It's somewhat ironic that the most well-known property people attribute to garlic is that it repels vampires, seeing how they are – we assume – not real. But what about the actual, scientifically proven benefits? Most people would not know what to tell you about that, besides the flavor it adds to dishes. As it turns out, garlic has numerous benefits for your body, ranging from nutrient boosts to more complex boons.
Scientists attribute most of garlic's virtues to allicin, a sulfur compound ("formed when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed or chewed") that is also responsible for the plant's potent aroma, Authority Nutrition says. Here are just a few of the ways that garlic can help you have a healthier life.
1. Get a nutrient refill
Garlic cloves are the most useful food you could have if you're lacking manganese, The World's Healthiest Foods reports. Manganese is necessary for good bone growth and collagen production. In addition to that, garlic also provides adequate amounts of vitamins B-6 and C, as well as selenium and fiber, according to Authority Nutrition.
2. Boost your immune system
BBC News reports that a study led by the Garlic Centre's Peter Josling involved giving a group of volunteers daily doses of Allimax, an allicin supplement, while another group was given placebos. Over the next three months, the volunteers who regularly took allicin fell ill with colds much less frequently than those who took placebos, and recovered faster as well. The Huffington Post adds that garlic may be good at killing harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
3. Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol
Authority Nutrition reports that heavy doses of allicin – approximately four daily cloves' worth – could be just as effective at decreasing blood pressure as doctor-prescribed drugs such as Atenolol. Garlic supplements can also help reduce LDL, the harmful kind of cholesterol.
4. Live longer and healthier
In addition to helping combat the risk of heart disease like mentioned above, garlic may be able to reduce the risk of brain diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia, thanks to its antioxidant effects, Authority Nutrition says. It is also suggested to possess performance-enhancing attributes, the website suggests, and could both improve exercise capacity and reduce fatigue.
With all these healthy benefits, there's simply no reason not to add more garlic to your diet — unless you've got a date, in which case, maybe think it over. The video below from the "Cooking With Jack Show" on YouTube shows a great recipe for a soup that utilizes no less than 44 cloves of garlic, which should keep you healthy for quite a while.
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