garlic health benefitsFor as long as I can remember I’ve been told that garlic is great to take as part of a regime when you come down with a cold or flu.  But that is perhaps the smallest of this aromatic spice’s health benefits.

Garlic is one of the best kept medicinal treasures of the ages.  It’s been used as an antibiotic to treat bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections for the last 7,000 years.

I’m not suggesting you use garlic as a specific treatment for anything, but I do think you will want to know the many potential benefits of adding more garlic into your diet. Eating garlic regularly is not only good for us; it has been linked to reducing or even helping to prevent heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and infections. Even the National Cancer Institute recognizes garlic as one of several vegetables with potential anticancer properties.

garlic
Fresh garlic cloves on a wooden surface. Click image to license it as a stock photo, right click to pin to Pinterest.

The NIH National Cancer Institute states, “Several population studies show an association between increased intake of garlic and reduced risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas, and breast.” It also states that “protective effects from garlic may arise from its antibacterial properties or from its ability to block the formation of cancer-causing substances, halt the activation of cancer-causing substances, enhance DNA repair, reduce cell proliferation, or induce cell death.”

The sulphur-containing compound, Allicin, found in fresh, crushed or chewed garlic has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Every 100 grams of garlic will serve you with close to 150 calories, 33 grams of carbs, 6.36 grams of protein. Garlic is also rich in Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc.

 

The high sulphur content in garlic gives it antibiotic properties.  It helps keep the digestive system clean by flushing out toxins. It also builds the immunity against common cold and prevents heart ailments by clearing up blocked arteries. Though the medicinal benefits of garlic can be obtained whether eating it cooked in foods or raw, it is said to have higher health benefits when consumed raw.

 

Consuming garlic on a daily basis (in food or raw) helps to lower cholesterol levels because of the anti-oxidant properties of Allicin. It is also helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

So there you have it.  There are a lot of good reasons besides the taste to add more garlic into your diet.