You already know that garlic is delicious. It’s an essential flavor component in many global cuisines and a must-have staple in any kitchen.
What you may not know is that garlic is also a nutritional powerhouse and a natural remedy with many applications. Today, we're going to focus on Seven amazing health benefits you can get by consuming garlic.
#1: It Lessens the Intensity of Cold Viruses
People talk about finding a cure for the common cold, and it turns out that garlic may be the closest thing we have to one.
One study gave 146 subjects either a daily dose of allicin, a component found in garlic, or a placebo. The subjects were asked to record any illnesses, as well as to note the duration and severity of symptoms. The subjects who took allicin got sick less frequently, and when they did, their illnesses didn’t last as long as those of the control group.
Another study found that people who didn’t take a garlic supplement had colds that lasted 61% longer than in the study group.
#2: It Reduces Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a risk factor for heart disease. Adding a garlic supplement to your daily routine may help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk.
A study from 2005 found that patients who took a garlic supplement experienced a moderate reduction in blood pressure compared to the control group. Garlic also appeared to protect the cardiovascular system from oxidative damage.
Another study tested various levels of garlic supplementation and found that each reduced blood pressure to some degree. However, the biggest reduction was in the group that took 1500 milligrams of allicin per day, the equivalent of four or five cloves of garlic.
#3: It May Reduce LDL Cholesterol
LDL is the so-called bad cholesterol. A too-high level of LDL is a risk factor for both heart attacks and strokes. There’s evidence to suggest that taking a garlic supplement may reduce LDL levels.
One study found an average reduction of 12% in LDL levels in patients who took a garlic supplement. It also found a modest reduction in triglycerides.
Another study looked at the effects of garlic supplementation on LDL, HDL, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It found a reduction in both LDL and total cholesterol, a slight elevation of HDL, and no appreciable effect on triglyceride levels.
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#4: It Protects against Dementia
Garlic has powerful antioxidant properties that protect the brain. In fact, it may be a treatment that can prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
One study looked at elderly patients who were given a garlic supplement. After treatment, they had an increase in antioxidant compounds and a decrease in oxidative damage in their brains.
Another study found that garlic supplementation combatted many of the diseases associated with aging and was beneficial in terms of protecting the brain from damage associated with dementia.
#5: It Can Detoxify Your Body
The air we breathe and the water we drink is full of toxins, some of which can be very harmful to our health. Finding ways to combat those toxins is essential.
One study looked at a group of people who worked at a plant that made car batteries, which exposed them to lead. It found that garlic supplementation was just as effective at detoxifying their bodies as taking a commonly-prescribed drug, d-penicillamine, and had fewer side effects.
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#6: It May Prevent Bone Loss
Bone loss is a concern as we age. Taking a garlic supplement may help maintain bone density and protect against the dangers of bone loss.
A study of rats with osteoporosis found that garlic supplementation helped prevent bone loss. No human studies have been done yet, but the early results are promising. Another rat study found that garlic supplementation also helped with menopause-related bone loss due to estrogen deficiency.
#7: Garlic Provides Essential Nutrients
Finally, you should know that garlic is a nutritional superfood. It provides hefty doses of many essential nutrients, including:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
Many of us don’t get the nutrients we need, and adding garlic to your diet can help you eat a more balanced, nutritious diet.
Garlic has a host of health benefits and adding it to your diet – whether you eat it as part of a meal or take a supplement – can protect your body and keep you healthy.
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