Garlic is a fantastic herb. It’s a must in many of the world’s top cuisines, and let’s not forget that it’s also a tried and true vampire repellent! But garlic is more than just a great tasting food. It also has some serious health benefits. It’s loaded with vitamin B6 and vitamin C, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron. All said and done; garlic contains around 400 different chemical ingredients that help battle disease and keep you healthy. The tradeoff is that most of the health benefits come from eating garlic raw, as opposed to cooking it (although it will still retain some of its health properties after cooking, but not nearly as much). With that in mind, here are five ways garlic can keep you healthy.
It can fight off harmful bacteria.
Studies have shown that garlic can be just as effective as prescription antibiotics when it comes to fighting off certain stomach-borne illnesses, specifically Campylobacter bacterium, which infects around 2.4 million Americans each year.
It can minimize fatigue.
Eating garlic can actually help your muscle growth and decrease your recovery time after working out. That’s because garlic helps your body produce nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide, which help relax the arteries and increase the blood flow to your muscles.
It can help reduce the risk of some cancers.
Garlic is like a giant, ninja-trained bodyguard for your digestive system. It can actually reduce the risk of certain types of cancers, including prostate, rectal, colon and pancreas cancer. The National Cancer Institute suggests chopping or crushing garlic and letting it sit for 10 minutes before consuming. This ensures you get more of those cancer-fighting sulfur compounds.
It can reduce blood pressure.
Research has shown that consuming raw garlic can help reduce your blood pressure by as much as 8 percent. That’s because garlic helps relax certain heart-related muscles and dilate your blood vessels. Garlic can also reduce the hardening of arteries, a major component in heart attacks.
It can remove toxins from the body.
We’ve established that garlic contains a lot of sulfur compounds, and it’s those same compounds that help boost the liver’s ability to remove toxins from your body. A diet heavy in garlic can help cure urinary tract infections. You can also use garlic as an anti-fungal in a water bath for curing athletes’ foot.