Chefs and foodies everywhere where would you be without the humble garlic clove, while we may not love the smell we seem to agree that garlic is a tasty addition to just about any dish.
As it turns out garlic might be useful for more than just spicing up some pasta we’re keeping vampires away.
Garlic also contains a vast number of health benefits as well Hippocrates the ancient Greek physician often credited as the father of modern medicine.
Would even prescribe garlic as treatment for some of his patients, so has this smelly but oh so delicious member of the onion family benefit our health.
Here is a list of 11 proven reasons to make garlic a regular part of your diet!
1. Garlic has medicinal properties.
Believe it or not garlic wasn’t always the staple cooking ingredient we think of it as today.
In more ancient history people used garlic to serve a different purpose, as medicine, the use of garlic as a medicinal component has been documented well throughout history.
With evidence of it being used in major civilizations such as ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, Babylonia and China.
Nowadays we know that many of the health benefits related to garlic come from the sulfur compounds found within garlic cloves, such as a listen and dial el disulfide.
However these components are only formed and released when a clove of garlic is chopped crushed or chewed and in some cases these compounds are only present briefly after being formed, better start chopping fast.
2. High in nutrients low in calories.
In addition to containing several nutritious vitamins and minerals, garlic is very low in calories, making it a great way to get the best nutritional bang for your buck.
A 1 ounce serving of garlic contains a substantial amount of several important nutrients such as manganese, vitamin C, vitamin b6, selenium and fiber.
As well as lesser but still decent amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin b1.
A serving of garlic also contains 9 grams of carbs and 1.8 grams of protein all for the low, low price of 42 calories.
3. Garlic fights off sickness.
Feeling under the weather, turns out garlic and help you with that too it’s been proven that garlic supplements can be used to give your immune system a much-needed boost when you’re feeling down with the sickness.
In fact one 12-week study found that taking a daily garlic supplement, might even be able to fight off the effects of the common cold.
While the research into this is currently inconclusive adding some extra garlic to your diet when you’re feeling sick can’t hurt right.
4. Garlic can help with blood pressure.
In addition to helping fight off a bad cold or flu, garlic may also be able to prevent various forms of heart disease as well.
Studies have shown that garlic supplements, can have a significant impact on helping to reduce blood pressure.
Which is one of the most critical factors when it comes to cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes.
5. Garlic improves your cholesterol.
Another way garlic might be able to help prevent heart disease is by lowering your total levels of LDL cholesterol also known as bad cholesterol.
A regular helping of garlic supplements can seemingly reduce high cholesterol from anywhere between 10 and 15 percent according to some studies.
By comparison it would appear that HDL or good cholesterol is for the most part unaffected by garlic.
6.Garlic contains antioxidants.
One of the biggest contributors to the aging process comes in the form of free radicals, which can result in oxidative damage to your body cells over time.
Fortunately garlic happens to be an excellent source of antioxidants, which can help protect your cells against the oxidative damage.
High doses of garlic supplements have been found to increase the number of antioxidant enzymes in your body.
Which can not only prevent damage from free radicals but also potentially stave off the effects of common brain related diseases associated with age, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
7. Garlic might help you live longer.
If all of these other benefits weren’t enough, a healthy amount of garlic in your diet might also help increase your lifespan.
As we said before garlic helps lower your blood pressure and your cholesterol, which can stave off the effects of heart disease.
It also strengthens the human body’s immune system fighting off infectious diseases that can be a common cause of death in elderly people or people with dysfunctional immune systems.
8. Garlic can make you athletic.
Garlic might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you picture an ideal workout food, but as it turns out this plant might be a welcome addition to your lifestyle.
In ancient cultures garlic was used to reduce fatigue and enhance people’s capacity to work and was even used by the earliest Olympic athletes of ancient Greece.
While modern studies with rodents seem to indicate that garlic is indeed useful when it comes to increasing athletic performance.
Relatively few tests have been performed using humans, so unfortunately the jury’s still out on this one.
9. Garlic can help you detox.
In high enough doses, garlic may be able to protect your organs from suffering damage due to heavy metal toxicity.
In one four-week study employees at a plant that manufactures car batteries were given garlic to help counteract the dangerous exposure to lead that they experienced in their jobs.
According to the study the addition of garlic was able to reduce the levels of lead in the employee’s system by nearly 20%.
10. Garlic may strengthen your bones.
While there have been no human studies that have been conducted to measure garlic’s effects on bone loss.
Studies using rodent subjects have indicated that garlic may be able to minimize bone loss and female rodents by increasing the estrogen in their systems.
In another study women experiencing menopause took a dose of dry garlic every day, which was found to help counteract estrogen deficiencies and might even have a positive effect on bone health on women.
It is also believed that garlic along with onions can potentially have a positive effect on osteoarthritis.
11. Garlic is delicious.
Ok you probably knew this already but it bears repeating, garlic just tasted great plain and simple not only that, but it’s easy to include in a variety of diets due to the sheer versatility of the garlic bulb.
Just make sure you brush your teeth frequently and stock up on breath mints and sugar-free gum.
Did you find this article useful or informative? what are some of your favorite garlic recipes? make sure you let us know?