Garlic is widely used in cooking around the world and is often praised for its flavour and aroma. But did you know that garlic also offers a variety of health benefits? In this article, we’ll explore the science behind garlic and unravel its many potential health benefits.
1. All About Garlic
Garlic, as many of us know, is a flavourful kitchen staple that has been used in food for centuries. But garlic is more than just a culinary delight: it has a wide array of health benefits that many are unaware of.
- Heart Health:
Studies have found that garlic can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce plaque buildup in the arteries and improve cholesterol levels.
- Cancer Prevention:
Garlic can help protect against certain types of cancer, mainly colorectal and stomach cancer. Research also suggests that garlic may be beneficial for preventing or slowing the growth of other types of cancer, such as breast and prostate cancer.
- Immune System Support:
Garlic is a powerful antibiotic that can help boost your immune system. It can help ward off viruses and bacterial infections, as well as reduce inflammation in the body.
Garlic also has other potential health benefits, including aiding in digestion, reducing cold and flu symptoms, and improving skin health. So next time you’re in the kitchen, don’t forget to incorporate this incredible vegetable into your cooking!
2. What Makes Garlic So Good for Our Health?
Garlic is a powerhouse of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that make it a superfood with numerous health benefits. In this section, we have put together the most important health benefits of garlic:
- Stimulates Immunity: A compound called allicin present in garlic is its immunity booster which helps your body create a defense layer against infections.
- Improves Heart Health: Garlic decreases your cholesterol and blood pressure levels which are essential for maintaining healthy heart.
- Cures Skin Ailments: It is known to contain antibiotic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties which can help cure skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, acne, pimples, and rashes.
- Controls Diabetes: Research suggests that garlic might be beneficial for diabetics as it helps regulate their blood sugar levels.
Garlic is also known to aid digestion, reduce anxiety, boost bone health, and help in weight loss. Thus, garlic should be included in your diet to experience its maximum health benefits.
3. History of Garlic Uses
Garlic has been used since antiquity in a variety of ways and for many reasons- from culinary, to medicinal, to religious ceremonies. For centuries, it was revered for its health benefits, and it continues to be a staple part of many traditional medicine practices around the world. Here’s a closer look at how garlic has been used over the centuries:
- Ancient Egypt: The Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical document, has noted the use of garlic for stomach troubles, infection, and tumors. Pharaohs placed a high value on garlic, it was even used to pay workers.
- Greece & Rome: Ancient Greeks & Romans believed garlic helped athletes to run longer & stronger, Greek physicians recommended it for a number of medical conditions, and soldiers ate it as a boost for strength during battle.
- Middle Ages: In Medieval Europe, garlic was used for curing everything from the flu, to plague, to jaundice, and much more. It was also used as an antidote for poison.
- Modern Times: Today, garlic is still praised for its medicinal benefits and is widely used for its flavor in the kitchen. It can be found in many herbal remedies, particularly as a natural antibiotic, and is also taken to prevent colds, reduce cholesterol, and even potentially fight cancer.
4. Proven Health Benefits of Garlic
Garlic has many health benefits, chief among them its ability to boost the immune system. Garlic is rich in antioxidants, which are substances that help remove toxins from the body. Additionally, garlic is a natural antibiotic, meaning it has the ability to fight infection. Eating garlic regularly can also reduce inflammation in the body, which can help with a wide range of conditions.
Garlic is also known to help with digestion. It has been used to help relieve gas and bloating, and can stimulate the production of digestive juices. Eating garlic can also boost the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which is important for good digestion.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
Garlic can also help lower cholesterol levels, which reduces the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that consuming garlic can reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the good cholesterol (HDL). This helps keep the heart healthy and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Garlic has also been shown to be effective in preventing the growth of cancer cells. Studies have found that regular consumption of garlic can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as colon and prostate cancer.
Reducing Blood Pressure
Eating garlic can also help reduce blood pressure. Studies have shown that consuming garlic regularly can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This helps prevent the onset of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.
Good for Skin Health
Garlic can also be beneficial for skin health. It contains powerful antioxidants that help protect the skin from free radical damage. Additionally, garlic can help reduce inflammation of the skin and reduce redness and irritation.
5. Tips For Eating More Garlic
1. Make a garlic dip – Garlic is a great ingredient to turn your favorite dip into something even more nutritious and delicious. All you need is some garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and other herbs and spices. Enjoy the dip as you snack!
2. Add it to salads – Think of a salad as a blank canvas. Garlic adds a whole other dimension to it, such as a hint of flavor and extra crunch. Get creative - finely chop a few cloves and add it into a caesar or other dressing.
3. Spice up your sides – Whether it’s mashed potatoes or mac n’ cheese, adding garlic to your side dish will add a delectable depth of flavor. For instance, sautéing garlic in butter and then adding it to mashed potatoes or risotto can take its taste to the next level.
4. Make garlic-infused olive oil – One of the best ways to reap the health benefits of garlic is to use it in cooking. Make your own garlic-infused olive oil at home to use it as a finishing oil for soups, salads, and roasted vegetables.
5. Try garlic roasted veggies – Roasted vegetables are one of the easiest and most delicious staples for meal prep. Add chopped garlic to broccoli, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, and whatever else you love – the garlic will give your veggies an added flavor punch!
Garlic is an amazing superfood and one of nature’s most powerful natural medicines. With countless studies showing the amazing health benefits of garlic, it clear that adding garlic to your diet is a smart move if you’re looking to improve your overall well-being. So no matter what type of garlic you use, fresh, aged, powdered, or cooked, you can always trust garlic to boost your immunity, encourage heart health, and give your body the nutrition it needs.