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The 7 benefits of garlic on your health

Garlic doesn’t just add flavor to your favorite dishes, it can also be good for your health. If you have to remember one thing from this article, let it be this: Garlic breath is good. Seriously, if you’ve eaten your share of garlic today, you’ve done your health a favor. But what is garlic, and why is it so good for you?

Garlic belongs to the allium family. Allium refers to a class of plants that also includes onions, leeks and shallots. It contains phytochemicals such as allicin and organosulfur compounds. These phytochemicals (or plant compounds) are responsible for the nutritional, anti-inflammatory, immune-supporting, and heart-healthy properties of the plant.

The scientific basis for many of these benefits is based on studies of supplements and extracts (including powders and capsules), which may provide higher doses than you would get from eating. This is usually done as part of research to test a desired answer within a given time frame. However, long-term use of garlic in smaller amounts, such as in daily food preparation, may also produce positive results at lower doses. Indeed, in many studies, the concentrated equivalent may be around two cloves of garlic.

Don’t be afraid to add garlic to hummus, pesto, pastas, sauces, soups, stir-fries and vegetables. After all, garlic is packed with health benefits.

Here are seven health benefits of garlic

1. Garlic can help lower blood pressure

A few cloves of garlic a day can help avoid a trip to the cardiologist. Garlic stimulates the synthesis of nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels, and inhibits the activity of ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme). ACE inhibitors help relax blood vessels. This promotes healthy blood flow and blood pressure.

A recent meta-analysis published in February 2020 in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine reveals that in the 12 trials and over 550 people with hypertension that were studied, taking garlic supplements for three months lowered systolic blood pressure. (top number) by about 8 points and diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) by 5.5 points, an effect similar to that of blood pressure medication.

2. Garlic can help curb inflammation

According to Harvard Health Publishing, scientists believe that chronic inflammation is one of the drivers of chronic disease. Including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and arthritis. Garlic, on the other hand, helps inhibit the activity of certain inflammatory proteins. In a randomized, controlled, double-blind study of 70 women with the inflammatory autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis, the group who took 1,000 milligrams of garlic supplements daily for eight weeks had markers lower inflammation, less pain and fatigue, and fewer tender joints compared to a placebo group. The researchers published their findings in November 2020 in the journal Phytotherapy Research.

3. Garlic May Help Lower Cholesterol

Another benefit of garlic for the heart: improving cholesterol levels. How? ‘Or’ What ? Garlic can help lower the production of cholesterol by the liver. Although more research is needed to determine the relationship between garlic consumption and cholesterol levels, a meta-analysis and review of studies that was published in May 2018 in Medicine concluded that taking garlic supplements Garlic was effective in lowering both total cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol levels, which are two risk factors for heart disease.

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4. Garlic May Support Immune Function

Given our collective enthusiasm for taking care of our immune systems during the COVID-19 pandemic, here’s a reason to add garlic to your dinner tonight. Although there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that garlic can prevent or treat the common cold, for example, it may play a role in your body’s defense mechanisms in several ways.
First of all, the allicin contained in garlic has antibacterial properties. Scientists also believe garlic has antiviral properties that can work in two ways, she says: by blocking the entry of viruses into cells and by boosting the immune response so it can effectively fight off potential invaders. These are the things that can help support an overall healthy immune system.

5. Garlic can reduce blood clotting

Another benefit of garlic for your heart health: Compounds in garlic (and onion) have been shown to decrease blood platelet adhesion and have anticoagulant properties. These properties may help prevent atherosclerosis, a process in which plaque buildup leads to hardening and narrowing of the arteries. According to the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute (US), atherosclerosis increases the risk of forming blood clots that can cause heart attacks and strokes. Of course, consuming garlic shouldn’t be the only preventative measure you take to protect your arteries. You also need to eat a heart-healthy diet, get plenty of exercise, manage your weight, and avoid or quit smoking.

6. Garlic Provides A Multitude Of Antioxidants

Garlic’s nutrients and plant compounds give it “strong antioxidant properties,” according to a study published in July 2020 in Antioxidants. Not only do antioxidants benefit blood vessels and reduce inflammation, but they can absorb damaging free radicals that can lead to diseases like cancer (although this anti-cancer potential needs to be confirmed in human research) .

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7. Garlic Makes Other Healthy Foods Taste Great

Garlic adds flavor to food, which helps us eat more of the foods we’re supposed to eat, such as vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and beans.
Adding flavor with garlic can also potentially help you reduce the need for excess salt in your food and for just 4 calories per clove.

Finally, don’t overlook the role taste plays in your overall diet. When we enjoy the foods we eat and learn to listen to our satiety cues, they can also be more satisfying. All the more reason to add garlic to your next meal!

Sources

Garlic lowers blood pressure in hypertensive subjects, improves arterial stiffness and gut microbiota: A review and meta-analysis

The effects of garlic (Allium sativum) supplementation on inflammatory biomarkers, fatigue, and clinical symptoms in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Anti-hyperlipidemia of garlic by reducing the level of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein. A meta-analysis

[HighProtein-Foods.com]

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