What Are the Health Benefits of Garlic?
Garlic is a food that has been thought to cure diseases for centuries, and has been thought to cure anything from the common cold to the plague. However, there really are a lot of benefits to including garlic in your diet.
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Garlic has many health benefits (if you’re willing to overlook the garlic breath!) and can help improve your life tremendously if used correctly. Here are some of the many benefits to garlic that can be utilized either by using it fresh, or by taking supplements available in capsule form:
Acne – Most people at some point in their lives suffer from acne to some degree. Companies make a fortune selling facial washes and creams to help. The problem is that there are many reasons for acne including hormones, diet and stress. Although garlic on its own is unlikely to cure acne, it can certainly be used in conjunction with other treatments.
Garlic is thought to work because of its antibiotic and blood cleansing properties. When using garlic in your food, make sure your crush and chop it up. This will help release the active compounds. Another way to take garlic is by placing a few cloves in a bottle of olive oil and then drizzle it over a salad.
Cardiovascular Health and High Cholesterol – If you enjoy eating Mediterranean or Far Eastern food you’ll notice that garlic is used a lot. The good news is that people from areas also have low incidences of cardiovascular disease.
Cholesterol can be a confusing area of health. On one hand it is essential whilst on the other hand it can kill us. This is because there are two types of Cholesterol – HDL and LDL. The latter type is considered bad. Modern medicine has found that garlic contains allicin which scavenges hydroxyl radicals (OH). This is turn is thought to prevent LDLs from being oxidised.
Unfortunately a number of studies that have been carried out have shown mixed results. It only goes to show how much more seriously natural remedies needs to be taken. Of course, we all know that there’s no incentive for drug companies to research natural products due to the lack of financial reward. If you have problems with high cholesterol go ahead and take some garlic. Just make sure it’s part of a balanced diet and you don’t ignore your doctor’s advice.
Antioxidant – Allicin naturally increases antioxidant enzymes atalase and glutathione peroxidase in your blood. It can help against the damaging effects of nicotine and slows the aging process of your liver by inhibiting lipid peroxidation.
Anti-Bacterial – Garlic has 1% of the potency of penicillin and can ward off a number of bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli, Cryptococcal meningitis, Candida albican and Staphylococcus. The problem with most antibiotics is that bacteria develops resistance to them, however this is not the case with garlic.
These benefits were first realized back in the early 19th century when English priests caught infectious fever. The French priests, who ate garlic every day, didn’t.
Blood Clots – Clinical trials, which were published in the Journal of Hypertension, showed that the blood pressure of volunteers was reduced 1 – 5% after taking garlic supplements. This may not sound a lot but this small reduction can reduce the chance of a stroke by 30-40% and heart disease by 20-25%