In addition to warding off vampires, garlic has many non-supernatural health benefits. Grab the breath mints and read on to learn more about why this pungent veggie is a nutritious addition to any diet.
1. Garlic improves your immune system
The antioxidants in garlic can not only help protect you from developing the common cold, they can also help ward off symptoms if you do get sick. Sipping a tea made from garlic cloves that have been steeped in hot water can help boost your immunity to illness and resolve cold and flu symptoms.
2. Garlic reduces the risk for certain cancers
The Iowa Women’s Health Study examined data about the diets of more than 41,000 middle aged women. The study indicated that those who regularly ate garlic had a 35 percent lower risk for developing colon cancer. Other scientific studies have shown its efficacy in lowering risk for stomach and esophageal cancers.
3. Garlic lowers your blood pressure
Several research studies indicate the positive effect garlic consumption has on high blood pressure. Regular consumption of garlic can lower blood pressure up to eight percent among those who have hypertension. Garlic increases the body’s production of hydrogen sulfide gas, which helps expand the blood vessels.
4. Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties
This is beneficial to those who suffer from autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Eating garlic can help reduce the inflammation that causes pain, stiffness, and other unpleasant effects. In addition, dabbing cut garlic on the skin can help clear up acne and psoriasis as well as speed wound healing.
To maximize garlic’s health benefits, crush it up or mince it before using in a recipe. Try sautéing the cloves in a bit of olive oil and mixing into whole wheat pasta, salad dressing, rice, and other dishes.