Though the disadvantages of garlic are that it gives you bad breath and smelly hands, the advantages far outweigh its repelling qualities. Garlic has huge benefits for your health, making it the perfect ingredient to include in your home-cooking.
5 health benefits of garlic
1. It’s a good source of nutrition
Some of the best foods are the ones that offer high nutritional value with a low calorie and carb count. Garlic is one of these foods, and is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, fibre and calcium at just 42 calories for a 28g serving, making it an excellent addition to your meals.
2. It can help ward off colds and viruses
Eating garlic has been found to boost immunity, helping to ward off colds and other viruses. Those who supplemented garlic over a 12-week period were less likely to develop a cold than those in the placebo group, whilst it was also found that the average duration of a cold was reduced with high garlic consumption. Whilst you can buy garlic tablets from health food stores, eating real garlic is the most effective way to get your daily intake.
3. It is an excellent antioxidant
Garlic is known to contain antioxidant properties, featuring various compounds which can help to protect against free radical damage. Antioxidants have been reported as helping to prevent conditions such as cancer, diabetes , dementia and others, although living a healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced diet is just as important to ensure long-term health.
4. It can help to reduce blood pressure
Issues with blood pressure can lead to a number of other conditions, including heart attacks and strokes. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure level is important to reduce the risk of developing these conditions. Certain studies have found that garlic extract is as effective in reducing blood pressure as some types of medication when taken in the right quantities.
5. It can help improve your cholesterol
It’s been proven that garlic can help to lower your cholesterol, and is particularly effective in those who already have high levels of cholesterol. High cholesterol levels can lead to heart disease and other conditions, so it’s important to take steps to actively reduce your cholesterol levels and keep them at a healthy level.
Boosting your garlic intake
It’s very easy to ensure that you get a regular intake of garlic in your diet. Whilst the most effective way to consume it is raw, you can still benefit from it after it has been cooked. Pressing garlic cloves and mixing them into a paste mixed with some olive oil makes a great dressing, or you can add it chopped to salads and other dishes. Add cloves of garlic to your stir fries, curries, pasta dishes and to sauces for a dish that’s full of flavour. If you don’t like the smell of garlic on your hands or you find it fiddly to peel and chop, you can buy pre-chopped garlic, frozen garlic and garlic pastes which are great for adding to dishes and will still offer some of the health benefits. Counteract the smell with some parsley, which is known for being an effective, natural breath freshener.
Discovering the health benefits of many common foods can provide plenty of inspiration to include more of them in your diet. As a common, affordable ingredient, garlic intake can easily be increased by adding it to different meals throughout the day. Besides this, it tastes great, so why not add more of something you love to your diet for a change?
We’d love to hear your favourite ways of adding garlic to your dishes. Why not tweet us @ebpcooh and share your tips and recipes with us?