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Garlic Health Benefits

Garlic Health Benefits
Garlic is an important culinary spice or ingredient. It contains many nutrients that help improve the general health of an individual. Read on for more information on its health benefits.
Dhanya Joy
The consumption of garlic is known to be extremely beneficial for human health and this has been under research for more than 500 years now. Every time, a new garlic health benefit has been discovered and advertised by researchers, only to add to the existing popularity of garlic as a health food. It is popularly used as a spice in many culinary dishes and is loved for the flavor and aroma it adds to these dishes.
Some even enjoy having raw garlic cloves, not worrying about the horrible odor that it imparts to their breath. It can be consumed in a powdered, clove or oil form and no matter which form is used, the health benefits imparted remain the same. The nutrients and the various medicinal and herbal properties of garlic is what makes it so beneficial. Here's some more information on the nutrients and its various health benefits.
Garlic Nutrients
The various health benefits of garlic are due to nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, selenium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and manganese. It is a rich source of the sulfur compound known as allicin which is also responsible for its odor. Other sulfur compounds present in garlic include arginine, saponins, beta-carotene, ferulic acid, geraniol and various polyohenols. Garlic possesses various medicinal properties like antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, analgesic and anesthetizing properties. Raw garlic is known to be the most beneficial. Garlic, when cooked tends to lose some of its nutrients, but is still beneficial up to a large extent. Pickled or aged garlic is also known to be very beneficial if consumed.
Health Benefits of Garlic
The nutrients and properties of garlic impart the following health benefits, if consumed regularly.
Antioxidant
One of the most important health benefits of garlic is its ability to fight and protect against the development of the harmful free radicals. This ability is especially exhibited by aged garlic which has an extremely powerful antioxidant effect.
Common Cold and Cough Cure
Eating a clove of garlic is the best known home remedy for treating common colds, coughs and colds caused due to allergies. This is due to garlic being a rich source of vitamin C and also its strong antiviral and antibacterial properties. It also has the ability to reduce severe upper respiratory tract infections.
Treatment of Infections
The allicin and antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-parasitic properties that garlic contains makes it very beneficial in fighting against and curing various types of infections. This is one of the important medicinal properties of garlic.
Anti-Cancer
Studies have indicated that the compounds present in garlic are helpful in dealing with cancer. They are known to aid white blood cells in defending the body against cancerous cells and in retarding the growth and development of these cancerous cells.
Diabetes Management
The daily consumption of garlic is known to increase the levels of insulin secretion to help regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Regulation
One of the important garlic benefits is that the daily consumption of garlic helps lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels due to the nutrients and minerals that it contains.
Treatment of Impotence
The aphrodisiac properties of garlic make it beneficial in the treatment of impotency and it is used for this purpose since ancient times. Garlic contains an enzyme known as nitric oxide synthase that helps obtain erection.
Immune System Strengthening
Regular consumption of garlic improves the functioning of the immune system. Garlic increases the production of white blood cells and an enzyme known as interferon that boosts the functioning of the immune system.
Improves Brain Functioning
A sulfur compound known as sallylcystein helps improve brain functioning by improving memory and preventing the degeneration of the frontal lobes of the brain.
These were a few of the many benefits of garlic. You too can make use and enjoy its health benefits by including it in your diet or consuming a clove or two raw. Garlic also has some side effects so you must be careful not to consume it too much.