5 Proven Healthy Garlic Benefits

Just one clove of this small vegetable is full of nutrition and flavor.

Check out the healthy garlic benefits.

(gresei / Shutterstock.com)

Garlic may not be good for vampires but it certainly is for people. Garlic has been used to treat a variety of ailments since ancient times because it contains some pretty potent medicinal properties. Not to mention how much flavor it adds to food.

Modern science has been able to confirm many of the beneficial health effects of this vegetable that belongs to the genus Allium and is closely related to onions, shallots, and leeks according to Healthline. Many of the benefits are related to sulphur compounds that are formed when a  clove of garlic – each head of garlic contains 10-20 cloves – is chopped or crushed.  Here are five proven health benefits of garlic:

Filled With Nutrition
Garlic contains almost everything you need according to Healthline. One little clove of raw garlic is packed full of Vitamins B6, C, and B1, fiber, selenium, manganese, calcium, potassium, copper, iron, phosphorus, as well as a trace amount of other nutrients. Since it is low in calories, use garlic to add flavor and nutrients to many of your favorite dishes.

Garlic May Help Prevent Colds
Often called the stinky rose, garlic can help prevent colds and flus, and may also boost your immune system according to Everyday Health. In fact, nutrition researchers in a 2011 study found that taking garlic extract reduced the severity of cold and flu symptoms by boosting the participants immune T-cell function. Feel a cold coming on, add some garlic to chicken soup and reap the benefits.

Contains Antioxidants
Garlic contains antioxidants that support oxidative damage to cells. Combined with its heart health properties of helping to reduce bad cholesterol and lowering blood pressure, garlic may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia according to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition. This is very welcome news.

Helps Heart Health
Garlic has been found to help heart health according to Healthline by reducing blood pressure and lowering total and bad LDL cholesterol. One 2013 study found that using garlic supplements has a significant impact on reducing blood pressure that is as effective as using medications in patients with hypertension. Taking garlic supplements has also helped to reduce total and LDL cholesterol totals too so stock up.

May Reduce Risk of Certain Cancers
Vegetables in the Allium family have been found to reduce the risk of some cancers according to Medical News Today. In fact, people who ate garlic twice a day during a 7-year study conducted at  the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China and published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research found a 44 percent lowered risk of developing lung cancer. 

Garlic has also reduced the risk of prostate,  stomach, colon, breast, pancreatic, and esophageal cancers according to Very Well Health. This is due to three of the cancer-fighting compounds found in garlic: allicin, a plant compound that is an antibiotic; flavonoids, that are antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties; and selenium and allyl sulfides that are substances that block damage to cells. Eating garlic or taking garlic supplements sounds like a sure bet to better health.  

11 Fantastic Foods That Reduce Inflammation Naturally
Herbs That Can Boost Your Immune System This Winter
5 Superfoods That Actually Live Up to Their Hype