Garlic is one of the world’s oldest medicines and is an incredibly potent spice that can ward off a variety of illnesses and diseases. It has amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C and B-6 and minerals such as selenium, calcium, and iron. Garlic also contains very strong antibiotic, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, and anti-viral properties.
One raw crushed clove of garlic contains the antibiotic equivalent of 100,000 units of penicillin and has been proven to be more effective than both penicillin and tetracycline in suppressing certain types of disease carrying agents. Garlic contains a compound called allicin which has been shown to help significantly lower cholesterol and blood pressure by inhibiting the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme within the liver cells and blocking platelet clot formation in the blood vessels.
Garlic can help eliminate lead and other heavy metals from the body. It is also a good remedy for removing parasites and worms from the colon.
8 Surprising Health Benefits of Garlic
- Better Blood Pressure
Garlic has anti-inflammatory benefits and helps blood flow more easily through the body. Several studies found that blood pressure was lowered by 10% when the participant took garlic supplements. Keep in mind that the supplement doses are fairly high—600 to 1,500 mg of aged garlic extract. That’s the equivalent of roughly four cloves of garlic a day, so start chopping.
- Lower Cholesterol
Garlic can also reduce cardiovascular disease risk by lowering your cholesterol. A group of study participants that took a garlic supplement saw their cholesterol levels go down over a period of five months. The key here is commitment. Like many natural remedies, it takes a while for the benefits of garlic to kick in, because you have to let the vitamins and minerals build up in your body. But adding garlic to your daily routine is a healthy way to develop a lifelong habit that can benefit your health year after year.
- Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Garlic is a natural at reducing heart disease risk because it lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. It’s also great at reducing your risk of heart disease by relaxing hardened blood vessels and preventing platelet aggregation. How does it work? Garlic increases production of nitric oxide which keeps blood vessels relaxed. It also prevents platelets from binding to proteins, which reduces blood clots. When it comes to heart disease help, garlic’s got you covered.
- Garlic for Colds and Flu
Digested garlic helps boost the immune system and reduces the severity and length of cold and flu symptoms. One study showed that taking a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds participants experienced by 63%. Studies have also reported that the average length of cold symptoms were reduced from five days to a day and a half. If you like garlic, try adding more to your meals when you feel a cold coming on.
- Better Athletic Performance
Ancient cultures used garlic to enhance the performance and reduce the fatigue of people doing physical labor. Eventually, the Olympic athletes in Greece started using garlic to enhance their athletic ability. Now modern athletes (and regular folks too) are using it to reduce exercise-induced fatigue. Some studies have shown people with heart disease who took garlic oil for six weeks improved their peak heart rate by 12% and could exercise longer without feeling as tired. If you like to stay fit and love garlic, add a little more to your daily diet and see if you get an endurance boost.
- Stronger Bones
There is some evidence that garlic can help reduce bone loss by increasing estrogen in females, which can be a big win for your bone health after menopause. Adding a daily dose of garlic could help reduce your risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. You still need to include other healthy foods to make a real impact on bone density—dairy products, green leafy vegetables, fish, and nuts are all good choices. But it’s easy to season your salmon and spinach dinner with garlic for some extra oomph.
- Improved Memory
Damage from free radicals contributes to aging, but garlic contains a powerful antioxidant to help battle that—S-allyl cysteine. This antioxidant shows promise in protecting against brain damage and keeping your brain functioning better as you age. It works by increasing your brain’s blood flow thanks to garlic’s ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. This means a reduced risk of brain disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Super Skin