Top 15 Health Benefits That Come From this One Super Delicious Herb

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

The father of Western medicine, Greek doctor Hippocrates, often prescribed this one herb for a wide variety of the medical conditions he saw. Modern science has proved he was right about this herb, anyway. It has more health benefits than you can shake a stick at. What is this magic herb?

That’s right, garlic. That tasty, very strong smelling herb that we love to cook with! Garlic has been used for centuries, in fact, it was probably the first “performance enhancing” substance used for athletes. It was given to Olympic athletes in ancient Greece but it was traditionally used in ancient cultures to help reduce fatigue levels and improve the work capacity of field laborers.

Take a look at the top 15 health benefits that we get from eating this tasty vampire bane.

 

1. Garlic reduces blood pressure

Some of the world’s biggest killers are stroke and cardiovascular disease. One of the important drivers of these two conditions is high blood pressure. Studies done involving humans show that taking garlic supplements can have a dramatic impact on reducing blood pressure levels in those with hypertension. In fact, one study shows that taking an aged garlic extract at doses of 60 to 1,500mg was just as effective as taking the blood pressure drug Atenolol over a 24 week program. Doses must be fairly high to achieve this type of effect, somewhere around 4 large cloves of garlic per day.

 

2. Garlic removes heavy metals from the body

The sulfur compounds in garlic can protect the body from heavy metals. A study that involved employees at a plant that built car batteries found that garlic reduced the levels of lead in the blood by as much as 19 percent. It also lowered many of the signs of clinical toxicity, including blood pressure and headaches. Just three doses of garlic every day outperformed the drug D-penicillamine, which reduces symptoms of heavy metal toxicity.

 

3. Garlic can help fetuses

Studies have shown that when the mother eats regular doses of garlic daily, babies in the womb were able to gain weight more easily.

 

4. Garlic helps fights illnesses

Taking garlic supplements, or eating about 3 cloves of garlic per day, are known to improve the functioning of the immune system. A rather large 12 week study found that consuming a garlic supplements on a daily basis reduced the number of colds subjects got by 63 percent, compared with group that received a placebo. In fact, the average length of the cold symptoms was also reduced by an incredible 70 percent from 5 days to only 1.5 days. If you tend to get sick often, try eating more garlic.

 

5. Garlic can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Free radicals in the body cause oxidative damage to cells, which is a main contributor to the aging process. Garlic has powerful antioxidants that support the body’s mechanisms that fight oxidative damage. The combined effects of lowering cholesterol levels, along with lowering blood pressure, as well as its antioxidant compounds, can help to prevent brain diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

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Sauerkraut With Carrot In Wooden Bowl, Garlic, Spices, Cabbage O

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6. Garlic can prolong your life

Of course, trying to prove longevity is almost impossible, however, when you consider that garlic has such beneficial effects, such as lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, fighting off disease, protecting your brain and heart from chronic disease, is a pretty safe bet to say that garlic can help extend your life.

 

7. Garlic improves athletic performance

As we mentioned earlier, garlic is perhaps the oldest performance enhancer. Studies done with rat’s show that garlic helps improve exercise performance, but very few studies have been done involving humans.

One study showed that subjects with heart disease who took a garlic oil supplement for 6 weeks had a reduction in their optimum heart rate by 12 percent and improved their overall capacity for exercise. Other studies have shown that garlic reduces exercise induced fatigue.

So if you would like to do better at the gym, and have more energy afterwards, adding garlic supplements to your diet would be a great idea.

 

8. Garlic can help diabetics

Eating garlic, or taking garlic supplements, can help regulate blood sugar levels. Garlic improves the level of insulin in the blood and this can help diabetics. Ask your doctor of garlic can help your condition.

 

9. Garlic can help stop infection

When garlic is crushed, it releases a compound called alllicin. Alllicin is a sulfur compound that is a natural antibiotic that can help stop infections. During World War One, soldiers in the field used crushed garlic directly on infected wounds to fight infection. Should you decide to take garlic supplements, be certain you use powdered capsules. The process of making tablets destroys the benefits of alllicin. Read more how garlic kicks infection.

 

10. Garlic can prevent several types of cancer

Studies have shown that garlic can reduce the size of cancerous tumors in the stomach, colon, breast, bladder, and prostate.

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Garlic Cloves

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11. Garlic helps with hyperthyroid

Garlic has high levels of iodine, which means garlic could be the perfect treatment for those suffering from issues with their thyroid gland. Taking garlic supplements has been shown to improve this condition tremendously.

 

SEE ALSO: All Benefits Of Garlic Infographic

12. Garlic strengthens the immune system

Especially in the winter months, when colds and flu germs abound, rather than get a flu shot, filled with dangerous chemicals, why not make up a nice pot of chicken soup, loaded with garlic? An old folk remedy is to eat a clove of garlic that has been dipped in raw honey at the first sign of a cold. Why not try this remedy and see if it works for you?

 

13. Garlic can improve bone health

Although no human trials have been done to measure the possible effects of garlic on bone loss or bone density, studies done with rats have shown that it minimizes bone loss by naturally increasing the amount of estrogen in females. One study did show that menopausal women who took 2 grams of garlic extract vastly decreased their estrogen deficiency.

 

14. Garlic lowers the risk of heart disease

As mentioned before, garlic supplements lower the bad (LDL) cholesterol in the body by about 15 percent while leaving the levels of “good” cholesterol alone. This is an important factor in the prevention of heart disease.

 

15. Garlic is a true superfood

Garlic is packed full of nutrients while having very few calories. Just one ounce (28 grams) of garlic contains:

  • 1 gram of fiber
  • 23 percent of the RDA of manganese
  • 6 percent of the RDA of selenium
  • 17 percent of the RDA of vitamin B6
  • 15 percent of the RDA of Vitamin C
  • Fair amounts of copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron, calcium. Vitamin B1 and iodine.

All of this healthy goodness in only 42 calories and 9 grams of carbs.

Eating too much garlic can be dangerous, however, so never eat more than is recommended. You should also note that garlic goes directly into your bloodstream, which is one reason why it is so effective. The problem here is that, when you sweat, it will also come out through your pores. People who eat large amounts of garlic say that they definitely notice more pronounced body odor, so you might want to start skipping those lunchtime runs, unless you have access to a shower at work.

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/131/3/951S.abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17955479