Garlic is a strong-smelling, pungent-tasting herb. It is a close relative of onion and is native to Central Asia. It has been used as a food-flavoring agent and as traditional medicine.
Garlic contains useful minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron, as well as trace minerals like iodine, sulfur, and chlorine. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, it is a rich source of vitamins like folate, thiamine, niacin, and vitamin C, A, K, and B6.
Allicin, in garlic, provides a variety of health benefits which include combating cold and cough, lowering , fighting heart ailments, and preventing Alzheimer’s. It also helps relieve earaches, treat intestinal issues, cure wounds, prevent cancer, and relieve excess gas.
Here are 6 essential benefits of garlic.
1. Promotes Weight Loss
Garlic aids in weight loss and reducing obesity. It reduces the expression of genes that are involved in adipogenesis, which leads to the formation of fat cells. The herb increases thermogenesis, which helps burn fat and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
2. Boosts Immune System
Garlic hasthat help reduce oxidative stress, and prevent DNA damage, thereby, strengthening your immunity. Furthermore, the herb reduces fatigue, as well as increases energy and longevity.
A 2012 report published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines revealed a study that was conducted on rats to ascertain if garlic plays a contributory role in enhancing immune function. After garlic (Allium sativum) extracts were administered to rats at differentit was discovered that the extracts, especially at higher concentration, showed more immune-stimulating effects.
3. Garlic Reduces Blood Pressure
Cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes are the world's biggest killers.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most important drivers of these diseases.
Human studies have found garlic supplements to have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. Supplement doses must be fairly high to have the desired effects. The amount needed is equivalent to about four cloves of garlic per day.
4. Garlic Helps Combat Cold and Flu
In a study (DB-RCT) of 120 individuals, aged garlic extract reduced the severity of colds and the flu by increasing the number of immune cells (T cells and NK cells) and by boosting the immune system. Aged garlic extract increases the activity of immune cells while lowering inflammatory proteins (cytokines).
5. Helps Treat Eye Infections
It is rich in nutrients like selenium, quercetin, and vitamin C, all of which help treat eye infections and inflammation.
6. Garlic Has Anti-Aging Properties
Long-term topical treatment with garlic extract may have anti-aging effects since garlic increases the growth and lifespan of skin cells. Garlic-treated skin cells are more healthy compared to untreated cells.
Antioxidants in garlic prevent damage caused by free radicals. Garlic also contains cytokinin, a hormone that promotes cell growth and delays aging through its antioxidant effects.