Garlic is truly one of the most amazing superfoods! It contains more than 100 biologically useful chemicals that can do everything from lower cholesterol to fight off viruses. (1) It is a great food to consume during flu season.
Here are a just a few reason to include garlic in your diet:
1. Garlic is antiviral and antifungal: Garlic has been used for centuries for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, but did you know that it can also prevent yeast infections? The chemical component of garlic (allicin) has been shown to prevent the growth of the candida albicans fungus in humans. (2)
2. Garlic reduces cholesterol: The powerful antioxidant properties of garlic prevents free radical damage to the arterial lining and prevents the formation of scar tissue on the arteries. This stops the initiation of plaque build-up. Garlic has also been shown to reduce homocysteine levels in the blood. High levels of homocysteine are directly linked to high cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease. (3)
3. Garlic fights off the cold and flu: Garlic has the ability to boost your immune system by increasing the rate at which your natural killer cells are made. Natural killer cells are a fundamental part of our non-specific immunity. This means that these cells will kill off all invaders without the specific targeting that antibodies use to kill pathogens. (4)
4. Garlic lowers your blood pressure naturally: Garlic has the ability to decrease platelet aggregation. This means that garlic doesn’t let your blood cells stick together, and allows them to move more freely through your system. Consider eating more garlic instead of Aspirin to lower blood pressure and increase circulation. (5)
5. Garlic can help regulate blood sugar levels: The exact mechanisms by which this occurs are still under investigation, but consumption of garlic has been shown to have a regulatory effect on the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetic patients. Combine this with its antioxidant properties and it’s the ultimate prevention food. (6)
1. Tariq H. Abdullah, O. Kandil, A. Elkadi, and J. Carter: “Garlic Revisited: Therapeutic for the Major Diseases of Our Times?” J Natl Med Assoc. 1988 Apr; 80(4): 439–445. PMCID: PMC2625738
2. Katey M. Lemar, Ourania Passa, Miguel A. Aon, Sonia Cortassa, Carsten T. Müller, Sue Plummer, Brian O’Rourke, and David Lloyd: “Allyl alcohol and garlic (Allium sativum) extract produce oxidative stress in Candida albicans.” Microbiology. 2005 October ; 151(Pt 10): 3257–3265. doi:10.1099/mic.0.28095-0.
3. Javad Kojuri, Amir R Vosoughi and Majid Akrami: “Effects of anethum graveolens and garlic on lipid profile in hyperlipidemic patients.” Lipids in Health and Disease 2007, 6:5 doi:10.1186/1476-511X-6-5
4. Tariq H. Abdullah, MD, 0. Kandil, PhD, A.Elkadi, MD, and J.Carter, MD : “Garlic Revisited: Therapueutic for the major disease of our times?” Journey of the National Medical Association VOL. 80, NO. 4, 1988
5. Igor A Sobenin, Valentin V Pryanishnikov, Lyudmila M Kunnova, Yevgeny A Rabinovich, Danik M Martirosyan, Alexander N Orekhov,: “The effects of time-released garlic powder tablets on multifunctional cardiovascular risk in patients with coronary artery disease.” Sobenin et al. Lipids in Health and Disease 2010, 9:119
6. Young-Min Lee, Oh-Cheon Gweon, Yeong-Ju Seo, Jieun Im, Min-Jung Kang, Myo-Jeong Kim and Jung-In Kim: “Antioxidant effect of garlic and aged black garlic in animal model of type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Nutrition Research and Practice (2009), 3(2), 156-161 DOI: 10.4162/nrp.2009.3.2.156