Reasons to Add More Garlic to Your Diet
March 4, 2015
Garlic makes your breath smell funny, but that’s just a small inconvenience compared to the health benefits that come with it. You actually have a lot of reasons for adding garlic into your recipes.
It makes you more resistant to colds.
Garlic contains compounds that fight bacteria and viruses. There’s a reason why naturopaths use it as a germicidal ointment for different types of skin infections. What most people don’t know is that garlic can enhance immune function. A robust immune system has greater resistance to cold and flu viruses.
It packs a lot of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are important to your health. They keep good brain function. They optimize immune system function. They keep aging at bay. Antioxidants fight chemicals that cause cellular damage, which leads to premature tissue damage and aging.
It’s good for your cardiovascular health.
Garlic has potent sulfur compounds that regulate your blood pressure and cholesterol. These compounds bind with red blood cells to produce hydrogen sulfide, which causes dilation of blood vessels. Expansion of blood vessels results in lowering of the blood pressure. Moreover, garlic has compounds that lower blood cholesterol, thus preventing buildup of plaques inside arteries. Thus, your risk of atherosclerosis is lowered.
It fights cancer.
Garlic contains natural substances that stop the formation of certain types of cancer. These substances work by blocking carcinogens in the body.
It relieves pain and inflammation.
Garlic is a natural remedy for many skin diseases. Sulfur compounds in garlic can stop inflammation. For instance, applying garlic on psoriasis has been known to curb inflammation. Also, garlic has pain relieving properties. You can apply it on bites and wounds to reduce pain. You can also apply crushed garlic on an aching tooth.
It fights bacteria.
Potent compounds in garlic fight Staphylococcus, E. coli, Campylobacter, and Salmonella. These types of bacteria can cause different types of infections and diseases. In some cases, natural antibacterial substances in garlic work better than conventional antibiotics. This is why garlic has considerable effectiveness in treating food poisoning or sore throat. Moreover, the combined antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic is effective in treating cold sores.
It treats fungal infections.
Have you heard of people using crushed garlic to treat ringworm and athlete’s foot? Again, garlic owes its antifungal properties to its sulfur compounds. There’s no need for complicated preparations. All you need to to is crush and apply it over the affected area of the skin.
It fends off bugs.
If you want to keep pesky insects off a vicinity, scatter some crushed garlic over the area. You can also apply some garlic on exposed skin to keep insects off.
It has other health benefits.
Research continues to identify other health benefits of garlic. One of the surprising research findings is the ability of a compound found in garlic to treat hair loss. This compound is called allicin, which gives garlic its characteristic odor.