Garlic belongs to the genus Allium and is closely related to onion, scallions, leeks, and shallots. It has been used by humans for thousands of years as flavouring in cooking and as medicine.
According to studies, the best way to consume garlic is by eating it raw on an empty stomach as fresh garlic contains Allicin which gets diluted during the process of cooking. However, if you can’t eat garlic raw due to its strong taste, you can add it to your meals, prepare garlic tea supplement or consume it in capsules.
Below are some of the health benefits of garlic.
1. Helps Lower Blood Pressure: Garlic stimulates the synthesis of nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels, and inhibits Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) activity. ACE inhibitors help relax blood vessels. This could potentially support healthy blood flow and pressure.
2. Helps Prevent Heart Disease: Studies have shown that garlic can be used to keep blood pressure down. This can make a significant difference in preventing heart disease.
3. Provides Better Immunity: Garlic is a good source of vitamin C known for its ability to boost the immune system. Garlic also contains vitamin B6, manganese and selenium, which give the immune system a boost. The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties also help to keep us free from illness, making garlic a great supplement for supporting good health.
4. Helps Lower Cholesterol: Regular intake of garlic may help decrease the production of cholesterol by the liver, hence lowering both total cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol levels, which are two risk factors for heart disease.
5. Helps Relieve Toothache: Garlic has analgesic properties that will help soothe the pain associated with toothache. It also has antibacterial properties that will help keep tooth decay under control.
6. Helps Digestion: Garlic helps stimulate the production of gastric juices to ensure that our food is processed effectively. It can also stimulate organs such as the liver to help ensure that the body is effectively cleaned of toxins. But note that garlic must be taken in moderation.
7. Reduces Fatigue: Studies have shown that garlic can reduce stress and enhance performance.
8. Slows Down Cancer: Garlic contains a compound known as allyl sulphur, which has been shown to slow down the growth of cancerous cells. It can also be used to help reduce the risk of getting cancer in the first place. Raw or cooked garlic is more effective than garlic supplements.
9. Relieves Arthritis Pain: Garlic contains anti-inflammatory properties which help reduces the pain caused by Arthritis.
10. Fights Fungal Infections: Infections such as athlete’s foot, jock itch, oral thrush and ringworm can be reduced with the help of garlic. Garlic oil or gel should be used as a topical application for the skin, while garlic paste is suitable for oral infections. Including fresh garlic in your diet can help to give added protection against picking up fungal infections.
Overall, garlic can help us to remain as healthy as possible in a number of ways. These can benefit you not only in the short term but also in the long term.
Include garlic in your diet where possible and you are on your way to a long and happy life.