Garlic has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of health problems. A large number of studies have been carried out to better understand the active ingredients in garlic and its amazing health benefits. These studies reveal that garlic is indeed a highly efficient compound for the treatment and prevention of many diseases.
Garlic stands out from other plants because of its richness in nutrients. Indeed, the garlic clove contains a concentrate of vitamins, minerals, and water.
Let’s take a look together at all the benefits that garlic has to offer.
Garlic Nutrition Facts
A clove of garlic is made up primarily of water, carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fiber. There are also other nutrients and molecules including various phytomolecules, such as polyphenols, phytosteroids, flavonoids, and even phenol acid.
But garlic also contains vitamins, minerals, and trace elements among which are vitamins A, E, C, and some of the group B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6.
Garlic also contains several minerals such as phosphorus, sulfur, magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, and chlorine. Trace elements like selenium, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, and even iodine, are also present in significant quantities in garlic.
|Total Fat||0,5 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.089 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0.249 g|
|Monosaturated Fat||0.011 g|
|Dietary fiber||6.36 g|
|Vitamin C||31.2 mg|
Garlic Benefits – Video Summary
Health Benefits of Garlic
A concentrate of natural antioxidants
Like many other plants, garlic contains nutrients and other molecules that are beneficial to our body, such as antioxidants. These reactive molecules make it possible to fight against cardiovascular diseases, as well as cancers and some other diseases linked to the aging of cells.
Among these natural antioxidants are tocopherols and flavonoids. Consuming fresh garlic helps generate optimal antioxidant activity in the body. And in this regard, garlic competes with many other vegetables and plants.
The best-known health benefit of garlic is probably its anti-inflammatory effect. Garlic contains a great deal of allicin, a substance that can prevent, reduce and even cure inflammation.
However, only raw garlic has these anti-inflammatory properties. If garlic is heated, for example, in a frying pan, it loses the substance allicin. Also, allicin is broken down quickly, so the sooner you eat the raw garlic, the better.
May prevent cancer
Allicin’s sulfur components inhibit cancer cell growth and protect the body from some potential carcinogens. Furthermore, the many antioxidants found in garlic protect cells from the harmful effects of free radicals, which are known to play a role in the development of some cancers.
Prevents cardiovascular diseases
A lot is said about the health benefits of garlic, but research has mainly been done on garlic in relation to cardiovascular diseases.
Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death worldwide, often caused by high blood pressure. The ingredients in garlic help lower blood pressure, according to several studies.
Garlic even turns out to be so effective that in this study it turned out that 600 to 1500 mg of garlic extract per day (for 24 weeks) was as effective as the drug Atenolol (intended for lowering high blood pressure).
In addition to blood pressure, garlic can also lower cholesterol, by about 10 to 15 percent.
Improves cognitive functions
According to a study done at the University of Louisville in the United States, eating garlic may be a wonderful way to improve memory and cognitive skills. It would work by rejuvenating the gut microbiota, which is linked to the brain via the vagus nerve. Again, a sulfur molecule is thought to be responsible for this memory-enhancing action.
Learn more about how to improve memory naturally.
Detoxifies the body
Those who have been exposed to heavy metals a lot, for example by working in a factory with car batteries, can suffer organ damage from the poison that heavy metals carry.
In one study, employees of such a factory were administered garlic for 4 weeks. Lead levels in their bodies dropped by about 19 percent. They also had fewer headaches afterward.
Supports the digestive system
Garlic is a great ally for digestion and our intestinal flora. While it acts in a general way on our digestive system, it proves to be very beneficial for the colon and its daily function. Consumption of garlic is often presented as a preventive solution to stomach and colon cancer, due to its unparalleled health benefits.
In addition, garlic has a strong laxative effect, especially when combined with chlorella. It is effective in cases of gastroenteritis (despite its laxative power) and helps restore the intestinal flora without removing the good bacteria found there. But that’s not all! It also effectively cleanses the intestines and helps fight against different types of parasites, including candida Albicans and helicobacter pylori.
Strengthens the immune system
Besides being a very powerful natural anti-inflammatory, garlic is also a very interesting antiviral. For thousands of years, it has been used to protect respiratory functions as well as to fight against ENT infections and ear infections. But not only. Garlic has already proven its worth against fever, flu, or even colds.
The cloves are often eaten to combat unexplained chronic fatigue, sore throats, canker sores, sinusitis, and tonsillitis. Its medicinal uses are particularly numerous. This explains why people around the world use it to preserve health and well-being on a daily basis.
Moreover, it goes perfectly with ginseng, turmeric, Goji berries, echinacea, and even propolis!
Increases sports performance
It may sound crazy, but garlic can even improve your sports performance. At least, that seems so when you look at the studies that have been done on animals. In a study on rats, the rodents tested improved 12 percent in their exercise capacity and the peak heart rate dropped.
In ancient Egypt, they also believed that garlic reduced fatigue and therefore gave garlic to their workers so that they could work better.
Helps against diabetes
Studies carried out to date on garlic agree on the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of the plant. In addition, garlic is also said to be able to reduce glycation, which makes it particularly interesting in the fight against diabetes. People with this disease can therefore consume garlic regularly to better control their blood sugar levels.
The anti-diabetes properties of garlic are particularly interesting when combined with Asian ginseng.
Prevents hair loss
If you rub a clove of garlic on your scalp, it can counteract fungi. This improves blood circulation and nourishes hair roots better. Even if you suffer from hair loss due to vitamin deficiency, this approach also helps.
If you have genetic hair loss, it, unfortunately, does not help.
A aphrodisiac and invigorating
Garlic and its cloves are considered a natural aphrodisiac, which helps increase libido. The plant would also be at the origin of a greater abundance of sperm when its consumption is fairly regular.
But in general, garlic boosts the proper functioning of the body and its various organs. It helps protect them from the cold (ideally in combination with ginseng).
Many athletes consume it when they suffer from sprains or fractures! The Romans and Egyptians also used to consume it for strength.
Even today, athletes appreciate garlic for its extraordinary properties.
Strengthens the bones
The risk of bone breakdown, or osteoporosis, is greater in postmenopausal women. This is because their level of estrogen drops, and estrogen helps maintain healthy, strong bones.
Garlic can help protect your bones by maintaining estrogen levels.
In a post-menopausal study of women, it was found that garlic powder caused fewer substances to be present in the blood indicating a reduction in estrogen.
Although there is as yet no human study showing a direct link between garlic and the maintenance of strong bones, studies in rats have indeed found that the oil from garlic counteracts osteoporosis, because the estrogen level of the rats increased.
In addition, garlic can reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.
the cardioprotective effect of garlic, but more studies are needed to better understand their roles.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much garlic can you eat per day?
To avoid the possible side effects of overconsumption of garlic, it is advisable to limit consumption to 1 to 2 cloves of raw garlic per day.
Can you eat garlic at night?
It is not advisable to eat garlic at night because it is a food that promotes gastric reflux. Although it has many health benefits, garlic is difficult to digest at night and can interfere with good quality sleep. It is recommended to consume it during the day, on an empty stomach in the morning, and during lunch.
Is raw garlic better than cooked garlic?
Garlic consumed raw provides more benefits than cooked garlic. The benefits of raw garlic are about 1.5 times greater than those of cooked garlic and garlic powder. This is because of the antioxidant content which is more pronounced in raw plants than in dried or processed plants. In addition, allicin is destroyed during the cooking of garlic and the antibacterial properties are then lost.
Raw garlic is also more effective against winter ailments than cooked garlic. It helps fight colds and sore throats during cold seasons. It also stimulates blood circulation and helps fight varicose veins. Raw garlic is effective in treating skin infections and wounds thanks to its antibiotic properties.
Who should not eat garlic?
To date, there is no contraindication to the consumption of garlic, except for people affected by a rare disease of blood metabolism called porphyria.
On the other hand, it is recommended not to consume too large amounts of garlic before or after surgery (because of its effects on the blood and coagulation). Apart from these few guidelines, garlic consumption remains completely safe.
However, it should be noted that large consumption of garlic can lead to some side or undesirable effects such as mild gastrointestinal discomfort. Additionally, some people find it difficult to properly digest garlic in its raw form.
When applied to the skin, fresh garlic can also cause mucosal or skin reactions.
Finally, because of its very pronounced aromas, garlic tends to give consumers bad breath. However, consuming garlic regularly helps to minimize these annoying odors thanks to the formation of a specific enzyme.
Garlic doesn’t just add flavor to everyday cooking. It also plays various beneficial roles for our organism. It helps against cancer, cardiovascular diseases, arterial hypertension… the virtues of garlic are legion. So, do not hesitate to integrate it into your recipes and well-being routines!
Jenny holds a Master’s degree in psychiatry from the University of Illinois and Bachelors’s degree from the University of Texas in nutritional sciences. She works as a dietician for Austin Oaks Hospital in Austin, Texas. Jenney writes content on nutrition and mental health for the Scientific Origin.