If you’re not already regularly adding fresh garlic to your favorite recipes we bet that will change soon. Because not only does the veggie’s pungent nutty flavor take nearly any side or main dish from so-so to spectacular, it sends its nutritional value skyrocketing.
Delicious AND good for you? What’s not to love?
Following are just eight of the many reasons you should start eating more garlic starting today…
1. Sends cold bugs packing:
Several large studies have proven what garlic lovers have known all along, the bity vegetable puts up a serious fight against cold bugs. Research has revealed that regular exposure to this onion relative can limit the frequency, intensity and duration of colds.
In one large study out of Britain researchers found that the herb can reduce the number of colds a person gets by an astonishing 63 percent when compared to folks taking a placebo. For the unlucky folks who did still catch a cold this member of the Allium family slashed the average length of the cold by an incredible 70 percent.
And that can lead to real world benefits such as slashing sick days by 61 percent, according to another study out of Florida.
2. Protects the heart:
Experts say high doses of garlic (600-1500 mg, or about four delicious cloves per day) can be just as effective at lowering blood pressure as a prescription medication.
But the heart benefits don’t end there. Research has also revealed a regular garlic habit can lower your LDL or “bad” cholesterol as well as your total cholesterol.
Combine that lower blood pressure with those better cholesterol numbers, and it adds up to a healthier heart.
3. Reduces cancer risk:
Making garlic a part of your regular routine could help protect you against cancer. Researchers say the vegetable has been linked to a reduced risk of a number of cancers including…
Not only has this potent herb been shown to reduce the risk of these cancers, in some cases it may even help fight the disease. Garlic blocks the formation of cancer cells, enhances DNA repair, and “induce(s) cell death” in already developed cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute.
4. Defends memories:
Ounce for ounce, garlic is one of the best sources of several antioxidants, including flavonoids such as allixin and selenium as well as organosulfur compounds. Several are associated with lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. In fact, in early studies, garlic extract has been linked to improved cognitive function and memory.
5. Strengthens bones:
According to a large study published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, women whose diets include plenty of garlic, and other sources of the compound allacin, have fewer incidents of osteoporosis.
Another study linked the vegetable to lower markers associated with weak bones and poor bone density.
6. Better blood sugar:
More research needs to be done, but an exciting study found that raw garlic (500 mg) significantly lowers blood glucose levels in the lab. In fact, the researchers referred to it as a “profound effect.”
Along with lower blood glucose the garlic-eating rats had their cholesterol and triglyceride levels drop by significant amounts too, when compared to a placebo.
7. Fight heavy metal contamination:
Exposure to heavy metals, such as lead, can have serious health consequences even leading to organ damage. But garlic may be able to help.
In a study of workers exposed to high levels of lead, garlic alone reduced the blood levels by 19 percent. The garlic also slashed the headaches and high blood pressure that are associated with lead toxicity.
8. Boosts endurance:
These days’ performance enhancers are everywhere, but in ancient Greece, athletes’ options were far more limited so they reached for garlic. Modern research has now proven they were onto something.
Not only does it improve athletic performance, but in a six-week study, it was linked to lower heart rate and greater endurance during work outs.
So go ahead and load up on the fresh garlic. Your meals will taste better, and your health will be better too. Not fond of the taste? No problem, you can try supplements instead.