Benefits of Garlic
Health Benefits of Garlic for the Body
By: Femi Doyle-Marshall
Garlic is part of the onion family and is often used in cooking due to its pungent taste and smell. It also has a whole host of medicinal properties and has a long history of being used for this purpose as far back as Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt and the Romans.
The main component of garlic is allicin, which is responsible for the strong smell and the majority of the health benefits. Some of these include stronger immunity, lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol and improving bone health.
Here are some of the things that garlic can do for your health!
Eating garlic on a regular basis has been shown to strengthen the immune system, especially when it comes to the common cold and even flu.
Studies have indicated that garlic has the power to stop you from catching as many cold and flu viruses in the first place and to make them less intense if you are affected.
One study saw two groups of participants take either garlic supplements (which specifically contained allicin, the main component of garlic) or a placebo for 12 weeks from November to February. The group taking garlic supplements had fewer colds than the placebo group and could shake off their illnesses up to 70% quicker in comparison .
Another study also confirmed that garlic can increase recovery time from colds and flu by as much as 61% .
Reducing Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease but studies have suggested that a daily dose of garlic could work wonders for keeping blood pressure in check and help to improve heart health.
Even for people who already have high blood pressure, garlic can help to reduce it to a healthier level.
One study suggested that a relatively high dose of aged garlic extract could be as effective as medication in lowering blood pressure .
Another study backed this up, and found that reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure for patients with stage 1 hypertension were in line with Atenolol medication .
It’s worth noting that In both of these studies, the doses of garlic extract were on the high side and equivalent to around 4 garlic cloves.
Garlic can improve cardiovascular health in another way too as studies have shown that it can also reduce LDL cholesterol levels .
For people who already have high cholesterol levels, taking garlic supplements can lower both total and LDL cholesterol by 12% .
On a slightly different note, aged garlic extract has been shown to reduce the buildup of arterial plaques – another big risk factor for heart disease. Research on patients with metabolic syndrome who were aged between 40 and 75 found that those taking the aged garlic supplements during the year long study were able to reduce plaques by as much as 80% compared to the placebo group .
Improving Bone Health
There is growing evidence that garlic can be important for protecting bone health, especially for women.
Studies on rodents have also suggested that garlic can increase estrogen levels, which could be beneficial for reducing bone loss in women .
Garlic has been linked with an ability to relieve osteoarthritis symptoms and this is also true of other members of the onion family . For anyone that suffers with this condition, adding more garlic to your diet could help as part of a treatment plan.
And that’s it for today. Be sure to contact us if you have any questions. We are here to help make what you need happen! Feel free to reach out if you have any concerns at all.
photo credit: almostsummersky the haul via photopin (license)