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7 Proven Health Benefits Of Eating Garlic

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Last Updated on May 28, 2021 by Lori Geurin

Prepare to be impressed by these 7 proven health benefits of eating garlic. Plus, 5 delicious garlic bread recipes, how to eat garlic, and garlic and honey benefits!

Is it the pungent taste, or because it makes your breath smell…interesting? Whatever the reason, there’s no good excuse to avoid eating garlic. (Well, unless you’re a vampire.)

Roasted garlic brightens the flavors in every meal. But, more importantly, garlic is simply good for your health. Yes, it’s true. Eating more garlic can strengthen your immune system and protect you from disease. And, you don’t even need a prescription.

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Here are 7 proven health benefits of garlic to improve your health and wellness. Plus, 5 delicious recipes for garlic bread, how to eat garlic, and the benefits of garlic and honey.

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7 Proven Health Benefits Of Eating Garlic

1. Garlic Contains Allicin

In simple terms, allicin is the reason for the pungent smell. When you chop or crush a clove of fresh garlic, it combines with alliinase and develops a strong odor. This is important because allicin has many medicinal qualities, too.

Because it’s an antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal chemical, it can treat a broad range of illnesses. In fact, throughout history, garlic was used as a form of medicine rather than a cooking ingredient.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, it can improve everything from nausea to the common cold. There are other foods that contain this element too, but garlic has the highest concentration. So, eating more can help you battle sickness and manage your health.

Related: Best Superfoods For Chronic Illness

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2. Garlic Fights STDs

One fact which you may or may not be glad to hear is that garlic tackles STDs. Sexually transmitted diseases can be difficult to talk about. But, the health risks can be pretty severe too, with some leading to infertility. Let’s face it – sometimes people make mistakes when it comes to sex. And, that can leave you in a vulnerable place.

Certainly, an industry professional might seem like a safer option. But for those who want to tackle the topic discreetly, garlic is a natural alternative that may improve some symptoms.

Thanks to the allicin, it helps fight viral or bacterial infections which may spread as a result of sexual activity.

Now, on to something a little more lighthearted.

cloves of garlic on a cutting board
Garlic gives a delicious boost of flavor to a variety of recipes.

3. Garlic is Tasty And Low In Calories

Moving away from bacteria and viruses for a minute, let’s focus on weight. It’s no secret that lots of guys and girls want to shed a few pounds. And, less surprising is that it sometimes isn’t an easy goal to achieve.

Simply put, there’s too much temptation from a food point of view.

But, great news! Each garlic clove only has about 5 calories. So, putting 2 to 3 cloves into a dish will only give you 10 to 15 calories. And, because of its flavorsome taste, one usually does the trick. Also, it’s easy to incorporate into your eating plan because it tastes so delicious.

You’ll also be happy to know that garlic is completely Paleo, low-carb, and keto-friendly if these are concerns.

Related: Paleo Diet Quick Guide: What To Eat And Avoid

4. It May Reduce Blood Pressure

It’s easy to assume that cigarettes and alcohol are the world’s biggest killers, but this isn’t true. In reality, it’s heart disease and strokes which top the list. These might seem like issues that are difficult to fight, but reducing your blood pressure can help.

Too much tension in the veins, arteries and capillaries can lead to blockages and ruptures. When this happens, the heart works overtime and pushes itself to a breaking point.

Of course, lowering cortisol levels and eating a healthy diet can do the trick. And, this is where garlic comes into play. Because of its nutritional value, there are no unhealthy components to be worried about.

Plus, a study found that 600 mg of garlic was effective at lowering cortisol and blood pressure levels. You have to eat up to four cloves a day, but it isn’t as hard as it sounds.

Just be sure to keep your mouthwash handy.

5. Garlic Is Good For The Mind

The above tips have focused on the physical benefits of garlic. Now, let’s take a look at the impact it has on the mind.

Remember that a healthy body needs a healthy mind as one influences the other. Thankfully, there’s little reason to worry about your mental state when you get a daily dose of allicin.

The antioxidants in garlic combine to protect against oxidative damage. Also, there is an increase in antioxidant enzymes. What does this mean? 

The Journal Of Nutrition reports that the antioxidants protect against cell damage and prevent the onset of mental aging. They reduce the risk of contracting brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

6. Eating Garlic Boosts Life Expectancy

It’s worth noting that studies proving this theory don’t exist, at least not human studies. Still, it doesn’t stop the experts from confidently predicting longer life expectancy as a benefit from consuming garlic.

It isn’t hard to see why when you look at the facts.

For one thing, the physical benefits of eating garlic are wide-ranging. From lowering stress to reducing the risk of heart disease, it tackles the main health threats in life.

There aren’t many foods which can boast the same. Plus, garlic helps to regulate the mind as well as the body.

With a healthy brain and body, it isn’t unreasonable to assume life expectancy will be longer thanks to a garlic-allicin combination. Plus, the fact that it aids athletic performance is just another string to its bow.

7. It’s A Natural Detoxifier

The body regulates itself, but it needs help from time to time. Take metals as an example. Although the majority of people don’t eat metals, they still occur naturally in the body.

Heavy metals can be a health risk. When the metals become toxic, they can begin to attack the vital organs. The solution is to detoxify the body, and garlic is a perfect answer.

Why? It’s because garlic contains sulfur, and sulfur protects organs from toxic metals. Another study found that garlic reduced lead levels in the blood by nearly 20%.

So try a good ole’ garlic detoxification. Your body will thank you.

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How To Freeze Garlic

Wondering how to preserve garlic? Freezing it is a great option. Simply:

  • Remove all the garlic from the bulb.
  • Chop the garlic cloves.
  • Place the chopped garlic into a freezer bag.
  • Put the freezer bag in the freezer.
  • Store the garlic in the freezer up to 4 or 5 months.

How Do You Use Frozen Garlic?

Simply break off as much garlic as you need. It thaws fairly quickly at room temperature but you can nuke it in the microwave for a few seconds if you’re in a hurry.

What Is Garlic Salt?

Garlic salt is a type of seasoned salt used in all kinds of recipes. It’s a mix of ground garlic and salt.

You can make your own garlic salt for a fresh alternative to the store-bought variety.

Garlic Side Effects

Despite its amazing benefits, garlic can have a few side effects worth noting. Even though most people tolerate garlic well, some may be allergic to garlic or experience the following side effects, especially if eating raw garlic:

  • heartburn or a burning sensation in the throat or mouth
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • gas
  • strong body odor and/or breath

Also, if you’re taking certain medications be aware that garlic could interact with certain drugs, especially anticoagulants and insulin. It’s always best to check with your doctor before taking an herb or supplement.

How To Eat Garlic

If you’re not turned off by the strong scent of the herb, eating raw garlic may be just what your body needs. Make sure to start slowly so you can watch for any potential side effects.

Or, if you prefer a gentler approach, consider adding fresh garlic to a variety of recipes:

  • soups, chilis, and stews
  • salads and salad dressings
  • casseroles
  • healthy snacks
  • homemade hummus and dips
  • garlic bread (recipes below)
  • vegetable juices

You may also want to consider taking an odorless garlic supplement (especially if you don’t care for the taste of fresh garlic) to experience all the health benefits.

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garlic and honey

Health Benefits Of Garlic And Honey

Garlic and honey have been used in home remedies for years around the world. Research has proven that combining honey and garlic has some impressive health benefits.

  • antibacterial – Studies have shown that when garlic and honey were combined, they were able to stop bacteria from growing. One study found the combination stopped bacterial infections that were otherwise untreatable by antibiotics.
  • brain health and memory – Because of the high amounts of antioxidants in garlic and honey, they may have the ability to protect you from brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • improved heart health – According to a medical review, garlic helps lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, and prevent hardening of arteries.
  • antiviral – Different types of honey have amazing antiviral qualities that may help treat flus or other viruses. One study showed how Manuka honey stopped a flu virus from growing.

You can read about how I used honey to treat my 2nd-degree burns in Home Remedies For Burns, Multitasking And How I Survived A Coffee Explosion.

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Summary – Health Benefits Of Eating Garlic

As you can see, garlic has an impressive array of health benefits. Lowering blood pressure, fighting STDs, protecting the brain against Alzheimer’s, and potentially boosting your life expectancy are only a few of the ways this little herb can help.

And, even though eating fresh garlic is safe for most people, some side effects do occur so it’s important to keep this in mind.

There are several ways to enjoy eating garlic. Roasted garlic, garlic powder, garlic supplements, or garlic and onions. There are soo many options! You can include it in a variety of dishes, enhancing the flavor and boosting your health.

So, if you’re not yet eating garlic, consider including this extraordinary superfood in your healthy diet. Enjoy the many delicious ways you can incorporate garlic into your meals.

Here are 30 Recipes For Garlic Lovers for more ways to eat garlic.

What do you think about these garlic health benefits? Any garlic recipe ideas to share?

If you enjoyed these health benefits of garlic, you’ll want to check out:

The information provided on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose, or cure any disease or health problem.

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24 thoughts on “7 Proven Health Benefits Of Eating Garlic”

  1. your title made me laugh! I love garlic, so it is no surprise, that I knew most of these. My Grandmother ate 2 gloves of garlic every evening (she pickeled them first, so they would not give her bad breath, which I thought was genius at that time), and I try to add to whatever I can. Great post, blessings!

  2. I like to add garlic into many things that I dish up for dinner. I know that it will definitely help in the long run.

  3. I put garlic in everything I possibly can! I love the flavour and it’s awesome that it has so many benefits as well, will make me happy next time I have some garlic bread!

    1. That’s great! Garlic and onions are amazing together…I’ve never tried them with lemon and honey though. I’ll have to do this. It sounds incredibly healing. Thanks!

  4. I love garlic! I eat it almost every day. And I increase my intake when I’m not feeling well because of all the anti-inflammatory and healing benefits. Great list on the healing powers of garlic!

    1. Isn’t it amazing?! I love the smell and flavor it infuses throughout different foods. I’ve started adding it to dishes I never would have considered before because it’s so delicious and healthful. Thanks!

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