Garlic has been used since ancient times to treat a broad range of ailments. Yet, studies exploring its wellness advantages have been inconsistent, possibly due to the fact that it contains as many as 40 different compounds, any number of which may be beneficial.
In addition, scientists dont know which of garlics preparation forms deliver the most compounds. However, despite the disparity in research results, its clearly of considerable value for remediating and preventing disease. Below are some reasons why you should eat more garlic.
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1. Garlic Promotes a Healthier Heart
Among studies on garlic, the strongest evidence points to its cardiovascular benefits, according to Consumer Reports. Data indicates it may reduce cholesterol 10 points and lower blood pressure three to eight points. Investigations suggest it may be a helpful treatment adjunct for cardiovascular disease patients, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. A small study of patients with metabolic syndrome a condition involving risk factors for heart disease found taking a daily garlic supplement slowed plaque accumulation in the coronary arteries.
2. Garlic Helps Protect Against Diabetes
A 2017 review of clinical trials on type 2 diabetes patients showed those who took 50 mg to 1,500 mg of a garlic supplement daily for two to three months experienced significant lowering of their fasting glucose levels. Moreover, a 2007 investigation into the effects of raw garlic extract on diabetic rats found it may be of value in alleviating or preventing diabetic complications.
3. Garlic Fights Cancer
Garlic and onions are both allium vegetables, meaning they are rich in bioactive sulfur compounds. Research has discovered these substances can affect many body processes that reduce cancer risk. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reports that population studies show an association between higher garlic intake and a reduced risk of certain cancers. Garlics cancer-protective effect could stem from several actions, including antibacterial properties, enhancement of DNA repair and the ability to inactivate cancer-causing substances, adds the NCI.
4. Garlic Attacks Colds, Flu and Other Infections
The antibacterial and antiviral properties of garlic may help prevent and/or alleviate colds, flu and other infections. Allicin is the compound believed to be responsible for this benefit. A 2001 clinical trial found people who took garlic supplements for 12 weeks during cold season had a lower likelihood of getting a cold and recovered faster when they did become ill. In 2012, a remarkable study discovered the garlic compound diallyl sulfide was 100 times more effective that antibiotics in treating Campylobacter bacterium, a common intestinal infection.
5. Garlic Helps Prevent Alzheimers Disease and Dementia
Garlics antioxidants support the bodys protective actions against oxidative damage that plays a role in Alzheimers disease and dementia. A 2011 study on aged garlic extract and its active component S-allyl-L-cysteine (SAC) concluded that both have neuroprotective properties that could be used to develop medications for Alzheimers disease. These findings corroborated a 2006 study that showed aged garlic extract may reduce the risk of dementia.
6. Garlic Reduces Risk of Hip Osteoarthritis
In 2010, researchers found women whose diets included higher amounts of allium vegetables like garlic had lower levels of osteoarthritis. The authors noted that a compound in the vegetables called diallyl disulphide has been shown to suppress degrading enzymes associated with the joint inflammatory disease.
Both cooked and raw garlic are beneficial, although some natural health proponents believe the best way to consume it is in its raw state. Experts recommend chopping or slicing it and then allowing it to sit for 10 minutes before using. The cutting stimulates an enzymatic reaction that boosts its compounds, while the sitting permits time for more of a component to convert into allicin.
When shopping for garlic, look for bulbs with tight rather than loose skin. Store it in a dry, cool, dark place with good ventilation.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.