“Garlic keeps the doctor away.” That old saying couldn’t be more true. Plenty of research affirms the benefits of garlic…and every new study finds even more benefits!
Numerous civilizations have used garlic for centuries (it was even recommended by Hippocrates, the father of medicine), and it’s very good for human health. Recent studies have indicated that eating four cloves of garlic a day can help prevent a variety of diseases.
Garlic, an ancient superfood
While they didn’t know specifics, the ancient Greeks used garlic for its medicinal qualities.
Garlic belongs to the allium family (the same as onions and leeks) and contains a compound known as allicin, which improves overall health when consumed regularly. Allicin is also responsible for garlic’s signature smell.
See also: How to grow onions at home
In addition, garlic contains manganese, vitamins B6 and C, selenium, and fiber. It contains few calories but plenty of protein.
Benefits of garlicEating a few cloves of garlic a day can help you in the following ways:
Prevent Alzheimer’s disease
This also goes for other degenerative diseases like dementia. This common ingredient contains antioxidants that prevent the negative effects of free radicals.
Other benefits of garlic are that it protects against pH problems and boosts the number of enzymatic “cleansers” which help purify your bloodstream.
Garlic is recommended for people who have high levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL), as well as people who have a history of heart disease or heart attacks.
It can help prevent future heart disease, stroke, heart attacks, and high blood pressure.
Fight virusesGarlic can help quickly alleviate a cold or a sore throat. The duration of most symptoms can be reduced by up to 70%.
If you’re vulnerable to changes in the weather or get sick a lot in winter, don’t hesitate to consume garlic on a regular basis.
Heavy metals and other toxins build up in your body thanks to the food you eat or exposure to environmental contaminants. These can be eliminated with the consumption of sulfur…one of the components in garlic!
Studies of employees exposed to lead while working in a battery factory revealed that consuming garlic decreased the amount of this heavy metal by nearly 20%. This leads to fewer headaches and fewer absences due to illness.
Improve bone healthFor women who have reached menopause, another one of the benefits of garlic is that it can reduce some of the common difficulties with weakened bones. It affects how the body metabolizes estrogen, which could be an explanation for this unusual discovery.
Improve physical performance
For centuries garlic has been used to combat fatigue and increase physical productivity. For example, the Olympians of ancient Greece ate garlic before a competition.
Garlic contributes to both physical and mental performance.
Other benefits of garlic
In addition to everything we’ve described above, here are some additional reasons you should choose garlic:
- It thins the blood
- It prevents cancers of the stomach, esophagus, and colon
- It improves joint health (for example, in people with arthritis)
- It opens the lungs
- It helps avoid kidney or urinary tract problems
- It helps optimal liver function
- It fights constipation
- It eliminates parasites
- It balances blood sugar levels
- It helps treat herpes and eczema
- It reduces anxiety and calms the nerves
- It reduces uric acid levels, which can lead to gout and rheumatism
- It helps treat varicose veins
Raw or cooked garlic?Some studies indicate that in order to take advantage of all the benefits of garlic it should be consumed directly from the bulb – that is, uncooked.
But other studies claim that if garlic is cooked in a certain manner it’s a better way to absorb its nutrients.
Garlic contains a lot of compounds. Some of them are active in the raw state and others need heat to “activate.” When you’re consuming garlic to prevent cancer, for example, it’s recommended to cook it.
One technique that prevents the loss of most nutrients if you’re planning to cook garlic is to first chop it and let it sit for 45 minutes. This activates the allicin and keeps it from being destroyed when you cook it. This means that you get the same benefits whether you eat it raw or cooked.
Eat four garlic cloves a day and become more attractive
According to a study done by the Scottish University of Stirling, men who ate garlic were considered more attractive to the study’s female participants. Why is that?
It all has to do with the aroma that’s expelled through the skin.
To carry out the study the researchers divided male volunteers into three groups: one ate raw garlic, the second took garlic capsules, and the third had no garlic at all.
After some exercise they asked the men to dry off their perspiration with a towel. A group of women indicated the perceived levels of attractiveness, masculinity, and sympathy from smelling the towels.
According to the results, men who had eaten raw garlic had a pleasant, masculine, and sexier scent. The combination of hormones and other compounds released during exercise can have a positive effect on intimate relationships.
Garlic’s antimicrobial properties cause a sweeter odor to develop because they reduce the number of microorganisms that can cause an unpleasant smell, particularly when participating in physical activity.