8 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Eat Garlic Every Day
Garlic is one of those foods where you either love it or hate it. Sure, it can make your breath bad, but it tastes so good and you can always brush your teeth later. It’s the stronger cousin to the onion, and it’s been in use for thousands of years. Here are eight great reasons why you might want to include garlic in your daily diet.
You get an assortment of nutrients
Garlic was probably the first superfood, in that it is not only good tasting, but it also has a lot of healthful benefits. Not only is it a low calorie food, it also contains good amounts of vitamin C, which helps protect the immune system, and vitamin B6, which promotes brain health and helps reduce depression symptoms.
But garlic’s main asset is that it contains sulfur compounds, which get dispersed through absorption in the digestive tract and have many positive effects on your body.
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You can lower your blood pressure
Some doctors have prescribed garlic supplements as part of an overall campaign to lower blood pressure, with good reason. Those sulfur compounds we mentioned earlier get converted by blood cells into a gas, which expands the blood vessels. This lets the blood cells move more freely and your circulatory system run smoothly.
Your immune system functions better
Garlic’s high sulfur content has antibiotic properties, and has been found to help fight against certain bacteria, fungi, and viruses. There is also a very powerful compound in garlic called allicin that boosts immunity and has been known to prevent or mitigate colds.
The problem is that allicin is a very unstable compound that breaks down quickly; it only occurs when fresh garlic is cut or crushed. So to get the full health benefits of allicin, you basically have to bite down on a clove of raw garlic. Still, some people swear by its effectiveness.
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You can lower your cholesterol
Not only is high blood pressure a thing to worry about, but so are high levels of LDL cholesterol. Fortunately, garlic has an effect on that, too. Studies have shown a 10% to 15% decrease in LDL levels in people who took garlic supplements and no noticeable effect on the HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Even though it’s much more enjoyable to have garlic as part of a recipe and not in pill form, the sad fact is that it would take eating the equivalent of four whole cloves of garlic every day to get the benefit you get from the supplement version.
You can protect your brain health
So what else can garlic do? It’s also a powerful antioxidant. This means that not only is it healthful for the body, but also the mind. After all, if your cholesterol and your blood pressure are lowered, you are at lower risk of developing brain impairments like Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s certainly no cure, but it’s something to help as a preventative.
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You can get more from your workouts
There’s a classic Popeye cartoon that shows that before he discovered spinach, Popeye’s ancestor got his super strength from garlic instead.
It’s not far from the truth, either; in ancient Greece garlic was given to Olympic athletes to improve their stamina and let them run longer. Modern studies have been inconclusive, however, as to why this happens.
It could be that garlic has properties that boosts the ability to exercise longer, or it could be that garlic lessens the rate at which you tire during workouts. Either way, adding a bit of garlic to your diet can help you achieve your fitness goals more efficiently.
You can prevent damage from environmental toxins
The modern world has a lot of environmental toxins, some of which are perfectly natural. Take lead, for example. Lead is a natural element, and yet it can have a devastating effect on children’s ability to grow and learn. This is why we took lead out of paint and gasoline. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t still out there.
Garlic has been shown to absorb and flush out heavy metal toxins from the bloodstream, and also alleviate symptoms of exposure to those toxins such as headaches. In fact, one study found that eating garlic reduced lead levels in the blood by 19%. It’s a scary world out there, so be sure to use garlic, whether in food or in supplements.
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You may protect your bone health
Finally, garlic can also be beneficial for your bone health. People with osteoarthritis and other bone diseases usually develop these problems due to calcium deficiency and low estrogen levels in both women and men.
Garlic doesn’t contain estrogen, but it does encourage estrogen production in the body. Therefore, simply taking garlic will keep your hormone levels from falling to the point that bone density issues can take over.