Garlic does more than ward off vampires and make your breath stink! In fact, traditional schools of medicine have used it for thousands of years. Here are four health benefits of this natural herbal ingredient.
What Makes Garlic So Great
As scientists look into the effects of diet on health, they’re finding that more and more everyday foods offer benefits well beyond just making dishes tastier.
Garlic, an ingredient found in almost every cuisine, has emerged as one such superfood. In fact, eating it regularly has been linked to reduced risk of infections, heart disease, stroke, and even cancer.
Garlic’s super powers come from a compound called allicin. This organic sulfur compound strengthens immunity, improves heart health, fights off inflammation, and even works against bacteria.
4 Benefits of Garlic
Suddenly not so concerned about having garlic breath? Here are the details of four of its most notable benefits.
1. Supports Healthy Circulation
Garlic has been recognized as instrumental in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death in the U.S. In fact, one Journal of Nutrition study found that it helped ward off plaque buildup in the arteries of people with early heart disease.
2. Promotes Healthy Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, a.k.a. hypertension, is one of the biggest drivers of cardiovascular issues. Interestingly, recent research suggests that garlic can help.
Some human studies have found that garlic supplements can help people with hypertension manage their blood pressure. In one study, patients who supplemented with 600 to 1,500 milligrams of aged garlic extract for 24 weeks experienced positive BP outcomes.
3. Boosts Immunity
Not only does garlic support a healthy cardiovascular system, but it bolsters immunity, too.
In fact, one study found that daily garlic supplementation can be helpful when you’re feeling under the weather—and even help your defenses build back up faster.
4. Improves Athletic Performance
Bet you didn’t see this one coming. Believe it or not, garlic may just be one of the first performance-enhancing substances ever discovered. Olympic athletes in ancient Greece and fatigued laborers in medieval times took it to help them power through.
One study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology Pharmacology suggests garlic enhances athletic performance by increasing VO2 max, the body’s ability to consume oxygen.
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This article was originally published in Amazing Wellness magazine.