Sourced with thanks from greatist.com
Pods of this stinky bulb has been around for a long, long time. Garlic continues to be a taste enhancer to savoury dishes. However, it has many medicinal benefits. Read about them in the article below and as the author says it will make you gobble more garlic going forward. Team RetyrSmart
A great combination of taste and medical benefits that is Garlic
Let’s take a closer look at why it’s worth loading up on breath mints to load up on more garlic.
- Garlic is nutrient-rich
Let’s get straight to the numbers: Three cloves of the stuff (enough flavour for plenty of crowd-pleasing dishes) provides only 13 calories, no fat, 0.6 grams of protein, and 3 grams of carbohydrates, with less than 1 gram of fibre. Garlic is packed with manganese, vitamin C, selenium, and many other nutrients, including:
- 0.15 milligrams (mg) manganese (6.5% daily value, aka DV)
- 2.81 mg vitamin C (3.1% DV)
- 1.28 micrograms (mcg) selenium (2.3% DV)
- 16.3 mg calcium (1.3% DV)
- 14 mg phosphorus (1.1% DV)
- 0.153 mg iron (0.85% DV)
- 36 mg potassium (0.8% DV)
- 2.3 mg magnesium (0.5% DV)
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- Garlic is a powerhouse of bioactive compounds
If garlic was a superhero, it wouldn’t be limited to just one super power.
Garlic is loaded with bioactive compounds, like allicin, which gives it strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and other healing properties. Researchers believe these compounds are responsible for garlic’s many health benefits.
And that’s not all. Garlic’s sulphur-containing compounds give it that characteristic flavour and odour. Interestingly, raw garlic has stronger antioxidant properties than cooked garlic — so load up on garlic-y pesto and say buh-bye to damaging free radicals!
- Garlic may help stave off the sniffles
Garlic doesn’t just keep away creatures of the night — it may also help fend off the common cold.
A meta-analysis of studies suggests garlic helps support immunity by increasing the number of certain immune cells in the body. And a number of trials show garlic helps reduce the number, duration, and severity of colds. So when you feel the sniffles coming on, it may be time to cook up a pot of extra-garlicky chicken soup. (Or Rasam)
- Garlic may lower blood pressure
Got high blood pressure? Garlic may help bring it down a bit.
Several clinical studies suggest garlic may be able to help lower blood pressure in 80 percent of people with hypertension.
And in a meta-analysis of the effects of garlic on blood pressure, garlic supplements significantly lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 5.1 mm HG and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 2.5 mm Hg. Those who had high blood pressure at the start of the studies experienced even greater reductions of blood pressure.
- Garlic may help improve cholesterol values
Another reason to love garlic? It loves you (and your heart) back.
Garlic has been prized for its beneficial effects on the heart and cholesterol levels. In one review of studies, taking garlic preparations for at least 2 months lowered total cholesterol by 17 mg/dL and LDL (or “bad” cholesterol) by 9 mg/dL in people with high cholesterol.
And it doesn’t just lower your bad cholesterol. In the 2017 study of 40 people with metabolic syndrome, consuming crushed garlic twice a day for 4 weeks significantly increased HDL, the “good” cholesterol.
- Garlic may help lower blood sugar
Garlic is sweet when it comes to lowering blood sugar.
In one study of people with metabolic syndrome, people who consumed crushed garlic (100 milligrams per kilogram of body weight) twice a day for 4 weeks had significantly lower fasting blood sugar following the intervention. And a review of well-designed studies found that garlic and garlic extracts significantly reduced fasting blood glucose.
- Garlic may boost brain health
Want your mind to stay sharp as you age? (Who doesn’t?) Don’t forget to load up on garlic.
Some studies suggest garlic and its components may help protect your brain against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. And animal studies suggest aged garlic extract improves learning memory.
However, more research is needed to know if garlic will really give you an edge when it comes to mental acuity.
- Garlic may protect against certain cancers
Garlic may even help prevent and treat the big C. Cancer researchers have noted that many of the phytochemicals in garlic have anticancer effects.
In one large study, men who ate more than 10 grams per day of allium vegetables, like garlic, had a reduced risk of prostate cancer compared with those who eat less than 2.2 grams per day. This effect was most pronounced for garlic and shallots.
Another review of international studies reported that people who eat a lot of allium vegetables — and particularly, a lot of garlic — had a lower risk of prostate cancer.
But that’s not all. Garlic also shows promise in lowering your risk of stomach, colorectal, oesophageal, and other cancers.
Gobble up more garlic
Not a fan of stinky fingers after chopping garlic? No need to pass on its benefits. Garlic can also be consumed as a powder or extract, and most studies suggest similar benefits, regardless of form.
For an easy way to work in garlic, add a few cloves to almost any savoury sauce recipe, or create a meat rub before tossing steaks (or chicken, or seafood) on the grill. Garlic is also an easy add-in for cooked greens and other veggies, and its flavour boost makes it easier to cut down on salt.
Just be warned — garlic burns easily, and becomes very bitter when burnt, so add it to the pan last to avoid a garlic-tastrophe.