu.
Garlic also contains phytochemicals, which help prevent damage to cells. Foods that contain phytochemicals may reduce the risk of chronic illness. There is some evidence that eating garlic can prevent stomach and colorectal cancers. In addition, garlic contains allyl sulfur. This can prevent or slow down tumors from growing. When cells divide, it can cause stress to the body. Allyl sulfur causes the body to notice these stressors. Therefore, allyl sulfur prevents cancer cells from growing rapidly.
Improve Physical Ability
Even ancient Greeks ate garlic before participating in a sport to improve their performance. Garlic releases nitrous oxide, which relaxes the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. While running, nitrous oxide is often released to provide more oxygen to the muscles and improve performance. Some studies are showing that people with heart disease who take garlic supplements for six weeks improved their peak heart rate by 12%. They were able to exercise longer without feeling as tired. For someone who likes to exercise, and likes garlic, eating it regularly can have some great benefits.
Get Rid of Parasites
Although it should not replace medical treatment, eating raw garlic can kill parasites in the intestines. Some common parasitic infections in the bowels, such as roundworms, and pinworms, can be eliminated by eating garlic regularly.
Throughout history, garlic has been used to make food taste better, and also for medicinal purposes. Today, it continues to be used to flavor food and as a tool for preventing and curing a variety of diseases and illnesses. Garlic can be minced and added to many recipes, making them both delicious and healthy.
Garlic can also be beneficial for digestion. It contains prebiotics which are essential for maintaining gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome. Good gut bacteria aids in proper digestion and nutrient absorption from food as well as helping prevent digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, etc.
Additionally, prebiotics found in garlic have been studied for their ability to reduce inflammation in inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.