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National Garlic Day: Health Benefits of Garlic

While not good for vampires, garlic is extremely healthy for humans. (And it hasn’t been much of a secret.)

References to garlic being used medicinally have been found in all types of ancient texts, including Egyptian, Roman, Indian and Chinese. Even Hippocrates (a famous ancient Greek physician who is commonly called the “Father of Medicine”) used garlic to alleviate ailments. This pungent vegetable is clearly special.

Garlic has too many advantages to list them all, so here are some of garlic’s most important health benefits:

  1. High nutritional value with low calorie count

    Garlic is a source of manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, vitamin C, fiber, calcium, protein, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron, selenium and other nutrients. It also contains an active component called allicin, which is responsible for garlic’s additional antibacterial, lipid-lowering, anti-cancer and other amazing attributes.

  2. Anti-tumor properties

    Studies have shown that garlic handicaps certain cancer cells and impedes the development of tumors.

  3. Lowers cholesterol

    Garlic may lower bad cholesterol and total cholesterol, especially for people with high cholesterol.

  4. Reduces blood pressure

    Studies have revealed that high doses of garlic lowers blood pressure, especially for people with hypertension. Consuming a lot of garlic may help in preventing heart disease and ultimately contribute to a longer life.

  5. Antibacterial

    The allicin in garlic is antibacterial and antimicrobial, which means that it hinders the ability of bacteria to multiply and spread. Want to prevent food poisoning or E. coli? Add some garlic.

  6. Boosts the immune system

    Garlic also improves the function of the immune system. Studies have found that increased garlic intake greatly reduces one’s chance of getting a cold and it also greatly reduces the length of the cold.

  7. Detoxifies the body

    High doses of garlic have been shown to reduce lead levels, as well as clinical signs of toxicity.

  8. Improves athletic performance

    Some studies have found that garlic can lower exercise-induced fatigue. Garlic can also enhance physical performance for people with heart disease.

Plan a healthy, flavorful, garlicky meal for National Garlic Day, April 19, and reap the wide range of health benefits garlic has to offer!

Looking for additional ways to cook healthy and satisfying meals? Find more nutritious food tips and recipes by checking out Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ articles.

CATEGORIES: Healthy LifestylesManaging IllnessParentingSeniors & Caregivers

 

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