While garlic is a common ingredient in many dishes around the world, it is not only great at adding flavor to food. Since the ancient times of Greek when Hippocrates was a physician, garlic has been recommended to people in its different forms for its benefits. This being the case, what are the health benefits of garlic?
The benefits derived from garlic are endless. They range from simple health benefits to complex medicinal benefits. We sample some of these below.
Garlic Health Benefits
Garlic belongs to the onion family. Its main body is referred to as a garlic bulb while the segments that make it are referred to as cloves. When each clove is crushed, chewed or chopped, sulfur compounds are released from the garlic.
One of these is known as allicin and is responsible for the distinct garlic smell. It is also what gives garlic its health benefits. Allicin is absorbed in the body from the digestive system and travels all through exerting its potent effects. As a result, the consumer can derive the following garlic health benefits:
Combat Common Sickness
Consumption of garlic is known to boost the functionality of the immune system and thus help in preventing as well as reducing the severity of common illnesses such as flu, sore throat and common colds. In case you get colds frequently, it is advisable to add it to your diet.
Stabilizing Blood Pressure
Hypertension is associated with other cardiovascular diseases. Various studies show that garlic supplements can go a long way in reducing blood pressure for those suffering hypertension. The amount of allicin required to achieve can be attained by consuming at least four cloves of garlic each day. Used in the right dosages, garlic can be as effective as regular high blood pressure medication.
Cholesterol Levels Reduction
Garlic can help reduce the total cholesterol levels. This it does by reducing bad cholesterol while not affecting triglycerides and the good cholesterol.
Antioxidant Benefits of Garlic
Another one of the health benefits of garlic is in its anti-oxidative nature. Free radicals tend to cause oxidative damage on the cells. These lead to early aging. Garlic contains antioxidants that serve as a protective mechanism against any oxidative damage thus delaying the aging process.
When the benefits of its being an antioxidant, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels are combined, they help in reducing the risk of diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s as well
Thyroid Condition Treatment
This is yet another garlic benefit for men and women. Garlic contains a high level of iodine which acts as an effective treatment for hyperthyroidism. Regular use will help in improving the condition with time.
Blood Sugar Regulation Benefit of Garlic
When garlic is consumed, it enhances the level of insulin found in the blood. This goes a long way in assisting in the control of diabetes. If you would like to use this, talk to your doctor on the same to help settle on the best dosages.
To gain the above mentioned health benefits of garlic, you can consume it in the form of garlic oil, garlic powder, garlic tea or juice. Regular and consistent use is bound to yield great results with time.
Caution: The properties of garlic get absorbed into the blood stream. This is what makes it so effective. However, this has a down side as it means that garlic also leaves your body through the sweat glands. As a result, consumption of garlic is likely to lead to increased body odor.