10 Proven Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic Cloves
Garlic Cloves (Source: Pixabay)

Garlic is a common name used to enhance the taste of many dishes in most households. There is probably no one without the knowledge of its name.

Besides the culinary benefits, Garlic also has loads of health benefits. So basically, Garlic is a bundle of benefits that you can get your hands on quickly.

Generally, Garlic offers many benefits like boosting the immunity system, cancer prevention, reducing high blood pressure, reducing cholesterol levels, etc.

Garlic Cloves in Basket
Garlic Cloves in Basket (Source: Pixabay)

It is a group of cloves that come together to form a bulb. There are many ways you can consume this plant.

There are several benefits that Garlic has to offer. Let’s look at a few of them in the article below.

Overview of Garlic

Garlic is a perennial flowering plant that gives edible bulbs. Scientifically, Garlic is known as Allium sativum.

This packet of benefits is a vegetable that grows on the root of its plant and is closely related to another favorite kitchen good onion.

One Garlic bulb can provide you with the following:

ComponentsAmount (in %)
Water59
Carbohydrates33
Protein6
Dietary Fibers2
Fat>1

Besides the compositions, the thing about Garlic that makes it unique is its taste. Taste a raw clove of Garlic; extreme, right? Now fry/cook another clove and eat it.

That is the specialty of this plant. Even without any added flavors, the Garlic tastes better when cooked/fried.

Worldwide, Garlic is used as a seasoning or a taste enhancer for its unique, spicy taste. In the US, about 50% of the entire garlic output is sold to food processors.

The Garlic plant has a strange requirement for growing the bulbs and rooting. You need to keep it in the cold climate for at least ten weeks.

Fried Garlic
Deep-fried Garlic Cloves (Source: Flickr)

In about nine months, you’ll see the garlic turn from a small clove to a fully grown head.

Let’s see the basic overview of the Garlic plant.

Common NameGarlic
Scientific NameAllium sativum
OriginMiddle Asia
FamilyAmaryllidaceae
ColorsWhite, and White with hint of red/purple
ShapeBulb Shaped
TasteSharp pungent flavor
CaloriesFour calories in a clove
USDA Zones4 to 9
Soil RequirementWell-drained soil
Soil pH: 6 to 7
WateringSoak the soil thoroughly to at least one inch depth during growing season
Light 6 to 8 hours of full sun
TemperatureCool air temperatures of 32° to 50°F (0-10°C) during its first two months of growth
Pests and DiseasesOnion Maggot and Fusarium Basal Rot

10 Proven Health Benefits of Garlic

You must have got the basic idea of how the Garlic plant benefits human health by now.

Now let’s dive deep and look at the benefits of Garlic.

1. Boosts Immune System

Immunity is one of the most required and important mechanisms for the well-being of human health.

We are here with good news! Garlic is one of those veggies in your kitchen that helps in boosting immunity.

According to the University of Rochester, Garlic helps the body resist and destroy viruses, thus boosting immunity.

Immunity in a man
Garlic Boosts Immunity (Source: Wikimedia)

Garlic contains allicin, one of the defense molecules that Garlic produces when we crush or chew on them.

But remember that you need to eat your Garlic raw to make sure you get the benefits of the allicin. If you cook Garlic, you may lose its defensive properties.

If your immunity is strong, diseases like the common cold, fever, and other viral infections will affect you less frequently.

So if you get sick too often, you know what will save you now.

2. Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury

Did you know? Alcohol is considered one of the leading causes of liver cirrhosis in the United States, contributing to 25% of the cases.

Okay, your friends may be inviting you over for a party or a drinking marathon, but it is always better to remember to say no to alcohol.

In an article published on Science Direct, they did research on 20 alcoholic patients by feeding them 2.4g of raw garlic every morning for 45 days. They found out that garlic is effective against ethanol-induced liver injuries.

Alcohol Effects on Health
Alcohol Effects on Health (Source: Health Plus)

And people have also been using Garlic as a treatment for alcohol-induced injury since the traditional times.

An article by JJBS says that raw Garlic also protects the tissues by increasing the antioxidant status against oxidative stress.

Hey! You still need to keep yourself away from the alcohol. Garlic is not your free pass to alcohol.

3. Helps in Cancer Prevention

Cancer is a force to reckon with, one of the most feared and deadly diseases globally. But you can reside your fears now, as Garlic is considered effective against Cancer.

According to AICR, Garlic contains different compounds that help against colorectal cancer and is full of different other phytochemicals.

Cancer Pink ribbon
Garlic has anti-cancer properties (Source: Flickr)

It contains different flavonoids (famous for their anti-cancer properties), insulins, and saponins, effective against Cancer.

Either via direct consumption or by processing them into different products, Garlic helps fight against cancer cells.

On the other hand, Garlic’s nutritional and chemopreventive capabilities go far beyond the assumption that it possesses cancer-fighting properties.

Cancer; doesn’t feel so deadly anymore. Is it?

4. Helps in Reducing High Blood Pressure

One of the most underlying problems in most adults is high blood pressure. It can be deadly if you do not treat or control it in time.

If you are also in the grasp of this deadly heart condition, worry not; you do not have to be hooked to the pills to get rid of it.

Different researches and studies show that Garlic is an effective agent in reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

According to one study by the National Library of Medicine, Garlic reduces blood pressure, improves gut microbiota and makes the arteries stiff.

It is so effective that it may reduce blood pressure by 11.2mmHg. People have been using Garlic for heart-related diseases since ancient times.

Garlic produces allicin which may prevent the production of angiotensin II, resulting in the free and smooth flow of blood.

High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure (Source: Wikimedia)

It also enhances the availability of nitric acid and boosts hydrogen sulfide content. On top of that, its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property helps as well.

Look below for how much and what dosage of Garlic you must consume to maintain your blood pressure.

  • 400mg of raw Garlic every day for six months.
  • 16mg of garlic oil every day for 16 weeks.
  • 240-2400mg aged Garlic extracts for up to 23 weeks.
  • 188mg of egg-yolk containing Garlic every day for three months.
  • 600-2400mg of garlic powder every day for six months.

5. Reduces Cholesterol Level

Cholesterols are a fat-like substance in your body that helps produce hormones. Not only that, it helps to make cell walls, tissues, etc.

But too much cholesterol can be harmful to the body.

According to an article published in the National Library of Medicine, Garlic reduces the LDL-C and triglyceride levels in the body.

Cholesterol
Demonstration of Cholesterol (Source: Live Science)

If you consume half or a single Garlic clove per day, you will reduce your cholesterol levels by 10%.

But a study from Stanford contradicts the claim as they say that Garlic plays no role in reducing the cholesterol level in anyone.

Even if it reduces cholesterol levels, it only does so for a short time. So, do not depend on Garlic to fix your bad-food habit mistakes.

6. Detox the Body

Nowadays, we are surrounded by different kinds of toxins. Due to the rising number of industries, vehicles, and chemicals, we are toxic.

Everything from our food, our water, and the air we breathe; everything is rigged.

Pollution can toxify us
Pollution can Toxify us (Source: Pxhere)

But if you include Garlic in your daily diet, unbeknownst, you might detoxify yourself.

According to the EPA, Garlic contains compounds capable of detoxifying lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic.

To put the detoxification to effect, you must consume at least one garlic bulb per day. Although there is no upper ceiling, consume as much Garlic as it is healthy.

According to another research by the National Library of Medicine, Garlic is a pivotal consumable as it supports liver enzymes that help to detoxify us.

7. Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

With 5.8 million people already under its effect, Alzheimer’s disease is a dangerous disease that attacks someone’s memory and other brain functions.

Although Dementia usually happens to people who have reached a certain age, it still is a scary disease. Imagine your loved ones not recognizing you.

According to  National Library of Medicine, Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) taken from Garlic is pivotal in preventing the loss of learning and cognitive memory.

Garlic can boost their memory and provide them with better cognitive abilities in older people.

Alzheimers
Alzheimer’s in Brain (Source: NIH)

This vegetable can boost the brain by enhancing its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other properties. It also helps the blood to regulate appropriately.

So, Garlic’s benefit is not limited only to the heart, but it is beneficial to.. err, I forgot. I need to chew on that Garlic.

8. Improves Athletic Performance

Have you ever wondered how athletes maintain their stamina and fitness to the peak? You would want to be like them.

We might not uncover all their secrets, but we have decoded one of their secret ingredients.

In a research done on few college athletes, this article on Research Gate found out that consumption of Garlic can increase the oxygen consumption and endurance.

Athlete
Garlic can boost Athlete’s Performance (Source: News-Medical)

Garlic helps release nitric oxide, which can relax the blood vessels and is pivotal in reducing blood pressure.

In medieval times, Greek people also consumed a certain amount of Garlic before any sports event to boost their performance.

If you have a sports event anytime soon, you know how to boost your performance now 😉.

9. Anti-Inflammatory Property

Anti-inflammatory is a property found in different foods and over-the-counter medicine, responsible for in vivo reducing swelling, inflammation, etc.

Any inflammation, either inside the body or outside the body, can be excruciating, while the inside one is too dangerous.

Well, Garlic is here to save the day as this vegetable has anti-inflammatory properties.

According to the National Library of Medicine, the oil that we can extract from Garlic can be used as an anti-inflammatory.

Inflammation
Inflammation is the root of most diseases (Source: Austin Thyroid)

Garlic contains compounds like allicin and diallyl sulfide that enhance cell activity and boost inflammatory properties.

It is often used in herbal supplements because its organosulfur components work as an anti-inflammatory against diseases.

Garlic has previously been linked to treatment for dengue virus infection, with Garlic products suppressing nitric oxide synthesis and thereby downregulating inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression.

10. Good for Skin

I can save you hundreds and thousands worth of makeup and skin care products. Yes, you heard that right. Do you want to know how?

Outer application of Garlic can prevent different skin conditions that have been tormenting you for days, like acne.

Due to the antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiviral properties of Garlic, people have been using it on the skin since the traditional times.

Garlic also contains different vitamins, copper, zinc, selenium that has proven to be good for the skin.

A Woman Moisturizing Her Skin
A Woman Moisturizing Her Skin (Source: Pexels)

You can use Garlic for your skin in different ways like

  • Raw garlic juice
  • Aged garlic extract
  • Heated garlic juice
  • Dehydrated garlic powder

You can mix mashed Garlic cloves with apple cider to treat your pimples.

Pretty handy than using thousand’s worth of makeup products loaded with chemicals, right?

Additional Benefits of Garlic

Garlic has many other benefits, and if we try to mention all of them, we would have to write a book. Let’s look at some of them below.

Garlic is Full of Benefits
Garlic is Full of Benefits (Source: Pixabay)

Nutritional Value of Garlic

Other than the benefits, Garlic provides a significant boost to the nutrition in our body. Let’s look at the table below to find out.

*The data is for one clove of raw Garlic;

Nutritional ValueQuantity
Protein0.57 g
Total Lipid0.04 g
Carbohydrate and Sugars3.07 g
Energy13.41 kcal
Fiber0.19 g
Essential Minerals (Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper, etc..)70.36 mg
Selenium1.28 mcg
Lutein + zeaxanthin2.34 mcg
Vitamins3.05 mg
Fatty Acids0.03 g

Health Considerations to Keep in Mind

Garlic is loaded with many benefits, but that doesn’t keep it away from all its risks.

All those risks are associated with the dosage of intake, pre-medical conditions, etc.

Let’s look at the risks associated with Garlic below.

  • If you are going through surgery or taking blood thinners, you must not consume too much Garlic as it has antithrombotic properties that prevent blood clots.
  • Imagine you have an important date or a meeting. Eating sulfur-filled Garlic before any of those can be disastrous because of your bad breath.
  • Garlic can cause digestive issues like bloating, diarrhea, and gas due to the presence of fructans.
  • People with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) should consider reducing Garlic intake as it may trigger acid reflux.
  • If you intake a high amount of Garlic, you can induce liver damage due to the presence of allicin.
  • As you already know, Garlic is beneficial in lowering blood pressure; if you take a heavy dosage of Garlic, you might lower your pressure too much.
  • Garlic and other spicy foods can cause you to sweat too much at night.
Fresh Garlic Cloves
Fresh Garlic Cloves (Source: Rawpixel)

To Sum It Up

Garlic has a lot of potential as a vegetable and a flavoring agent for your foods.

If you have any underlying or previous medical conditions, please consult your physician before consuming any amount of Garlic. It is considered wise to be on the safer side of the coin.

A Garlic a day keeps everyone away. Due to its benefits, you will fall in ‘clove’ with Garlic. 😉

Do you want to know about the benefits of other consumable plants? Read about Coconut Palm, Monstera Deliciosa Fruit, Kale Plant, Avocado.

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2 comments
  1. Reesav, thank you for providing this very useful information about garlic. I particularly enjoyed your sense of humor also which kept the article fun to read.
    Thank you for your hard work in researching the garlic benefits.

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