The health benefits of garlic have been known by common folk for thousands of years, but more recently, these benefits have been backed up by a large amount of scientific research. Below are some of the most important reasons to try and eat more of this time-tested food.
Rich in Nutrients
Among other things garlic contains a variety of valuable nutrients like germanium, zinc, B2, B6, C, vitamin A, manganese, B1, phosphorus, copper, selenium, potassium, calcium, folate, choline, sulfur, quercetin and antioxidants.
Lowers LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Recent research has shown that garlic is one of the best foods for controlling your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It works hard to lower the levels that increase your risks of coronary artery disease when in excess.
Reduces Heart Risks
Garlic is absolutely great for your heart. The compounds in this onion-like food dissolves blood clots, lowers blood pressure, stimulates nitric oxide in the walls of the blood vessel, decreases platelet stickiness and thus reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. Not many foods can do this as effectively as garlic. It may also be used in place of aspirin to thin the blood when needed. However, do be careful if you are on any blood thinning medication or have a blood disorder.
Control Blood Sugar
A little known health benefit of garlic is that it controls blood sugar levels. This is especially important if you are diabetic. Garlic helps control blood sugar levels because it is high in the compound allicin, which helps cells better utilize insulin and better metabolize the carbohydrates and fats stored in your body.
Prevents Common Cold and Flu
If you have the sniffles, then it might be smart to add a little garlic to your daily diet. Many scientists and health experts expound on the fact that garlic is one of the best natural home remedies for the common cold and flu because of its anti-microbial properties.
Garlic boosts the immune system and helps fight off common illnesses by stimulating lymphocytes, macrophages, interleukin-1 and supporting natural killer cells. It also speeds up the process of healing wounds. Making garlic a regular part of your diet is an easy way to prevent sickness.
Antifungal and Antibacterial Properties
This humble white little bulb is also a powerful antifungal and antibacterial and is often prescribed by natural health physicians in the fight against yeast or bacterial overgrowth and can also assist with getting rid of intestinal parasites.
One of the most impressive health benefits of garlic is its ability to protect against cancer. A variety of studies have found that the regular consumption of garlic significantly decreases the risk of several cancers including stomach, colorectal and prostate.
Detox Heavy Metals
Garlic is a rich source of sulfur, which attaches to heavy metals like a magnet. Sulfur will also increase your glutathione levels, also very critical for detoxification.
Garlic has also been helpful in alleviating ear infections, herpes and inflammation, assisting in weight loss, increasing bile production which may help with fatty liver, improving detoxification and metabolism of iron.
If you have SIBO and have problems with fructans, then you should take note that garlic does have fructans. However, since such a small amount is usually eaten, it’s not the same as eating a whole dish of a high fructan meal. You may be able to get away with a little garlic anyhow, but do monitor your response and adjust accordingly.
Most experts agree that it is raw garlic that is most effective and chopping or crushing releases its health enhancing ingredients. Make this great-tasting food a regular part of your diet and reap the many benefits. It’s easy to prepare and compliments many dishes.