Garlic is more than just a dinner spice and vampire exorcist. It is also odorous, but very effective assistant for various health problems. Garlic is a highly nutritious, low-calorie vegetable that also contains residues of other nutrients that combine to make it a powerful healer. The natural healing ingredient found in both fresh garlic and supplements strengthens the immune system and improves overall well-being. The average consumption of garlic per capita is 900 g per year. A healthy average person can safely consume up to 4 cloves of garlic (each weighing about 1 gram) daily, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. So, what are the benefits of garlic:
- Helps with acne. You won’t find garlic on the list of ingredients in an acne tonic, but it can be helpful when used topically on acne blemishes. Allicin, an organic compound in garlic, can stop the damaging effects of free radicals and kill bacteria, according to a study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie in 2009. Thanks to sulfonic acid, allicin produces a fast reaction to radicals, which makes it a valuable natural remedy in the treatment of acne, skin diseases and allergies.
- Treats hair loss. The sulfur component in garlic contains keratin, the protein from which hair is made. It stimulates the strengthening and growth of hair. A study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology in 2007 noted the benefit of adding garlic gel to betamethasone valerate for the treatment of alopecia, it promoted new hair growth.
- Deals with colds. Garlic allicin can also serve as an assistant in the treatment of colds. A 2001 study published in the journal Advances in Therapeutics found that taking garlic daily can reduce the number of colds by 63%. What’s more, the average duration of cold symptoms was reduced by 70% in the control group, from 5 days to 1,5 days.
- Reduces blood pressure. Taking garlic every day helps keep blood pressure under control. Its active compounds are able to give an effect comparable to the use of drugs. The effect of older garlic extract 600 to 1500mg is found to be similar to Atenol, which is prescribed for hypertension for 24 weeks, according to a study published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2013.
- Reduces the risk of heart disease. Garlic reduces the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. According to Vandana Sheth, a nutritionist and spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, this is due to a decrease in the activity of the main cholesterol-producing enzyme in the liver.
- Enhances physical performance. Garlic can increase physical endurance and reduce fatigue caused by it. A study published in 2005 in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found a 12% reduction in peak heart rate in participants who took garlic oil for 6 weeks. This was also accompanied by improved physical endurance through running training.
- Improves bone health. Alkalizing vegetables are full of nutrients such as zinc, manganese, vitamins B 6 and C, which are very good for bones. Nutritionist Riza Gru writes: “Garlic is indeed high in manganese, which is full of enzymes and antioxidants that promote bone formation, connective tissue, and calcium absorption.”
An interesting study published in the Journal of Herbal Medicine in 2007 found that garlic oil preserved the skeletal integrity of hypogonadal rodents. In other words, garlic contains substances that act as building proteins necessary for bone health. As you can see, garlic is not only a flavorful addition to your dish, but also a rich source of enzymes necessary for health.