When it comes to so-called "super foods," garlic tops the list. This tasty herb doesn't just add flavor to your meals; it also provides a variety of health benefits, including cardiovascular and digestive. In addition, it's often used for treating infections, thanks to its chemical composition, which includes helpful anti-oxidants.
1. Cardiovascular Benefits
Regular ingestion of garlic may help to prevent heart disease. Researchers believe that garlic works to lower blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol. It also relaxes blood vessels, aiding in the fight against hypertension. Studies have varied as to how effective garlic is, mostly because the studies done so far have used various preparations of garlic for their tests.
2. Digestive Benefits
Garlic aids the digestive system in a number of ways, both big and small. Cancer patients who ingested an aged, powdered extract of garlic on a daily basis developed fewer colon and rectal tumors. Another study found that people who ate more garlic were less likely to get cancers of the esophagus, stomach and colon.
For issues such as dysentery and diarrhea, garlic's antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties work to clear them up. Garlic also rids the body of roundworms without damaging the digestive tract.
3. Fighting Infections
The use of garlic to fight infections goes back thousands of years. There's some evidence that it strengthens the immune system, making it easier for the body to fight off infections and even colds. Applied topically, it clears up fungal infections, such as athlete's foot, jock itch and ringworm. It's also effective as a natural treatment for yeast infections.
Before making garlic a regular part of your treatment plan, check with your doctor. He or she can determine what type of garlic you should take for your particular issue: clove, powder, capsule or other. Until then, enjoy an extra scoop of garlic with your dinner at Lee's Mongolian BBQ. It's good for you!