Garlic is one of nature’s healthiest foods. Apart from adding deeper, richer flavors to everyday dishes, garlic packs serious health benefits too. Garlic is loaded with anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and antiviral agents that protect the body from pathogens. In today’s post, we are listing down reasons why you should add garlic to your everyday meals:
1. Protects from Cancer
According to the World Health Organization or WHO, an estimated 14.1 million cases of cancer was recorded in 2012 alone. This number is expected to balloon to 24 million by 2035. The good news is, certain types of food help reduce the risk of cancer, including garlic. Garlic boasts of chemicals, including allicin, sulfur, and selenium that trigger cellular death to inhibit the spreading of malignant cells. These chemicals literally compel cancer cells to kill themselves.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition noted that consuming garlic regularly lowers the risk of stomach and colon cancer. A separate study found that middle-aged women who consume garlic regularly reduced their risk of developing colon cancer by up to 35%.
2. Promotes Immunity
Garlic contains powerful antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that enhance immunity. Consuming garlic regularly is an excellent protection from common colds and flu. According to a study that involved tracking 146 adults during the cold and flu season, those who took garlic supplements were resistant to viral infections. In fact, participants that took garlic supplements came down with only 24 colds while those given a placebo pill contracted 65 colds throughout the study. The study was published in a New York Times feature.
3. Protection from Internal Inflammation
Do you suffer from joint or muscle pain? These conditions are caused by internal inflammation. Garlic happens to be an effective inflammation neutralizer! According to a research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, garlic contains four chemicals that neutralize inflammation within the joints and soft tissues. These chemicals reduce pain and irritation. According to Health.com, garlic’s anti-inflammatory effects are so powerful; they are comparable to the effects of over-the-counter painkillers.
4. Neutralizes Bacterial and Fungal Infection
Garlic is an excellent remedy for common infections caused by fungus and bacteria. Traditionally, raw garlic is used to treat athlete’s foot, ringworm, as well as food poisoning. In the US alone, 15% to 20% of Americans suffer from athlete’s foot. Crushing fresh garlic on the affected area is enough to kill the offending microbes that cause infections.
Garlic’s active ingredient, diallyl sulfide, is an effective treatment for food poisoning. One study found that the diallyl sulfide in garlic is at least 100 times more effective in fighting Campylobacter bacteria than some antibiotic drugs. Campylobacter is a bacteria found in raw chicken. Improperly cooked meats cause a variety of discomforts including vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and painful stomach cramps. While garlic will not keep you from being sick, you can use garlic to prep your meats and preserve foods to reduce the risk of food poisoning!
5. Protection from Cardiovascular Diseases
Raw garlic is good for the heart and arteries. It lowers blood pressure and homocysteine counts while reducing cholesterol in the blood. Garlic contains chemicals that dilate the blood vessels, removing triglycerides and dissolving internal clots within the arteries.