7 Incredible Health Benefits of Garlic You May Have Never Heard Of

Since the beginning of time, garlic has been revered as an effective, holistic remedy for a litany of conditions. In ancient times, it was literally worth its weight in gold. Today, ample research confirms what our ancestors already knew -- garlic is a veritable superfood!

It is noteworthy that in Greenmedinfo’s database, there are 4,245 studies exploring the therapeutic benefits of garlic. Their analysis found garlic effective for the treatment of over 150 health conditions ranging from cancer, diabetes, infection and plaque buildup in the arteries, DNA damage and mercury poisoning. If you haven’t made garlic a stable in your kitchen, here are 7 reasons why you should.  These reasons are elaborated in an article entitled, 11 Proven Health Benefits of Garlic by Authority Nutrition. Read the full article and references here:

1. Garlic Contains a Compound Called Allicin, Which Has Potent Medicinal Properties

Garlic is a plant in the Allium (onion) family. It is closely related to onions, shallots and leeks. It grows in many parts of the world and is a popular ingredient in cooking due to its strong smell and delicious taste. However, throughout ancient history, the main use of garlic was for its health and medicinal properties. Its use was well documented by all the major civilizations… including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and the Chinese.

2. Garlic Is Highly Nutritious, But Has Very Few Calories

Calorie for calorie, garlic is incredibly nutritious.

A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of garlic contains (3):

  • Manganese: 23% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B6: 17% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin C: 15% of the RDA.
  • Selenium: 6% of the RDA.
  • Fiber: 1 gram.
  • Decent amounts of Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron and Vitamin B1.

Garlic also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. In fact, it contains a little bit of almost everything we need. This is coming with 42 calories, with 1.8 grams of protein and 9 grams of carbs.

3. Garlic Can Combat Sickness, Including the Common Cold

Garlic supplementation is known to boost the function of the immune system. One large 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared with placebo.The average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from 5 days in placebo to just 1.5 days in the garlic group. Another study found that a high dose of garlic extract (2.56 grams per day) can reduce the number of days sick with cold or flu by 61%. If you often get colds, then adding garlic to your diet could be incredibly helpful.

4. The Active Compounds in Garlic Can Reduce Blood Pressure

Cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes are the world’s biggest killers.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most important drivers of these diseases. Human studies have found garlic supplementation to have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. In one study, aged garlic extract at doses of 600-1,500 mg was just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a 24 week period. Supplement doses must be fairly high to have these desired effects. The amount of allicin needed is equivalent to about four cloves of garlic per day.

5. Garlic Improves Cholesterol Levels, Which May Lower The Risk of Heart Disease

Garlic can lower Total and LDL cholesterol. For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplementation appears to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10-15%. Looking at LDL (the “bad”) and HDL (the “good”) cholesterol specifically, garlic appears to lower LDL but has no reliable effect on HDL. Garlic does not appear to lower triglyceride levels, another known risk factor for heart disease.

6. Garlic Contains Antioxidants That May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Oxidative damage from free radicals contributes to the aging process. Garlic contains antioxidants that support the body’s protective mechanisms against oxidative damage. High doses of garlic supplementation have been shown to increase antioxidant enzymes in humans, as well as significantly reduce oxidative stress in those with high blood pressure.The combined effects on reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as the antioxidant properties, may help prevent common brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

7. Garlic May Improve Bone Health

No human trials have measured the effects of garlic on bone loss. However, rodent studies have shown that it can minimise bone loss by increasing estrogen in females. One study in menopausal women found that a daily dose of dry garlic extract (equal to 2 grams of raw garlic) significantly decreased a marker of estrogen deficiency. This suggests that this garlic may have beneficial effects on bone health in women.

Foods like garlic and onions have also been shown to have beneficial effects on osteoarthritis.

For even more benefits of garlic you can read the full article here.

My take on this:

Garlic is an incredibly therapeutic food that not only tastes great, but is chock- full of important nutrients! As you can see from this article, its use can also aid in the prevention of  some of today’s most threatening diseases such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s.  That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Research done by Greenmedinfo discovered additional benefits of garlic for approximately 167 health conditions or disease symptoms. For instance, garlic proved to have  powerful anti-infective properties experimentally proven to kill thrush, candida, helicobacter Pylori infections, HIV-1 infection, clostridium infection, viral infections such as Herpes Simplex 1 and 2, and Group B Streptococcus Infections. In research trials,  garlic was also shown to kill cancers including: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Colon Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Liver Cancer, Melanoma, Lymphoma, and Pancreatic Cancer.

As you can see, garlic’s benefits rival those of certain pharmaceutical drugs without the side effects! Why not try incorporating it as staple in your diet!  If you need recipe ideas, check out our Paleo Italian Recipes Cookbook loaded with “garlicky” recipes to spice it up!