5 Interesting Benefits of Garlic
Garlic – also referred to by some as the stinking rose – is a pungent herb used in a wide array of cuisines around the globe. However, there is more to garlic that just its pungent aroma and surprisingly delightful flavor when cooked.
For one, garlic has been used for centuries as a medicinal ingredient in both raw form and as a supplement. It’s rich in a chemical compound called allicin, which has a wonderful array of therapeutic effects to offer. Allicin also contains sulfur, which accounts for garlic’s rich taste and aroma. Although it is best consumed raw or when added to dishes, you can take it in supplement form if you do not enjoy its taste.
Research shows that garlic has anti-microbial, blood-pressure lowering, anti-inflammatory and cholesterol lowering effects in the body. Sounds fantastic, but there’s more! Keep reading to find out some of our favorite benefits of garlic and why you should add it to your dishes more.
1. Enhances immune system function
During the world wars, garlic was commonly used to counter gangrene. While this may not be a modern day concern, it indicates that garlic can also be used to curb colds and flus.
Garlic is rich in antioxidants, which can help your immune system function in optimum levels.
If you’re feeling under the weather lately, try adding garlic to your soup. You can add in a mix of veggies and protein to cut the potent garlic taste.
2. Banishes acne
Since garlic is packed with antioxidants, it can help combat bacteria on the surface of the skin that promote acne. While the benefits associated with eating it raw is innumerable, you can also try cutting one garlic clove in half and rubbing it on your pimple, making it an excellent natural blemish remover.
3. Beats inflammation
Garlic has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. According to one study, 4 sulfuric compounds found in garlic helped reduce inflammation.
People suffering from auto-immune diseases may benefit from including garlic in their diets. In addition, if you’re suffering from a chronic skin disease such as psoriasis, which a condition linked to inflammation, rubbing garlic on the affected area may provide some relief.
4. Improves heart health
Studies show that garlic can improve your circulatory and respiratory system in many different ways. Garlic has been known to help improve high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, high cholesterol levels and artery hardening.
Researchers believe that the effects of garlic on heart health may be related to the production of hydrogen sulfide gas following consumption, when red blood cells take in the sulfuric compounds found in garlic. This gas may help widen the lumens of your blood vessels, allowing blood pressure levels to become more stable.
5. Reduces risk of diabetes
Regular consumption of garlic has been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels and potentially reduce the effects of complications linked to diabetes.
According to one study conducted with rats, consuming raw garlic extract for seven weeks showed a significant reductions in serum glucose (blood sugar levels), as well as improvements in triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
If you’re planning on adding garlic to a dish, try mincing or crushing it beforehand as it allows more time for the alliinase enzymes in the gorgeous herb to start working.