Garlic not only adds flavor to foods you prepare, it can also add to your overall well-being. The main component of garlic is allicin, a compound that is produced when garlic is sliced or crushed, activating the enzymes that have the healing properties. Garlic also contains arginine-rich proteins, selenium and flavonoids.
Here are the top 10 benefits of adding garlic to your diet, either in whole foods or by supplements:
1. It’s been shown to help reverse heart disease by removing plaque buildup in arteries.
3. It helps to lower blood pressure.
4. It fights and can prevent infectious diseases by killing microorganisms, including the common cold.
5. Garlic’s antibacterial properties fight human dental plaque microbiota.
6. Garlic increases levels of serotonin and enhances memory function.
7. It improves athletic performance by reducing your heart rate, allowing more blood to get to your muscles.
8. It increases estrogen Levels in menopausal women and can minimize bone loss due to the reduction in calcium absorption.
9. It lowers triglyceride levels and improves overall cholesterol levels.
10. It reduces the insulin levels and helps with the metabolism of sugars to fight diabetes.
Most of the benefits listed are more likely if you consume garlic raw, since cooking it may reduce the amounts of compounds garlic contains. If you add garlic to your cooking, it’s best to leave it exposed to the air for at least 10 minutes before adding it to your food.
You should consult your doctor before consuming raw garlic if you have low blood pressure, ulcers or other GI issues, thyroid problems, or any other ongoing health concerns.