Watch out, vampires! We can’t get enough of garlic’s health benefits8 years ago | Nutrition
By pH health care professionals
Garlic has been in use at least since the beginning of recorded history. It’s been found in ancient Egyptian pyramids and Greek temples. Ancient medicinal texts show beneficial uses in Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and India. The Greek physician Hippocrates prescribed garlic for a number of conditions. Garlic was fed to Greek soldiers to give them courage for war and Olympic athletes to increase their performance. In ancient China and Japan, it was used as an aid for digestion and respiration and as a food preservative. In India, it was used for digestive diseases, parasites, arthritis and heart disease. In Europe in the Middle Ages, it was used as a treatment for the plague.
What is in garlic that makes it medicinally powerful?
Garlic contains a number of antioxidant and sulfur compounds that have been shown to be helpful in the prevention of cancer, as well as cardiovascular, neurological and liver diseases.
How does garlic affect your health?
- Heart benefits: Garlic’s active ingredient allicin is associated with many heart benefits, such as lower cholesterol, decreased platelet aggregation (increased platelet aggregation can lead to clots), increased antioxidant activity and decreased blood pressure. These properties may help delay the onset of, and reduce the amount of, arteriosclerosis, which eventually can lead to heart attacks or strokes as the arteries become thick and stiff. An article in the Journal of Nutrition outlines garlic’s beneficial effects on lipids, blood pressure and fasting blood glucose.
- Cancer: There are numerous studies associating lower cancer rates with frequent garlic intake. Studies have also shown reduced rates for gastric, lung, colorectal and prostate cancer with frequent garlic intake. Active garlic ingredients were shown to inhibit breast cancer growth.
- Antibacterial effects: Fresh garlic inhibits the growth of superbugs like MRSA (Methicilline resistant staphylococci) and makes bacteria more sensitive to antibiotics. It is also active against a wide array of bacteria such as H. Pylori, Salmonella, and E Coli. It has synergy with antifungal drugs against Candida albicans (which cause yeast infections).
- Fights parasites: Garlic shows activity against a number of parasites, such as giardia and certain worms as well as schistosomiasis.
- Boost immune system: Garlic’s compound allium has been shown to be beneficial for boosting your immune system.
- Liver: Garlic may play a role in protecting the liver from the effects of aminoacetaminophen (Tylenol). It also may be effective for preventing fatty liver disease.
- Metabolic benefits: In a study on rats published in Nutrition & Metabolism, garlic increased insulin sensitivity and reduced metabolic syndrome.
- Fewer UTIs: Studies have shown that aged garlic extracts can combat drug-resistant bacterial strains that are responsible for urinary tract infections.
Enjoy Your Healthy Life!
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