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Top 10 Health Benefits of Garlic

Posted by on July 7, 2011

garlic health benefitsGarlic (Allium sativum) is a perennial vegetable that belongs to Allium family, a class of bulb-shaped plants, which also includes onions, chives, leeks, shallots, and scallions.

Garlic is native to central Asia and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Garlic has been used throughout its history for both culinary and medicinal purposes. The key medical ingredient in garlic is allicin, which is known to have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-oxidants properties. Here are top ten health benefits of garlic:

  1. Prevent Cancer
    Several human studies show that eating garlic regularly reduces the risk of esophageal, stomach, and colon cancer. Researchers believe that there are many factors in the ability of garlic to fight cancer. One factor is a compound found in garlic – allyl sulfur. Allyl sulfur is known can inhibit the growth of different types of cancer-especially skin and breast cancer.
  2. Cardiovascular benefits
    Some early investigational studies in humans have suggested possible cardiovascular benefits of garlic. Garlic lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, inhibit platelet stickiness and increase fibrinolysis which results in a slowing of blood coagulation. Research shows that garlic prevents the buildup of plaque in arteries, and even lowers it.
  3. Reduce blood pressure
    The relationship between garlic and high blood pressure has been investigated scientifically, and it has been regarded as an effective remedy for lowering blood pressure. It reduces spasms of the small arteries and also slows down the pulse rate and modifies the heart rhythm.
  4. Cure Diabetes
    Garlic contains a chemical compound called allicin. Allicin combines with vitamin B1 (thiamine) help to stimulate the pancreas to release insulin. Garlic can be very beneficial in treating people with type 2 diabetes.
  5. Fight Cold and Flu
    A study on 150 people has shown that garlic can help prevent and treat the common cold. In the study, the participants received either garlic supplements or placebo for 12 weeks during “cold season”. Those who received the garlic had fewer colds than those who received placebo. Plus, when confronted with a cold, the symptoms disappeared more quickly among those receiving garlic compared to those receiving placebo.
  6. Boost immune system
    Garlic is a powerful immune booster that stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white blood cells, increase natural killer cell activity, and enhance the efficiency of antibody production. Immune-boosting properties of garlic seem to be due to its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin and sulfides.
  7. Aid in digestion
    Garlic is one of the most beneficial foods for digestive system. It eliminates noxious waste matter in the body, stimulates peristaltic action and secretes digestive fluids.
  8. Remedy for Acne
    Garlic is also one of the oldest home remedies for acne. Gently rub the affected areas with raw garlic for several times a day. Garlic is also known to cure persistent form of acne. The external use of garlic helps to clear the acne scars, skin spots, and boils. The key point is gentleness. Any harshness will even worsen the lesion. Acne can further be cured by eating three seeds of raw garlic per day for a month.
  9. Protect against allergies
    Garlic is known to have antiviral properties, which help the body fight against allergies. Simply take one tablet of garlic supplements per day for two or three weeks before the usual allergy season begins.
  10. Maintain healthy eyes
    Garlic contains sulfur, which is necessary for producing glutathione, an antioxidant that helps the eye lens. Garlic may contribute to maintain blood circulation and keep eyes healthy.