Garlic is known for its many uses in food preparation and for its many health benefits.
It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and a sulfur compound called Allicin, believed responsible for most of its health effects.
Trace amounts of other vital nutrients can also be found in garlic, and the reputed bad breath effect of garlic can be avoided with garlic supplements which are just as effective as raw garlic.
Health Benefits Of Garlic
- Garlic treats acne scars, skin diseases, and allergies and is a natural topical treatment to remove blemishes.
- Garlic boosts the body’s metabolism of iron. Its sulfur compounds help increase the production of ferroportin, a protein that allows stored iron to leave the cells becoming available where needed.
- Garlic’s high sulfur content also contains the hair-making protein keratin. It stimulates strengthening and growth of hair, making it an effective treatment for hair loss.
- Studies have shown that a daily garlic supplement can help fight the onset and effects of the common cold by as much as 63 percent.
- A long-standing practice is the topical use of garlic to treat fungal infections. There is scientific evidence to support this use for fungal infections including ringworm, jock itch, and athlete’s foot.
- Garlic helps relaxation of smooth muscles and widening of blood vessels, lowering the risk of high blood pressure. Its active compounds are comparable to the effects of prescribed drugs.
- Garlic supplementation can improve athletic performance. Not only was it used by ancient cultures to alleviate fatigue and enhance endurance of laborers, but it was also given to Olympic athletes in ancient Greece.
- Garlic is a heart healthy supplement, lowering the risk of heart disease by reducing levels of total LDL cholesterol. Additionally, it improves the body’s ability to dissolve blood clots that could potentially block arteries and lead to heart attacks.
- Garlic’s nutrients help to ensure bone health. For example, the manganese contains enzymes and antioxidants that assist the formation of bones and connective tissues. It also facilitates bone metabolism, and calcium absorption.
- Garlic is known to boost the function of the immune system, adding to general good health. Here are a few suggestions to help you incorporate this dynamic herb into your food preparation.
Getting More Garlic In Your Diet
- Quick and easy hummus dip – purée fresh garlic, canned garbanzo beans, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice.
- Steamed spinach – sauté with garlic, adding fresh lemon juice for a zesty delight.
- Tasty garlic mashed potatoes – purée roasted garlic, cooked potatoes and olive oil.
- Add garlic to any and all of your sauces and soups.
Throughout history, garlic’s strong aroma and flavors have made it an essential part of the cuisine of many countries, and an integral part of maintaining good health. Put the exceptional benefits of this powerful herb to work for you.