Garlic is a cure-all. It’s got so much scientifically backed health benefits it’s astounding. I mean, there are a lot of superfoods out there, but I feel like garlic always gets a little swept under the rug with everyone focusing on kale, turmeric, and coconut oil.
But the truth is garlic has as much (and sometimes more) health benefits than other superfoods. The trouble is, even people who know how good garlic is for you don’t know how much of it they need to take every day to reap all of its health benefits – that’s my focus.
How Garlic Benefits Your Body
We have to talk about why you need to be taking garlic (or supplements). Some people don’t like garlic, and I guess that’s okay, but I’m not quite sure why. There are options for those of you who don’t like the taste garlic which are included later in the article.
The Many Health Benefits of Garlic
Garlic has so many scientifically backed health benefits, but my favorites are…
1. Very Nutritious
Garlic is low in calories but contains a huge amount of vitamins. An ounce of garlic has: 23 % of your daily recommended manganese; 17% of your daily recommended vitamin B6, 15% of your daily Vitamin C needs, 6% of your daily needed selenium, and a whole gram of fiber.
2. Excellent Immune Booster
3. Reduces Blood Pressure
Studies have found garlic to have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure. One study found that aged garlic extract at doses of 600-1,500 mg was just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a 24 week period (that’s about 4 garlic cloves a day though). Check out more here and here.
4. Lowers Bad Cholesterol
For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplementation appears to reduce LDL cholesterol by about 10-15%. It doesn’t have any effect on your good cholesterol, but also doesn’t seem to help against dangerous triglycerides.
5. Loaded with Antioxidants
Garlic has tons of antioxidants, which are known to help reduce your risk of age-related brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia.
6. Boosts Athletic Performance
Want to perform better in your next marathon? Turns out garlic can actually boost your athletic performance. Rodent subjects with heart disease that took garlic oil for 6 weeks had a reduction in peak heart rate of 12% and improved their exercise capacity. Check the study here.
7. Helps You Detox
The sulfur compound allicin encourages damaging metals such as lead and mercury to join to it, when they bond together, your body has an easier time excreting them so they stay in your body for a shorter amount of time.
8. Improves Bone Health
Garlic can increase estrogen levels in female rodents, a lack of estrogen in post-menopausal women can lead to bone fragility later in life. It’s also shown to reduce the effects of osteoarthritis.
Now, the recommended averages for adult consumption is about 1.5 grams. Therapeutic usage is between 3 and 4 grams. That’s a lot of garlic. At that point, it starts to seep into your pores and makes you smell vaguely like garlic, which is good for keeping both vampires and humans away. You can, however, cut that risk by taking it in alternative forms.
How to Take Garlic
Allimax is a good source if you want to get allicin (the main healing chemical of garlic) without actually having to taste the stuff. You can buy it from most health food places in the USA.
You can’t go wrong here. Food is a much more natural and less concentrated way to get allicin in your diet rather than putting high dosages into your body (some people find that concerning, and I agree that is a fair concern.)
It’s easier than you think to incorporate 3 to 4 cloves a day into your meals. Use it on just about anything. You can find a ton of great recipes from The Hearty Soul!
Here are a few great recipes from The Hearty Soul to help you include garlic in your diet:
Finally, you can use half a clove of garlic as a suppository to clear up pinworms, yeast infections, UTIs, and (there’s minimal research on this, but it’s a lauded home remedy) to help ease a flare-up of genital warts. Insert a fresh, half clove into the vagina or rectum overnight to help fight or resolve symptoms.
Anything else you want to read about? Let us know in the comments!
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