Is garlic a superfood?

Garlic — sometimes referred to as the stinking rose — is used by many cuisines around the world to add flavor to food. This popular herb has also developed quite a reputation for itself as a scent that repels vampires and first dates, but did you know there are actually many health benefits to garlic?

Part of the allium family, which includes onions and leeks, garlic has been used in medicine for thousands of years. Ancient medical texts from Egypt, Rome, China and India all recorded medical applications for this herb. Even Hippocrates, the revered Greek physician, prescribed garlic to his patients for a number of health conditions.

Today, modern science has proven garlic to have many health benefits — discover garlic’s top 17 superpowers as a superfood.

Garlic health benefits

 

Garlic’s top health benefits  

  1. Prevents the common cold

Using garlic as an immune-boosting supplement can help prevent catching a cold. A two-week study found that those taking garlic supplements daily were 63% less likely to catch a cold. In addition to receiving immune benefits, when they did get sick, those taking garlic were more likely to recover quickly than those taking the placebo.

  1. Lowers the risk of heart disease

Having high cholesterol — particularly LDL — increases the risk of heart disease. Garlic has the ability to lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) while not affecting HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Many doctors even suggest regularly consuming garlic to keep heart health in check.

  1. Purifies blood

Blood purification is very important for the healthy functioning of the body. If the level of toxins increases in the body, your organs gradually begin to experience damage. Impure blood can lead to everything from headaches and fatigue to acne and allergies. Raw garlic can help purify blood and flush out harmful toxins in your system.

  1. Prevents tooth decay

Thanks to its antibacterial properties, garlic can help fight dental plaque, which causes tooth decay if left untreated. In addition, garlic is an effective remedy for a variety of oral infections, including sores, periodontitis, oral thrush and more.

  1. Reduces blood pressure

If you have high blood pressure, you’re more at risk for heart attack and stroke. Taking a garlic supplement can help lower blood pressure, without any negative side effects. Garlic contains a powerful compound called allicin, and four cloves of garlic contain enough allicin to lower blood pressure and reduce hypertension.

  1. Improves digestion

Consuming raw garlic daily can help eliminate digestive problems. Garlic boosts the digestive functions of your intestines and protects them from irritation, swelling, inflammation and other digestive-related disorders.

  1. Prevents cancer

According to various studies, garlic can help prevent colon, prostate and esophageal cancer. Garlic has been shown to eliminate the carcinogenic compounds that are responsible for cancer growth. Further, garlic is also shown to eliminate tumor and cyst development in the breasts.

  1. Controls asthma

Garlic is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties that make it a miracle worker against asthma symptoms. Various studies suggest that garlic is not only effective in reducing symptoms, but also in curing them over time.  

  1. Improves skin’s appearance

Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, garlic can help fight many inflammatory-related skin conditions like psoriasis and acne.  

  1. Treats athlete’s foot

Thanks to its anti-fungal properties, garlic can relieve itchy athlete’s foot. To achieve the best results, soak your feet in a basin filled with warm water and crushed garlic.

  1. Improves heart health

Garlic works on the smooth muscles of the arteries and causes them to relax and dilate, thereby lowering blood pressure. It also works as a blood thinner, preventing blood clots in patients at risk.

  1. Treats wounds

Due to its anti-microbial and antibiotic properties, garlic has been used historically by many cultures to heal wounds. The herb can help stop bleeding, reduce pain and promote healing. In addition, it can boost the body’s natural defense against infection.

  1. Enhances bone health

Garlic may help reduce bone loss and prevent osteoarthritis by increasing estrogen in females.

  1. Increases libido

The allicin in garlic can help pump up libido in both men and women. Additionally, it can help increase blood flow to the sexual organs.

  1. Prevents hair loss

Garlic has a high content of minerals like calcium, zinc and sulfur, which are essential for hair growth. Additionally, its antimicrobial properties can help kill germs and bacteria that cause damage to the scalp and inhibit further hair growth.

  1. Prevents dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

The antioxidants in garlic help the body fight against free radicals and oxidative damage, reducing the risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Encourages weight loss

Garlic is a thermogenic substance, meaning it creates heat in the body. When heat is produced, it takes energy for your body to cool back off, which leads to weight loss. Regularly adding garlic to your diet (especially raw) can help speed up your metabolism and help you lose an extra few pounds.

Health benefits of garlic and garlic supplements

 

How to include garlic in your diet

  • Eat raw garlic

Try including half a clove of raw garlic in your daily diet. This can easily be done by mincing garlic in a salad, spreading it on top of bread or sprinkling it on pasta with basil and fresh tomatoes. If you’re brave, you can also swallow the garlic raw with a glass of lukewarm water in the morning.  

  • Cook with garlic

Cooking with garlic is one of the most delicious ways to integrate it in your daily diet. In each dish, you can include one or two cloves of minced or chopped garlic. For maximum flavor, garlic can easily be simmered in a soup, mashed in potatoes or sprinkled in a vegetable dish.

  • Drink garlic tea

Drinking garlic tea can help boost your immune system and provide immediate relief from the common cold. To brew garlic tea, add a few cloves to hot and water and let it simmer. Before sipping, remember to strain the tea. To improve the flavour, stir in a bit of ginger or honey.

  • Consume garlic supplements

One of the easiest ways to enhance your garlic consumption is through a supplement.

Ready to add garlic capsules to your diet? Take our 5 min consultation quiz to discover your personalized mix of vitamins and we’ll deliver them straight to your door.

Sources

Natalie Butler, L. (2019). Garlic: Proven benefits. [online] Medical News Today. 

Organic Facts. (2019). 25 Interesting Benefits of Raw Garlic | Organic Facts. [online].

Reader's Digest. (2019). 13 Surprising Garlic Benefits That Will Improve Your Life. [online].

Lybrate. (2019). Benefits of Garlic And Its Side Effects | Lybrate. [online]

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