Garlic Benefits – Latest Research Included

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Garlic is a key ingredient in a variety of diets. Garlic powder and fresh garlic are typically utilized to spice recipes such as pasta and meat dishes, and garlic is also used medicinally to boost the heart and immune system.

Because of its richness in beneficial plant compounds known to protect health, garlic could benefit people in various ways, such as reducing inflammation markers and lowering the risk of chronic diseases.

Here's everything you should learn about garlic: its health benefits, nutrition, and tips for including more garlic in your daily diet.

Rich in Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Compounds

Garlic is a rich source of substances that can reduce inflammation. Although certain kinds of inflammation are crucial to ensuring that the body is healthy and keeping illness at bay long-term, chronic inflammation can be linked to various illnesses, including certain types of cancer and heart disease. Maintaining a healthy diet high in foods that fight chronic inflammation is a great way to lower the chance of developing certain diseases and improve symptoms of inflammation-related conditions.

Garlic is a rich source of organo-sulfur compounds, which are anti-inflammatory. In a way, the quantity of anti-inflammatory compounds depends on the preparation method. For instance, the fresh bulbs of garlic are rich in S-allyl-L-cysteine-Sulfoxide (alliin) and G-glutamyl cysteine derivatives. In contrast, garlic powder has diallyl disulfide (DADS) and alliin. Ground garlic is a rich source of dithiines (E-Z)-ajoene compounds and compounds from the sulfide family.

Research suggests that eating garlic may help lower inflammatory markers like tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), C-reactive protein (CRP), and interleukin-6 (IL-6).

A review of 16 studies revealed that garlic supplements ranging from 12 to 3,600 milligrams (mg) daily significantly decreased the levels in the blood of CRP Ill-6 and TNF compared with controls.

Consuming garlic could also help protect cells from damage caused by oxidative stress, which happens when molecules known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) overpower our body's defenses against antioxidants. Research has shown that eating garlic products can improve the body's antioxidant defenses while reducing oxidative stress markers.

A review of 12 studies showed the daily consumption of garlic at dosages of between 80 and 4,000 mg daily increased the overall antioxidant capability (TAC) of blood and blood levels of superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant enzyme (SOD) and decreased levels of the marker for oxidative stress, malondialdehyde (MDA).

It could be that routinely eating garlic can reduce inflammation, lessen the effects of oxidative stress, and boost the body's antioxidant defenses.

May Support Cognitive Health

Consuming garlic could help support brain health by enhancing cognitive function and protecting against cognitive decline. Research suggests that people who consume diets that are high in garlic have lower levels of cognitive impairment and decline.

A 2019 study that included information on more than 27,000 old Chinese people discovered that people who ate garlic at least five times a week were more likely to be cognitively impaired and lived longer than people who only consumed garlic occasionally.

Additionally, Garlic supplements have been proven to boost short-term memory and attention. Research suggests that the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components present in fresh and dried garlic can help reduce inflammation in the brain and guard against the degeneration of nerve cells, which may help improve the overall health of the brain and decrease the chance of developing cognitive decline.

May Reduce Chronic Disease Risk

Adding garlic to your diet may help decrease your risk of contracting several chronic illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease.

Atherosclerosis is the medical term used to describe the accumulation of plaque inside the arterial arteries is the most common source of heart disease. Garlic consumption can help lower the risk of heart disease by reducing atherosclerosis. A study from 2021 that contained data about 4,329 Chinese adults discovered that, when compared to participants who consumed raw garlic less than once per week, those who consumed garlic raw one time every week or two or three times per week experienced an increase of 26 percent and 29% lower chance of having carotid artery intima-media thickened and carotid intima-media. Carotid Intima-Media Thickness (cIMT) can be an early sign of atherosclerosis. It is also used to evaluate the risk of heart disease.

Garlic-rich diets are also linked to a lower likelihood of developing health problems such as colorectal and gastric cancers.

Garlic-derived compounds, such as S-allyl cysteine and diallyl disulfide, could inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, shield them against oxidative stress, and positively affect the immune system, all of which could help fight certain cancers.

Could Support Healthy Immune Function

Many people swear by taking products containing garlic, like garlic and fire cider as well as ginger shots when they feel down. Research has shown that garlic compounds are powerful in their antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body. This could aid in strengthening your immune system and lower the chance of contracting illness.

Garlic compounds, like allicin and diallyl-sulfide, have been found to block the production of inflammatory proteins and boost the immune cell's activity. In addition, garlic is a potent antiviral against pathogens responsible for common diseases like respiratory infections and other kinds of influenza.

Human studies have revealed that treatments with garlic may assist in preventing or reducing the symptoms of viral illnesses, including those that cause common colds and influenza. Garlic is commonly used to combat the common cold, fever asthma, coughs, and respiratory diseases throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Benefits Liver Health

Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is one of the most frequent disorders that is caused by the accumulation of fat deposits inside the liver. NAFLD is among the most prevalent causes of liver diseases in the United States.

A weight loss program and balanced diet can lower the risk of NAFLD and enhance the overall health and well-being of those who suffer from it. Consuming garlic as part of a healthy lifestyle could also help reduce the risk of developing liver disease.

A 2019 study involving 24106 women and men discovered that those who ate raw garlic four to six times a week had up to 34% less chance of developing fatty liver disease. However, this relationship was not observed in women.

In addition, studies have demonstrated that supplements with garlic powder could assist in improving certain aspects of liver health, such as the markers for liver damage, namely the alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), when people are diagnosed with NAFLD.

Nutritional Facts of Garlic

Garlic is loaded with protective phytochemicals, but it is generally consumed in smaller quantities. Thus, even when consumed in small quantities, garlic does not provide a substantial quantity of nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Here's the nutrition breakdown for three cloves of garlic:

  • Calories: 13.4
  • Protein: < 1 gram (g)
  • Fat: < 1 g
  • Carbohydrate: 2.98 g
  • Fiber: < 1 g

Garlic can provide small amounts of specific nutrients, like potassium and vitamin C, but not enough significantly to a daily diet of nutrient intake.

Risks of Consuming Garlic

In normal quantities, garlic isn't linked to significant health risks and is safe for most people, including nursing mothers and those who are pregnant.

However, the high-concentration garlic supplements may not be suitable for all. If taken in large dosages, garlic can be harmful to those at risk of bleeding, for example, those who are on blood thinner medications or with blood-disordered clotting.

Ingestion of high doses of garlic can result in stomach discomfort, bad breath, and body smell. Garlic should be avoided by those who have allergies to plants belonging to the lily family, such as chives, leeks, and tulips.

Use caution when using fresh garlic on your skin, as garlic can cause skin irritation and other issues.

Finally, while garlic and garlic supplements are safe for nursing mothers and pregnant women, if you're pregnant or nursing, consult your physician prior to taking garlic supplements or ingestion of large quantities of raw or cooked garlic.

Tips for Consuming Garlic

Garlic can be used in various dishes and is also a great addition to drinks or shots of wellness.

Here are a few ideas to include garlic in your diet:

  • Incorporate roasted garlic into soups, pasta stir-fries, and noodles.
  • Mix chopped fresh ginger, garlic, honey, and lemon in hot water to make an anti-inflammatory and soothing tea.
  • Garlic powder can be used to add flavor to your savory dishes
  • Create your homemade fire cider from fresh garlic, ginger, and apple cider vinegar. Add horseradish, honey, and hot peppers
  • Blend garlic cloves roasted into Hummus, potatoes, sandwiches, and spreads.

If you cook garlic, you must remember that the process of cooking eliminates an enzyme called allinase. It transforms allinin into the chemical allicin, the primary active compound beneficial to garlic.

Alliinase is activated whenever garlic is chopped or crushed when it is chopped or crushed. If you are cooking garlic, it is recommended to let the chopped garlic rest for about ten minutes before cooking. Allowing the garlic to sit briefly enable the allicin to grow and makes the garlic healthier for health.

A Quick Review

Garlic is a well-known ingredient in cooking and is associated with various beneficial health effects.

Regular consumption of garlic can improve the overall health and well-being of your heart, brain, and liver. It can help reduce inflammation and enhance immunity.

Add garlic to savory dishes such as pasta and soups, or make wellness teas or shots of fresh garlic, lemon juice, ginger, and honey.

Live Healthier
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