Health Benefits of Garlic (12 Proven benefits)

Read on to know more about Health benefits of garlic, Uses of garlic, How to use garlic, Garlic side effects and lot more…

About the herb and health benefits of garlic

Garlic bulb and Garlic cloves
Garlic Bulb and Garlic cloves

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a herb popular for its strong smell, delicious flavor, and its medicinal properties.

It is found all over the world. The edible bit is called a garlic bulb and it has different segments called a clove. Each clove has its protective skin.

It belongs to the onion genus Allium, and it is closely related to the Onion, Rakkyo, Chive, Leek, and Shallot. 

It is high in Allicin, a sulfur compound, which is attributed to most of its health benefits.

This compound is formed when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed, or chewed.

This is also the reason for its distinct garlic smell.

Uses of garlic

Garlic is a natural nutritional health supplement. 

Image of a Garlic plant
Garlic Plant

Garlic is incredibly nutritious but has very few calories. 

It is a rich source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Selenium, and Manganese. 

It also contains various other nutrients like Vitamin B1, Calcium, Copper, Potassium, and Phosphorus besides possessing traces of Iron, Choline, Protein, Riboflavin, etc.

To read more about the nutritional facts about raw Garlic click here

But most of the health benefits of garlic are attributed to its ability to produce the sulfur compound Allicin when it is chopped, crushed, or chewed. 

Which, in turn, results in the formation of other active compounds that have been found useful as antiplatelet, antibiotic, and antihyperlipidemic

Allicin also stimulates metabolism and helps in the elimination of toxic food remnants from the body.

It is an all-natural nutritional health supplement, rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Selenium,  Manganese, Vitamin B1, Calcium, Potassium, and Phosphorus besides possessing traces of Iron, Choline, Protein, Riboflavin, etc.

Home remedy for the common cold

Home remedy for the common cold - Image of a lady with cold.

If you add garlic to your daily diet it will prevent and reduce the severity of flu and the common cold.

This is because garlic contains compounds that help and strengthen the immune system to fight germs.

It contains alliin. This compound turns into allicin when it is crushed or chewed. 

Allicin is an organosulfur compound that gives garlic its distinctive smell and taste. 

These compounds have shown to boost the disease fighting capability of white blood cells when they encounter viruses of common cold and flu.

Garlic contains alliin, which turns into allicin when crushed chewed.

Allicin is an organosulfur compound, which has been shown to boost the disease fighting capability of white blood cells.

Active compounds in garlic can reduce High Blood Pressure

Image of measuring Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension, is one of the most important drivers of Cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke. 

Human studies have shown that regular intake of garlic has a significant impact on reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

In traditional medicine, one of the health benefits of garlic is the reduction of high blood pressure. 

For effective treatment, fairly high dosage is recommended, about four cloves of garlic per day.

Regular garlic intake has shown to have a significant impact on reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Health benefits of garlic in lowering Cholesterol

Garlic lowers Cholesterol - Image of heart beat pulse

Garlic supplementation has shown to improve blood lipid profiles. It reduces total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10% to 15%.

It also appears that garlic lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) but has no significant effect on HDL (good cholesterol) levels.

Garlic supplementation has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol by about 10% to 15% but has no significant effect on HDL cholesterol levels.

Garlic may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia

Garlic may help prevent Alzheimer's disease and Dementia - Two old ladies sitting on a swing

Old age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia are a result of oxidative damage caused by free radicals.  

Garlic strengthens blood’s antioxidant potential.

Which leads to a decrease in the level of an oxidation reaction in the body.

And therefore it protects cell damage and aging.

The combined effect of the garlic in reducing blood pressure, cholesterol along with its antioxidant properties, will help combat common age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Garlic strengthened blood’s antioxidant potential.

This along with its ability to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol helps in combating age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Health benefits of garlic in improving athletic performance

Helps in improving athletic performance - Bicycle race

Garlic is the original performance boosting substance. 

There are various instances in recorded history where it has been used for this purpose. 

It was used by original Olympic athletes in Greece. 

Romans used to give garlic to their soldiers to strengthen them before the battle. 

The Vikings were also known to eat garlic in large quantities before their plundering expeditions. 

Even in ancient Egypt, the slaves building the Cheops pyramid were given a lot of garlic to endure their hard labor.

In modern times garlic has shown to improve physical performance in lab animals and people with heart disease

Other studies have shown that exercise-induced fatigue may also be reduced with garlic.

Garlic is shown to improve physical performance in lab animals and people with heart disease.

It is also shown to reduce exercise-induced fatigue.

Garlic may help you live longer

Garlic may help you live longer - two old people walking

Health benefits of garlic also include a longer life for you. 

Regular intake of garlic supplements reduces cholesterol, blood pressure and helps fight oxidation damages in the body. 

Oxidative damage caused by free radicals is one of the main factors for cell damage and aging.

Along with this garlic also helps fight infectious diseases like the common cold.

These diseases can be life-threatening, especially in the case of elderly or people with compromised immunity.

Garlic helps boost your immunity and helps your body fight oxidative damages caused by free radicals.

It also keeps your blood pressure and cholesterol in check.

Garlic is recommended for long and healthy life.      

Garlic benefits for skin

Garlic benefits for skin - beautiful girl with beautiful skin

Our busy schedules and unhealthy lifestyles have a direct effect on our skin. 

Acne is a very common skin condition that can be cured with garlic supplementation, which helps in removing toxins from our body. 

Garlic’s anti-inflammatory property and the antioxidants it contains make it very effective in removing toxins and therefore curing acne. 

The antioxidants present in garlic prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals and therefore slows aging.   

Garlic benefits for skin, also include improved blood circulation, which will help the blood carry oxygen and nutrients more effectively to working cells throughout the body, including the skin.

Garlic improves blood circulation and prevents oxidative damages to keep our skin looking young and healthy.   

Garlic benefits for women

Garlic benefits for women

Garlic may be an option for women who are concerned about osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.  

Animal studies have shown that regular intake garlic minimizes bone loss in female rodents by increasing estrogen. Click here to read more.

Another study has found that menopausal women, supplemented with dry garlic extract were able to significantly combat estrogen deficiency. Click here to read more.

Garlic benefits for women also include improved blood circulation and the prevention of cellular damage due to oxidation.

This will keep your skin looking young and beautiful.

Garlic supplementation is a good idea for females who are concerned about osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

It is also likely to help women combating menopausal onset estrogen deficiency.

Garlic benefits for men  

Garlic benefits for men

Garlic consumption leads to thinning of blood and hence increased blood circulation.

The increased blood circulation has a positive effect on the sexual ability of men. 

In ancient times, garlic was one of the herbs that were used for its aphrodisiac property.

Garlic is also known to help with prostate health in aging men. 

An animal study has shown that garlic taken for four weeks, reduced the prostate size and inflammatory markers in testosterone-induced rodents model of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Click here to read more about it. 

Garlic benefits for men include improving the production of testosterone. 

The compound allicin in garlic is useful for lowering cortisol levels.

Cortisol is produced in the adrenal gland, which also produces testosterone.

When your body is in stress it produces cortisol, it harms other bodily functions including the production of testosterone. 

Therefore by reducing the amount of cortisol in your system, your body can produce testosterone more effectively.

Garlic is very beneficial to men, it improves blood circulation, improves testosterone production, helps with prostate health.

Garlic may help with Heavy metals detoxification 

Garlic may help with Heavy metals detoxification

The air we breathe in Delhi contains high levels of heavy metals, or neurotoxins, like manganese, nickel, and lead.   

One of the health benefits of garlic is its ability with heavy metals detoxification. 

Sulfur compounds in garlic have shown to protect our organs from heavy metal toxicity. 

A study on the effectiveness of garlic was conducted on employees of a car battery manufacturing company, who were exposed to excessive doses of lead. 

The study found that garlic reduced lead levels in the blood by almost 19%.

It also reduced many physical symptoms of toxicity like headaches and blood pressure. Click here to read more about that study.

Garlic has shown to protect us from heavy metal toxicity. It also helps in reducing the symptoms of toxicity like headaches and blood pressure.  

Benefits of eating raw garlic in empty stomach

Benefits of eating raw garlic in empty stomach

Raw garlic should be eaten first thing in the morning because of its nutritional values.

It contains many nutrients and compounds that play different functions in the body. Like

  • Manganese: It is essential for blood clotting factors, bones, connective tissues, and sex hormones.
    It helps the body in metabolizing carbohydrates and fat, helps absorb calcium and regulate blood sugar.
  • Vitamin C: It is essential for the growth and repair of tissues.
    It helps to form collagen, absorb iron, and maintain healthy bones and teeth.
  • Vitamin B1: Helps in deriving energy from carbohydrates.
    It metabolizes glucose and plays a role in heart, muscle, and nerves health.
  • Vitamin B6: Helps with metabolizing fat, carbohydrates, and proteins.
    It is required for the creation of neurotransmitters and red blood cells. 
  • Selenium: Helps in making antioxidant enzymes and plays an important role in the prevention of cell damage.

The benefit of eating raw garlic in an empty stomach is that all its nutritional benefits are absorbed into the body more effectively first thing in the morning. 

Eating raw garlic first thing in the morning is recommended, because of its high nutritional value.

It is a very good source for many of the essential vitamins and minerals our body requires like Manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Selenium, etc. 

Garlic side effects

Garlic side effects

Like all good things in life, there are also negative aspects of Garlic side effects. 

Everyone is different, therefore the effect of Garlic will also vary from person to person.

First of all, some people are allergic to it and can react adversely to garlic. 

The downside of including garlic in your diet is its strong smell and hence bad breath. 

When eaten raw, it can cause a burning sensation in the mouth, heartburn, vomiting, gas, nausea, body order, and diarrhea. 

You should also be careful if you have any bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medications if so you should consult your doctor before increasing your garlic consumption.

Garlic is known to lower blood sugar.

Taking garlic with diabetes medications may cause your blood sugar to go too low unpredictably.

People suffering from stomach or digestion problems should also be cautious with garlic as it can irritate their gastrointestinal tract. 

Garlic lowers blood pressure, so it should not take with other blood pressure medications.

If you have any pre-existing medical condition, you should consult a medical practitioner before adding garlic to your diet.

Taking Garlic might prolong bleeding during surgery, and also may interfere with the blood pressure of the patient.

So it is advisable to stop taking garlic at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

How to use Garlic?

How to use Garlic

There are numerous ways Garlic has been prepared and administered.

It can be ingested raw, pickled, cooked, or as a commercially prepared supplement like garlic extract, garlic oil, etc.

The best way to have it is raw.

As the active compound allicin only forms when garlic is crushed or chewed raw.

It can be easily included into your daily cooking.

It has a strong taste which adds a punch to otherwise bland recipes, particularly soups and sauces.

The minimum effective dose for medicinal purposes is one clove eaten with meals two or three times a day.

For more detailed information about Garlic click here.

Conclusion

Health benefits of Garlic

To get the most out of the health benefits of garlic, make it a daily part of your diet. 

Garlic is very nutritionally rich, containing many of the essential minerals and vitamins like Manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Selenium, etc.

Uses of garlic include reduction of bad cholesterol, lowering of blood pressure, and usage of its antioxidant properties to prevent cell damage. 

It thins the blood and improves blood circulation.

It also helps combat age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. 

Next Step

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Further reading: 6 reasons to be addicted to healthy weight

Thank you.

Disclaimer:

I am not a medical professional.

This information has been collected from various reliable sources for my own personal interest.

This blog is a record of my study about garlic.

I hope it can be a starting point for someone to start their own study.

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