Whether it’s salad dressing, hummus, pasta, or a number of other dishes, you’ll most likely find garlic in many of your favorite recipes, but do you know about its many health benefits? In this blog, we’ll cover six great benefits of garlic as well as how to avoid garlic breath!
What Garlic Can Do For You
Garlic has many health benefits. We’ve researched and created this list of six health benefits of garlic!
- Garlic Can Lower Your Cholesterol
Garlic is one of the most popular herbal supplements. Depending on the dose that you consume, garlic has been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
- Garlic Can Protect You From Cancer
Garlic, like many other vegetables in the allium family, has been linked to lowering the risk of certain cancers such as stomach, throat, and prostate. This is due to the natural compounds in garlic that are able to fight and kill cancer cells, and prevent the growth or spread of cancer in the body.
- Garlic Can Boost Your Immune System
Many people know that garlic can help fight off the common cold or the flu, but garlic has more immune abilities as well. When consumed garlic functions as a prebiotic in our guts. This causes an increase in the number of good bacteria and helps build immunity.
- Garlic Can Reduce Blood Pressure
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, garlic is able to lower your blood pressure. In studies, researchers have found that participants taking garlic supplements of 600-1500 milligrams had a 10 percent drop in their blood pressure levels. Keep in mind that 600-1500 milligrams of garlic supplements translate to roughly 4 cloves of garlic.
- Garlic Can Increase Athletic Performance
Garlic has long been used to increase physical performance, and even the Greeks used it for their Olympian athletes. Now, athletes and those who are just trying to increase their exercising capabilities use garlic to reduce exercise-induced fatigue. In one study, participants with heart disease who took garlic supplements for six weeks were able to lower their heart rate while exercising by 12%, allowing for a longer workout.
- Garlic Can Increase Memory
Garlic contains an antioxidant called S-allyl cysteine. S-allyl cysteine can battle the very free radicals that are responsible for aging, allowing your brain to function better as you age. Because garlic increases your blood flow, lowers cholesterol, and lowers blood pressures, consuming it will allow you to have a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Best Ways to Enjoy Garlic
Garlic can be consumed in a great number of ways including garlic cloves, essential garlic oil, garlic powder, garlic extract, black garlic, aged garlic extract, capsules, and tablets. Raw garlic, garlic supplements, and black garlic are all packed with nutrients. We’ll discuss those here.
Garlic Supplements: Garlic supplements are another option to enjoy the health benefits of garlic. These supplements are available in capsule, soft gel, or tablet form. With these options, you may choose whichever option works best for your lifestyle. Garlic supplements are made from cold-pressed garlic.
Raw Garlic: Raw garlic is rich in the allicin compound, which is the reason for its strong, lingering odor. Whenever we chew, chop or slice fresh, raw garlic, we activate allicin. Allicin has strong antioxidant benefits, can help the body with heart health, and has anti-cancer and antimicrobial effects.
4 Simple Garlic Recipes To Try
Ready to enjoy the great taste of garlic and have all of the health benefits? We’ve provided four simple garlic-filled recipes that you can try with your family tonight!
Healthier Garlic Bread: Everyone loves garlic bread, but it is a side that should be enjoyed in moderation. If you are looking for a healthier option, try this recipe.
Roasted Garlic Guacamole: Guacamole is already a fan favorite, but why not spruce it up just a bit? With the added garlic, this classic side becomes even better!
Garlic, Honey & Lemon Tea: This old-fashioned home remedy may sound a little strange, but it is a great boost to the immune system. If you are recovering from a cold or the flu, try this easy recipe to get over your bug.
Roasted Garlic Cloves: Don’t let this recipe title scare you away! Even if you aren’t a fan of raw garlic, you may still enjoy this roasted recipe.
How to Avoid Garlic Breath
Now that you’ve decided to up your garlic intake and have maybe tried one of these garlic recipes, you are most likely experiencing that one negative side effect of garlic-garlic breath. Here are the best ways to get rid of garlic breath:
- Chew on fresh herbs such as parsley or mint
- Eat an apple or lettuce to help neutralize the sulfur compounds that give garlic its very distinctive scent.
An alternative option to whole garlic is black garlic. Black garlic is made from whole garlic that has been fermented for a month. No worry, this type of garlic is still free from additives and preservatives. After fermentation, black garlic develops its dark color along with a softer texture, sweeter taste, and of course no garlic breath. And as an added bonus, studies show that black garlic as two times as many antioxidants as whole garlic. Twice the benefits and none of the bad garlic breath!
As you know by now, garlic has many health benefits. From lowering your blood pressure to boosting your immune system to increasing athletic performance, garlic has a wide array of positive side effects. While raw garlic has the highest levels of nutrients, you can also reap its benefits in garlic powder, extract, and supplements. You can also add garlic to your daily diet by trying one of the four recipes that we have provided. And don’t let the thought of garlic breath prevent you from getting all these amazing benefits. Easily get rid of your garlic breath by chewing on parsley or eating an apple.
If you’re looking for more anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet, read our post about the Top 12 Anti-Inflammatory Foods.