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Garlic - Health Benefits of Garlic

Updated on July 25, 2013


The 'Stinking Rose'

While not everyone is fond of eating garlic, health benefits of garlic are so numerous and far reaching, that it really should be included in a healthy diet.

Garlic has long been called 'Stinking Rose' because despite its smell, it has so many health benefits.

The smell comes from its rich array of strong sulphur-containing compounds, like allicin and other thiosulphonates, sulphoxides including Alliin, and dithiins like Ajoene . These compounds cause the sometimes unpopular odour, but they are also the source of a lot of the benefits to health found in Garlic.

Garlic also contains manganese, vitamins B6, C and E, and selenium.

Regular consumption of garlic will be of help in so many of the body's functions.

Healthy Goodness

Important Component of Nature's Pharmacy
Important Component of Nature's Pharmacy

Health Benefits of Garlic

Atherosclerosis may be prevented, as garlic helps stimulate nitric oxide production in lining the walls of the blood vessels; helping them to relax. Garlic is also known to control blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and platelets, which will also help to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Garlic is a powerful natural antioxidant; helping to reduce levels of free radicals in the bloodstream. It's selenium content not only helps prevent heart disease, but also protects against cancer and heavy metal toxicity. The vitamin E it contains is helpful in fat-soluble areas, and vitamin C, in water-soluble areas; making garlic a great protection all round.

Just half a clove of garlic or one small clove, consumed on a daily basis, will lower cholesterol notably, and is a natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-viral.

The anti-inflammatory components, alongside the vitamin C; help to protect in severe cases of asthma, and can reduce pain and inflammation in arthritis; both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

The allicin in garlic, whilst being one of its smell-provoking compounds, is a powerful antibacterial and anti-viral agent, that alongside vitamin C, will help destroy certain microbes. This makes it effective against colds and flu, stomach bugs and candida yeast infection, as well as the much worse tuberculosis and botulism.

It is good to eat garlic both raw and cooked, as studies show that this is more beneficial than eating only raw, or only cooked.

Garlic, as well and onions, when eaten regularly as part of your staple diet; can greatly decrease the risk of many forms of cancer, particularly those of the mouth, oesophagus, larynx and pharynx. Also helpful in reducing breast, ovarian, and renal cell cancers, as well as colon and stomach.

Adding garlic to meat when cooking will reduce the production of the carcinogenics that can occur when cooking meat at high temperatures.

Garlic is also helpful in weight watching. The allicin that lowers blood pressure has also been found to prevent weight gain.

When tests were made on animals with high blood pressure or high triglyceride levels; while the allicin helped control these levels, and the animals gained no extra weight (in fact some lost weight) the rest of the animals who were not given allicin in their food, but otherwise ate the same, gained a noticeable amount of weight.

Garlic can be added to soups and stews, and will dissolve almost to nothing during the cooking process, so you're not actually chewing on the garlic, but still getting its goodness.

Just one clove in a pot of stew will release the nutrients, without changing the flavour much at all.

Keep some olive oil or cooking oil in a jar with three or four cloves of garlic soaking in it. This will give you a naturally flavoured oil for cooking.

Raw garlic can be crushed and added to vinaigrette or salad dressings, or even to mayonnaise.

Garlic is one of the greatest home remedies for whatever ails you but if you really can't take the taste of garlic; you can buy capsules at the health store, which when swallowed whole will give you the nutrients direct to your system without having to eat it; thereby removing the risk of odorous breath.

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    • dianew profile image

      dianew 5 years ago from Spain

      Isn't it great? and tastes good too!

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

    • jselwynjames profile image

      jselwynjames 5 years ago from England

      As a naturopath I absolutely agree with the health benefits of garlic as an anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It is one of the greatest herbs of the ages!