Widely used as flavouring in cooking, garlic (Allium Sativum) has been used for both culinary and therapeutic purposes for over 5,000 years. In ancient Greece, garlic was given to the olympic athletes to boost their stamina.
The Health Benefits of Eating Garlic
Several studies highlighted the therapeutic effects of garlic such as:
1. Decreasing the risk of heart disease
Many experimental and clinical studies supported the use of garlic in reducing the risk for cardiovascular diseases. It has been reported that garlic can reduce the risk of heart disease due to its efficacy in:
- Lowering blood pressure. Several clinical studies showed that garlic reduced blood pressure in more than 80% of people who suffer from high blood pressure.
- Reducing the cholesterol level. Regular consumption of garlic helps to significantly reduce the level of LDL (bad) cholesterol and slightly increase the level of HDL (good) cholesterol.
- Preventing the hardening of the arteries, hence it helps to boost blood circulation and reduce the risk of heart failure.
2. Lowering the risk of developing cancer
Garlic contains potent bioactive compounds with antitumor properties. The regular consumption of garlic can help prevent the development of various cancers.
3. Managing blood sugar level
It has been reported that garlic extract is effective in reducing the insulin resistance. Hence, it is beneficial for those who suffer from diabetes.
4. Protecting liver from toxic chemicals
Several studies highlighted the potential use of garlic in protecting liver from toxic substances. However, further studies are needed to understand the exact mechanism.
5. Reducing the risk of catching various diseases
Garlic has antibacterial, antifungal, anti-protozoal and antiviral properties that may help lower the risk of catching various diseases.
6. Protecting cells and DNA from free radicals
Garlic has antioxidant activities that protect cells and DNA against free radical damage.
What is the best way to eat Garlic
It is best to eat garlic raw. Cooking can significantly reduce its therapeutic benefits.
I like to add one or two cloves of raw garlic to my meals. I usually chop it into tiny pieces so the taste is not that strong anymore.
Although garlic has good antioxidant properties, it is not yet suitable for use in skincare formulas. To protect skin against free radicals, oxidative stress and other environmental ageing factors, look for a skincare product that has been formulated with Resveratrol, a superantioxidant with skin-protecting properties greater than vitamin A, C, E, Idebenone, Catechin in teas, Epicatechin in cocoa, Gallocatechin in adzuki beans, Gallic Acid in blueberries and Ellagic Acid in pomegranates.
Resveratrol is one of bioactive ingredients in award-winning Bio-Collagen Serum and Bio-Collagen Eye & Lip Cream. Bio-Collagen Serum firms and lifts the appearance of skin and reduces the look of wrinkles, lines, sagging skin and age spots. For best results, gently massage into freshly cleansed skin every morning and evening. Follow with Bio-Collagen Ageless Cream, an award-winning restorative face cream with 10 bioactive ingredients to restore skin's elasticity, resilience and radiance.
Henry Tianus is a multi-award-winning Anti-Ageing Scientist based in London, UK. Read >>>
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Sources: Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects, Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine, 2014 Jan-Feb: 4(1): 1–14; Medical News Today, Garlic: Proven benefits, 18 August 2017; Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey, Advances in Therapy, 2001 Jul-Aug: 18(4): 189-93.