For centuries, garlic has been a staple ingredient in many cultures. This pungent bulb is not only known for its delicious flavor, but also for its numerous health benefits. From improving heart health to boosting the immune system, garlic consumption can offer a wide range of advantages.
By the end of this blog, we're sure you'll discover so many things that it can do for you that increasing the amount you consume is something you will want to do.
Benefits Of Garlic Consumption
Blood Pressure Control
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
While garlic is well known for its culinary benefits, it can also be an important part of a healthy diet when it comes to managing blood pressure.
Studies have shown that individuals who consume garlic regularly tend to experience decreases in both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This is because garlic contains compounds that are thought to relax the constriction of arterial walls, allowing for greater circulation and overall lowering of blood pressure.
This is most likely attributed to increases arterial levels of nitric oxide, which functions as a potent natural vasodilator in the body.
By increasing the diameter of the blood vessels, there is an effective lowering of the overall pressure on the walls of the arteries.
May Decrease Obesity Risk
Garlic is known for its many health benefits, but new research suggests that it may be a surprisingly effective aid in the fight against obesity. Studies have found that garlic can influence and improve how our bodies process fat, reducing both fat storage and accumulation of fatty deposits over time. It appears that compounds in garlic, specifically allicin and diallyl disulfide, appear to trigger an upregulation of hormones within the body that affect how fat is used by the cells. This reaction could lead to reduced calorie intake concomitant with increased energy expenditure, effecting significant positive changes to long-term weight management.
Making The Immune System More Efficient
Garlic has long been used as an ancient medicinal herb and more recently, for its ability to provide support to the immune system. Allicin, found in garlic, is responsible for many of these health benefits.
Studies have shown that allicin promotes the body's natural defense mechanisms against bacteria and viruses. It also helps to stimulate white blood cells, which are essential for immunity.
Additionally, allicin helps keep inflammation levels low by inhibiting the production of cytokines, proteins essential for launching an immune response. Ultimately, allicin works together with other immune mediators to keep the body healthy and prevent illness.
Maintaining Healthy Cholesterol
Ensuring that your serum lipids fall within accepted ranges is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your cardiac risk. A good way to do that? Yup, you guessed right.
Garlic has been well documented for its cholesterol-lowering abilities, particularly with regards to reducing Low-Density Lipoprotein (or LDL--the "bad" cholesterol).
Recent research has found that garlic has properties that lower an enzyme in the body called HMG-CoA reductase, which assists in producing cholesterol.
This is the same mechanism by which the statins- the most popular class of cholesterol drugs work as well.
This helps reduce the production of LDL cholesterol that can clog arteries and cause other health problems.
Additionally, garlic is thought to be effective in helping reduce triglycerides and increase High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)--the "good" cholesterol--which helps clean LDL from the circulatory system.
Garlic supplementation is very effective in this regard since it is highly unlikely you can consume enough of the whole herb to really experience its benefits.
May Help Lower Cancer Risk
Research suggests that eating garlic may help prevent various types of cancer including stomach, colon, breast, prostate, esophageal, pancreatic, and lung cancer.
While the mechanism has not been fully discovered, recent science has helped to shed some light on how it may fight against cancer.
Garlic is a natural anti-inflammatory, which combats inflammation associated with certain types of tumors. It also contains flavonoids that can help to control cell damage and prevent cancerous cells from continuing to grow.
Furthermore, garlic stimulates the production of enzymes that metabolize carcinogens, thus reducing their destructive potential.
Additionally, research has demonstrated that the sulfur-containing compounds found in garlic demonstrate the capability of decreasing the formation of carcinogens, slowing down the promotion and progression of pre-existing tumors, and disabling tumor growth.
This anti-cancer mechanism associated with garlic makes it a viable natural food additive for those looking to reduce their risks of developing certain cancers along with an overall healthier lifestyle.
May Prove Useful For Blood Sugar Management In Diabetics
While the exact mechanism of this effect is unclear, it appears that garlic is capable of inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates into simpler sugars, causing them to move more slowly through the digestive tract. This also means that some are excreted unabsorbed and therefore, reduces the amount of sugar that is absorbed into the blood.
Additionally, garlic has been found to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, two important elements in managing diabetes. The anti-inflammatory properties could reduce the severity of symptoms and help maintain the health of pancreatic cells involved in insulin production and utilization.
While research is ongoing to confirm these potential benefits, eating more garlic or using a supplement as part of a well-balanced diet might be very beneficial for those suffering from diabetes.
Do you struggle with allergies year-round? Sometimes it feels as if you can’t get away from them. Luckily, garlic has been found to reduce the symptoms of allergies, such as sneezing, watery eyes, itching, and congestion.
One way it does this is thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties which could help reduce airway inflammation caused by allergens like pollen and dust. In some cases, garlic can even help reduce asthma symptoms significantly.
Additionally, garlic can inhibit the release of histamine, a very potent allergy mediator that is known to cause symptoms like sneezing, coughing, and swelling.
By adding garlic to your diet or taking a supplement daily, you could potentially reduce the severity and frequency of these symptoms and support overall respiratory health.
May Help Improve Penile Blood Flow
Let's not be coy- erectile dysfunction affects most men, to some extent over the age of 40. This subject is usually taboo for discussion, but make no mistake, men are looking for ways to fix this issue.
Garlic, with its already notable action of boosting nitric oxide, when combined with vitamin C, can significantly increase the blood flow to the penis and help improve erectile dysfunction.
The combination of garlic and vitamin C also helps in improving overall cardiovascular health and promoting the relaxation of blood vessels, thus allowing for better circulation.
Not only does this help with erectile dysfunction but it can also help to improve your overall sexual performance and stamina.
Plus, the possibility of untoward effects occurring is much more uncommon than when using prescription PDE-5 inhibitors (such as Viagra).
It's definitely worth a shot- you might be surprised by the results.
Why is it that some people are prone to highly visible scarring, while others heal with hardly any evidence in sight? Genetic factors are usually at play, but something as simple as garlic might actually help to level the playing field.
Keloids, which are a pronounced and raised sort of scarring that occurs as a result of excessive collagen synthesis, can be reduced via the consumption of more garlic. Specific growth factors and enzymes that also contribute to collagen synthesis are impaired and result in a less visible scar.
Turns out garlic deserves a seat at the brain-boosting table as well. Garlic achieves this via several different mechanisms. For one, it can elevate levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin- associated with improved cognition.
Then, it can enhance blood flow to the brain, which may lead to improved memory, concentration, and also neuronal development.
It might serve you well to combine garlic with some of the more established brain boosters of the day, as the action is likely to be additive.
May Reduce Impact Of Neurodegenerative Diseases
As we age, our bodies are subject to more wear and tear, and our brains are no exception. Fortunately, garlic has been found to reduce some of the effects of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Garlic appears to have a protective effect against several forms of damage associated with cell death and aging, including oxidative stress and inflammation that takes a toll on the nervous system.
Additionally, garlic can reduce the levels of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, like beta-amyloid and tau protein. These are believed to lead to cell death in different parts of the brain, resulting in memory loss.
May Help Boost Endurance
Garlic has long been rumored to have potential performance-enhancing properties, and new evidence suggests that it might help athletes increase their endurance.
According to research, consuming garlic can promote the production of nitric oxide and enhance blood flow, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach the muscles as well as removing waste more efficiently.
In addition, the antioxidants present in garlic can help reduce muscle damage and reduce fatigue after physical activity. Athletes who incorporate garlic into their diets may also be able to benefit from improved endurance capacity, meaning they can push themselves harder for longer periods of time during workouts or competitions.
Assists Digestive Processes
Traditionally, garlic has been used as a digestive aid and carminative for years- long before any sort of science on the subject existed.
It is thought that sulfur-based compounds found in garlic work to activate digestive enzymes, allowing for the easier breakdown of food molecules.
This improves the absorption of vital nutrients from these foods, and in turn lessens the amount of undigested material passed through your system that generates gas bloating, cramps, and flatulence.
Additionally, consuming garlic is believed to boost stomach acid levels which may help balance out a low-acid digestive environment often linked to excessive gas symptoms- but keep this in mind if you are particularly prone to acid reflux since it may trigger a flare-up of symptoms.
Anti-aging Effect On Skin Cells
Aging takes its toll on the skin especially; losing its natural elasticity, tone and radiance.
Garlic may help you turn back the hands on the clock somewhat, as it is thought to activate enzymes that protect cells from damage and encourage cell regeneration- one of which being the enzyme catalase.
It has been linked with increased collagen production- an important element for maintaining skin integrity and elasticity- as well as reducing wrinkles and age spots.
Garlic also contains a hormone by the name of cytokinin which facilitates cell growth and slows down their aging- a useful effect when cell turnover is slowed.
Of course, one of the best ways to support your skin health remains supplementation with a collagen protein powder such as Radiance, since there's a rate limit at which your body is able to produce it naturally.
How Much Garlic Should Be Taken Daily?
Current research suggests that eating one to two cloves of raw garlic per day may be beneficial for most people. If you're not a fan of the flavor or texture of raw garlic, then taking 600 to 1,200 milligrams daily of powdered garlic or a garlic supplement is another option.
Coated tablets might be superior to garlic oil extract since most of the water-soluble compounds are lost during the extraction procedure along with most of the allicin.
Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider if you have any existing medical conditions prior to adding garlic-containing products into your diet since interactions do exist.
Garlic turns out to be quite a surprising panacea, with many potential benefits. Its wide availability and affordably mean that there shouldn't be many reasons for you to not take more of it.
Whether it be for heart health, digestive aid, or simply to reduce its pungent odor- garlic has something to offer us all.