The Health Benefits of Garlic

What are the benefits of garlic to your health? You probably have heard that garlic might be good for you. In fact, garlic can benefit your health in many ways.

Garlic and Blood Pressure

Garlic contains hydrogen sulfides, which are chemicals that help your blood vessels relax so your blood flows freely. Also, garlic contains a small peptide, which is a form of amino acid that inhibits the body from producing blood pressure raising hormones.

Garlic and Cholesterol

Garlic is considered a natural statin because it has the same effect on cholesterol as the cholesterol fighting drug group statins. In fact, garlic lowers the LDL or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol otherwise known as “bad” cholesterol. At the same time, garlic helps to increase HDL or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol which is also known as “good” cholesterol. In addition, garlic also reduces triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are fat in chemical form that reside within the body. Doctors recommend that lowering your triglycerides is as important as reducing your cholesterol for good heart health.

Garlic and Cancer

Study results published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed the following results from a study on garlic consumption and cancer. Those who consumed more garlic reduced their risks of developing the following cancers by the following percentages more than those who ate less garlic.

  • 57 percent reduced risk for esophageal cancer
  • 44 percent reduced risk for laryngeal cancer
  • 39 percent reduced risk for oral cancer
  • 31 percent reduced risk for renal cell cancer
  • 26 percent reduced risk for colorectal cancer
  • 22 percent reduced risk for ovarian cancer
  • 19 percent reduced risk for prostate cancer
  • 10 percent reduced risk for breast cancer

Your Heart and Garlic

A study published in Preventive Medicine shows that garlic helps prevent plaque from forming in the areas damaged by coronary artery calcification, and thus helps prevent heart attacks. Plaque is a fatty substance that can build up in your arteries and can cause blockages that prevent your blood from flowing properly. These blockages can cause heart attacks. In this study, the people who ate garlic increased their calcium score by more than seven percent, while the placebo or control group had an increase of only 22 percent. The areas where there is calcium damage is where plaque tends to build up blockages. So, increasing your calcium decreases your likelihood of developing artery blocking plaque.

One of garlic’s beneficial effects is that it lessens the free radicals that are present in the bloodstream. Free radicals are organic molecules that cause aging, tissue damage and perhaps even diseases. A study published in Life Sciences said that a daily dose of one millilitre of garlic extract for six months significantly reduced the amount of the free radical stress in their blood.

There have been sufficient studies done to verify that garlic does indeed provide health benefits by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, free radical and artery causing plaque. Studies even indicate that garlic reduces your risks of developing certain cancers.

So, not only is garlic a tasty ingredient in your favorite recipes, it can also be a helpful addition to your health regimen.

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