Garlic has long been hailed for its distinct flavor and impressive medicinal benefits. But what else makes this culinary staple loved all over the world? This post will share the top 10 benefits of garlic. With recipes, too!
Can you imagine a world without garlic? That would be sad. Traditional recipes from all around the globe would never be the same. And by that, I mean they’d be boring.
From the allium plant (this is from the onion, chives, leeks, and shallots family), garlic gives a taste that is delicious, and yes, the health benefits of garlic are not to be discounted! With its distinct flavor and numerous benefits, garlic has the power to transform dishes in both subtle and significant ways. From hearty comfort food to savory sauces and delicious marinades, garlic is simply the VIP.
But what else makes it exceptional and ultra-healthy? Read on to discover the top 10 medicinal and nutritional benefits of garlic. FYI – It’s the sulfur compounds in garlic bulbs and cloves that once, cut or chewed, burst forth with benefits against issues like Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, and oxidative damage. I’m also sharing a few recipes that don’t skimp on fresh garlic (also super clean and easy)!
Is It Good To Eat Garlic Every Day?
If you eat garlic every day, you’re doing it right! Because a daily dose of flavorful garlic can essentially serve as protection, healing, and nourishment for your body. We’ll dive more into why that is below.
But for now, eating garlic every day can generally help with:
- Boosting your immunity
- Improving your metabolic health
- Preventing chronic diseases (such as hypertension and diabetes)
- Preventing brain-related diseases (such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia)
What Diseases Can Garlic Cure?
Garlic has also proven helpful in preventing and managing high blood pressure and cholesterol, heart issues, and some cancers. Promising studies suggest that garlic can help combat the common cold and flu by boosting your immunity.
I had a friend that would put raw garlic in her socks whenever she had a cold…can’t say I’ve ever tried it so don’t quote me on this. But it’s likely for the reasons above.
Now is a good time to ask that you please consult your doctor, especially if you’re taking any medications or have health concerns before trying any home remedy.
When Should I Eat Raw Garlic?
According to nutritional experts, eating raw garlic while your stomach is empty can provide potent antibiotic benefits! Having it before breakfast OR right before bed increases the efficacy because bacteria in your stomach are vulnerable and exposed (belly up, you might say).
Having raw garlic on an empty stomach can also help in reducing cholesterol levels and managing diabetes.
What Is The Best Way To Eat Garlic For Medicinal Benefits?
If you want to reap the maximum medicinal benefits from garlic, the best way to consume it is — brace yourself — raw or as an extract. Garlic juice, anyone? If you can’t stand it raw (which I completely understand) you can also take it in supplement form.
Bonus tip: Have it with water and then a bit of honey to remove the aftertaste.
Is Garlic An Antibiotic?
Yes, numerous studies have proven garlic’s antibiotic properties. So much so that it has been shown to fight various bacteria, viruses, and fungi. What’s behind these antimicrobial benefits? Garlic’s bioactive compounds, of course!
To use garlic as an antibiotic or medicine, it’s best to mince or crush it 10 minutes before taking it. By then, its chemicals have been able to activate its antibiotic effects.
Need some help in prepping your garlic? Check out my post on How to Peel and Mince Garlic.
When Does Garlic Go Bad?
Garlic in its various forms will go bad at different times. Here’s a handy chart you can reference:
|Peeled and refrigerated||1 Week|
|Whole head (unpeeled)||Six Months|
|Single clove (unpeeled)||3 Weeks|
As shown in the chart, chopped garlic will go bad the most quickly. To prolong its shelf life, mix chopped garlic with olive oil. This will extend its life up to 3 days.
Got garlic gone bad? Here are some helpful ways to tell:
- Brown spots
- A yellowish or brownish hue
- Mushy or soft texture.
How Much Garlic Should I Take Daily?
According to experts in nutrition, it’s recommended to eat anywhere from one to two cloves of garlic per day. If you’re taking it as a supplement, a dosage of 3,600 mg of aged garlic extract has shown effective results. Studies show that the potassium, phosphorus zinc, magnesium, manganese, iron, and more found in garlic provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and lipid-lowering effects.
Be careful not to eat too much garlic in one go! Overdoing the garlic consumption can have side effects. Having too much at once can cause bloating, diarrhea, bad breath, and heartburn.
The Top 10 Health Benefits Of Eating Garlic
So, here we go! Let’s take a look at the ten benefits of garlic when taken as a supplement or in food.
1. Garlic is loaded with nutrients (and very few calories).
With lots of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, garlic offers up many vitamins and minerals. We’re talking manganese, phosphorus, iron, copper, selenium, fiber, and Vitamin C, B1, and B6.
2. Garlic has medicinal properties.
Used in ancient history for various ailments, modern science is starting to confirm the medicinal virtues of garlic. Studies have found that garlic can lessen cold and flu symptoms.
3. Garlic may boost the immune system.
Garlic contains allicin, the sulfur-containing compound that can do wonders for the immune system. That, combined with antioxidants, can do well to boost your overall immunity.
4. Garlic is anti-inflammatory.
Heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis can be caused by chronic inflammation (caused by specific inflammatory proteins). Our friend garlic can inhibit the activity of these proteins, preventing them from aggravating your body.
If you’d like to up your intake of anti-inflammatory foods, here’s a list I’ve compiled for you!
Did You Know? You can rub garlic oil onto the body for relief from sore and inflamed joints.
5. Garlic is anti-viral.
Garlic is not lacking in antiviral effects. In fact, it’s considered to be the most efficient antiviral food source. It’s rich in organosulfur compounds (such as allicin) which can help prevent viral infections. Great for cold season!
6. Garlic is rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidant enzymes help your body defend itself from toxins, free radicals, and daily stressors that may eventually cause chronic diseases or sickness. Making sure to get enough antioxidants from food – such as garlic – can help your body prevent or delay the onset of certain cancers, risk of heart disease, diabetes, etc.
7. Garlic may help lower blood pressure.
Garlic may help reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases (such as strokes and heart attacks). One study with aged garlic extract proved it to be equally effective as taking the Atenolol drug to reduce blood pressure. Pretty groundbreaking, in my opinion!
8. Garlic may help lower cholesterol.
Having trouble with high cholesterol? The allicin in garlic helps to reduce cholesterol levels. Which in turn reduces the risk of heart diseases and heart attacks. Another great thing about allicin is that it can widen the blood vessels to help blood flow more freely.
Ready to eat something tasty? My Healthy Tzatziki Sauce uses garlic AND is dairy-free.
9. Garlic may help lower blood sugar.
Studies have found that eating garlic before a meal can help lower your blood sugar levels. Looking for more ways to lower blood sugar naturally? Check out this list of the 15 best foods that can help!
10. Garlic makes clean eating fun.
Apart from the myriad of health and healing benefits, garlic is just as much known for its beloved flavor. And because it goes with almost anything savory, adding it to your Sauteed Spinach or Italian Sausage Pizza will take these dishes to the next level. I mean it!
More Delicious Recipes with Garlic
For the love of garlic and your tastebuds, I’ve listed some great recipes. Enjoy garlic with vegetables and proteins like beef for variety and amazing flavor.
- Hearty Beef Stew (uses 10 cloves!)
- Garlic Roasted Pork Chops
- Homemade Garlic Bread
- Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
- Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms (You Can Make Ahead!)
- Spinach and Feta Burgers with Garlic Aioli
This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.
2 thoughts on “10 Benefits Of Garlic | From Better Immunity To Blood Sugar Balance”
Can minced garlic that you buy in a jar work?
Hi RC, good question! And yes, you will still be getting most of the benefits of garlic even when it comes in a jar. I’d just be careful to make sure there aren’t too many preservatives involved. And keep in mind that fresh garlic will be a little more potent. -Jen
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