It's tasty, it's aromatic, and though eating too much of it may leave you in dire need of a breath mint, it's so good for you that it's so worth it — we're talking about garlic, the humble plant bulb in the onion family that's a well-documented health aid and powerful healer.
Nutritionist Julie Daniluk of our show Healthy Gourmet is one of garlic's biggest fans."Garlic works beautifully to balance your triglyceride levels, and it also helps to boost your immune system," she says in the clip above (click the video above to watch!). Check out more about Healthy Gourmet here and find out where to watch the show.
And that's hardly the only thing garlic does. Here's 7 big reasons you should consider working garlic into more of your meals or even taking garlic supplements (though be sure to check with your doctor, first!):
1. Garlic Helps Fight Off Colds
The common cold is no match for garlic, which has antimicrobial and antiviral properties that are alleged to relieve common colds. Studies looking at this issue
suggest that taking a garlic supplement has a protective effect against the common cold, or eating raw garlic (try it crushed and mixed with a bit of olive oil in a salad, for instance) can offer the best benefits.
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2. Garlic May Improve Your Athletic Performance
Garlic was used in ancient cultures to reduce fatigue and enhance laborers' work capacity, and was given to Olympic athletes in ancient Greece. Now, it seems like the ancient Greeks may have been on to something: current data suggests that garlic may be a promising anti-fatigue agent, plus increase aerobic glucose metabolism, reduce oxidative stress, and promote oxygen supply.
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3. Garlic Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
A garlic supplement a day may help keep your blood pressure at bay. And according to a 2013 study
, aged garlic may be as effective as the drug Atenolol, commonly prescribed for hypertension.
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4. Garlic Can Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease
Garlic can help lower your risk of heart disease by lowering your total LDL cholesterol, aka, your low-density lipoproteins or "bad cholesterol." Here's what The National Center for Biotechnology Information has to say about it.
5. Garlic Can Strengthen Your Bones
Filled with bone-healthy nutrients like zinc, manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, garlic is chock-full of
enzymes and antioxidants that facilitates the formation of bones and connective tissues, bone metabolism, and calcium absorption.
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6. Regularly Eating Garlic May Help Prevent Alzheimer's & Dementia
The combined effects of #3 and #4, ie, helping reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, may prevent brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Garlic also contains antioxidants that combat damage from free radicals, or molecules that accelerate aging.
7. Garlic May Help Prevent Cancer
It's no guarantee, but several studies show an association between an increased intake of garlic and the reduced risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas, and breast. Why? It's thought that garlic's antibacterial properties may have protective effects, or block or halt the formation of cancer-causing substances. Read more from the National Cancer Institute here.
Check out more about Healthy Gourmet here and find out where to watch the show, only on Z Living.