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All The Numerous Health Benefits Of Garlic You Probably Didn’t Know

Scientifically called allium sativum, garlic belongs to the onion genus, Allium. Among its close relatives are onions, shallots, leeks, and chives. Garlic is frequently used as a seasoning in Asian cooking, and also in Europe and Africa. Garlic has an intense aroma and a pungent flavor, which makes it very appealing to be used in pretty much every cusine in the world.

A garlic bulb contains anywhere between 4 to 20 cloves, with each clove weighing about 1 gram. Garlic can be used in any of these forms: garlic oil, dried garlic, garlic powder, fresh garlic, and aged garlic.

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History of garlic


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Garlic has been around for over 7,000 years, and was known to Ancient Egyptians as well, who used it as both a food flavoring as well as a traditional medicine. Also, in the medieval times, garlic was not only popular for its medicinal properties, but to ward off vampires and other evils as well. In the early 18th century, gravediggers in France apparently drank wine that had crushed garlic in it, so as to protect themselves from the plague. Later, in World War I and II, garlic was extensively used as an antiseptic for wounds, and also used to prevent infections in soldiers.

Nutritional facts about garlic

Garlic is a bulb that grows beneath the soil layer. With long green shoots coming up out of the soil, its roots extend downward. Garlic is a perennial plant, which contains several vital nutrients like flavonoids, amino acids, allicin, oligosaccharides, and elevated levels of sulfur. Regular consumption of garlic has been known to provide amazing health benefits.

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Although garlic is consumed in smaller quantities, anywhere from a single clove to about 10-15 cloves in dishes, 100g of garlic cloves provide about 149kcal of energy, along with:

  • 33g of carbohydrates
  • 1g of natural sugars
  • 1g of dietary fiber
  • 5g of fat
  • 36g of protein
  • Vitamin B6 – 95% of daily value
  • Vitamin C – 38% of daily value
  • Vitamin B1 – 17% of daily value
  • Vitamin B5 – 12% of daily value
  • Vitamin B2 – 9% of daily value
  • Vitamin B3 – 5% of daily value
  • Folate – 1% of daily value
  • Manganese – 80% of daily value
  • Phosphorus – 22% of daily value
  • Calcium – 18% of daily value
  • Iron – 13% of daily value
  • Zinc – 12% of daily value
  • Potassium – 9% of daily value
  • Magnesium – 7% of daily value
  • Sodium – 1% of daily value
  • Selenium – 14.2 μg

Health benefits of garlic

Apart from these nutrients, garlic also contains sulfur compounds like allicin and alliin. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the major health benefits of garlic, whether consumed raw, fresh, cooked, dried, or oil.

1. Garlic prevents heart disease.

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Garlic has been known to help prevent as well as treat many cardiovascular and metabolic diseases including hyperlipidemia, thrombosis, hypertension, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. Regular consumption of garlic has been known to have cardio-protective effects, which are amazing for your overall health as well. Plus, garlic helps reverse plaque buildup in arteries, which causes heart attacks if it goes unchecked.

2. Garlic helps control high blood pressure.

Garlic has been shown to control high blood pressure, which is also commonly known as hypertension. Aged garlic extract is found to be highly effective in this regard, studies have shown. The polysulfides present in garlic help promote the widening of blood vessels, which thereby reduce the high blood pressure.

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3. Garlic helps treat diabetes.

Consuming garlic has shown to help regulate blood sugar levels, potentially decrease some of the diabetes complications effects, fighting infections, reducing LDL (the bad kind) cholesterol, and encourage circulation. In essence, regular garlic consumption has shown to significantly improve blood cholesterol levels – reduce LDL cholesterol and moderately raise HDL cholesterol.

4. Garlic helps protect body against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is a condition where it robs people of their ability to think clearly, perform everyday tasks, and finally, remember who they even are. Garlic possesses antioxidants that are shown to support body’s protective mechanisms against oxidative damage, which is a major contribution to cognitive ailments.

5. Garlic helps fight common colds and other infections.

Sulfuric compounds like allicin present in garlic are highly effective in killing off microorganisms that cause common colds and other rare infections as well. Regularly consuming garlic lowers the likelihood of getting cold. Plus, garlic possesses anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties, all of which are vital in relieving common cold and other infections.

6. Garlic helps prevent cancer.


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Garlic contains bioactive sulfur compounds, which are known to affect many biological processes that modify cancer risk, including stomach, colon, pancreas, breast, and esophagus. Garlic possesses anti-bacterial properties, along with the ability to block the formation of cancer-causing substances, which effectively arrest the activation of cancer-causing substances, enhance DNA repair, and reduce cell proliferation, which is how cancer spreads.

7. Garlic helps treat male and female baldness (Alopecia).

Garlic is known to help treat baldness, alopecia to be exact. Alopecia is an autoimmune skin disease, which causes hair loss on the scalp, face, and on other areas of the body too sometimes. Although there are different treatments available, there are no cures as yet. Applying garlic gel topically is known to help with the condition. Alternatively, garlic-infused coconut oil application is also known to be beneficial.

8. Garlic helps you live longer.

Since garlic is known to have beneficial positive effects on blood pressure and cholesterol, it makes sense that it could possibly help you live longer. Another important consideration is the fact that it helps fight against infections, both common and rare.

9. Garlic helps enhance athletic performance.

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Garlic is one of the earliest known performance-enhancing substances. It was traditionally used to lower fatigue, while enhancing work capacity of laborers too. Although this isn’t quite accurate scientifically, it is known to help improve physical performance in people with heart disease, while the same cannot be said of healthy people.

10. Garlic helps detoxify your body.

The sulfur compounds found in garlic are known to help protect the body against organ damage caused by heavy metal toxicity. Plus, it also helps relieve the signs of toxicity, including blood pressure and headaches.

11. Garlic helps give you healthy hair and skin.

Garlic is amazing in protecting your skin from free radical damage and to slow down the collagen breakdown, which causes loss of elasticity in aging skin. Its anti-fungal properties help get rid of skin ailments like eczema. Plus, other fungal infections like ringworms and athlete’s foot can be treated effectively with garlic. Also, garlic is a boon to hair health, especially one that is thinning. It is known that rubbing crushed garlic extract all over your scalp or massaging it using garlic-infused oil, is known to help prevent and even reverse hair loss and hair thinning.

12. Garlic helps clear acne.

acne vulgaris_New_Love_Times

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Acne and the scars it leaves behind are a pain to get rid of. However, garlic has been known to work wonders on these unsightly blemishes, helped along by the powerful antioxidants present in it, that kill off bacteria that cause acne.

13. Garlic helps treat psoriasis.

Garlic possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which are known to be quite helpful in relieving unpleasant and painful psoriasis outbreaks. Especially useful is garlic oil, which needs to be applied topically on the affected areas.

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14. Garlic helps get rid of splinters.

If you’ve got a splinter stuck in your skin, just placing a piece of cut garlic over it and covering it with a bandage will help you get rid of it effectively.

How best to consume garlic

Garlic, whether consumed raw or cooked, has the same nutritional and antioxidant value. So use garlic wherever you can – sautéed, baked, roasted – doesn’t matter, as long as you consume it regularly. Use it in salads, soups, salad dressing, marinade, stew, and tomato sauce. Also, you can use garlic with any type of vegetable, and any type of meat.

These are all the numerous health benefits of garlic that you probably didn’t know. Now that you do, don’t forget to toss a few cloves of garlic into your recipes. Not only does garlic add flavor to your dish, it will benefit your health too.

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Article Name
All The Numerous Health Benefits Of Garlic You Probably Didn't Know
Here's all the numerous health benefits of garlic you'd do well to know about!
Chaitra Ramalingegowda

Chaitra Ramalingegowda

I fell in love with storytelling long before I knew what it was. Love well written stories, writing with passion, baking lip-smacking-finger-licking chocolate cakes, engaging movies, and home-cooked food. A true work-in-progress and a believer in the idiom 'all those who wander are not lost'. Twitter: @ChaitraRlg