This is for all you garlic lovers out there: keep doing what you’re doing! In fact, the more the merrier. We already know that garlic is an incredibly healthy food, but have you ever wondered just how healthy it truly is? That’s what we’re going to discover today together. It turns out that garlic is seen as a mega superfood among health experts and for good reason. The delicious food holds many health benefits we had no idea about. Let’s find out what they are exactly.
It Can Reduce Blood Pressure
Garlic has been found to have a significant impact on lowering blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. The reason behind this benefit is that garlic has anti-inflammatory benefits and helps blood flow more easily through the body. One study found that garlic can act as a blood pressure medicine if the subjects ate enough of the vegetable in a day. They took pills with garlic extract that was the equivalent of about 4 cloves (600–1,500 mg of garlic extract).
It Can Improve Cholesterol Levels
Another fantastic health benefit of eating garlic is lowering cholesterol levels. For those with high levels of cholesterol, garlic supplements helped reduce their cholesterol levels by about 10-15% in studies. In fact, it seems like garlic only lowers the LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and doesn’t affect the HDL (“good” cholesterol).
It Can Boost the Immune System
Boosting your immune system can be as simple as eating more garlic on a regular basis! According to a study done, those who are garlic, fruits, and veggies routinely had a 35% lower colon cancer risk. One thing to keep in mind is that these results came from raw and cooked garlic – not supplements.
It Improves the Skin and Hair
Since garlic is full of antioxidants and has antibacterial properties, it can help clear up the skin by killing acne-causing bacteria. One study has shown that rubbing raw garlic over pimples can help them clear faster. Just know that doing so can cause a burning sensation on your skin. Speak to your dermatologist before putting garlic on your skin.
It May Improve Bone Health
Rodent studies have proven that garlic can minimize bone loss by increasing estrogen levels in females. One study done with menopausal women found that one daily dose of dry garlic extract (the equivalent of about 2 grams of raw garlic) significantly decreased a marker of estrogen deficiency. This suggests that garlic might have beneficial effects on bone health in women.
It May Help Prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Oxidative damage from free radicals contributes to the aging process, leading to all kinds of problems down the line. Since garlic contains antioxidants that support the body’s protective mechanism against oxidative damage, it’s a great food option. High doses of garlic supplements have been proven to reduce oxidative stress in those with high blood pressure and also increase antioxidant enzymes in humans. This, in turn, helps prevent diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.