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Everything You Need to Know About Garlic

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many Garlics with high amounts of vitamins minerals and antioxidants

What is Garlic?

Garlic is powerfully aromatic and intensely flavorful, making it a must-have ingredient to spice up various dishes! But did you know garlic is a superfood that's been used throughout history for its health-boosting properties? It's packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This article explores the health benefits of taking a garlic supplement. Garlic – Allium sativum – is a bulbous vegetable that grows underground and is closely related to onions, chives, and leeks. Also known as the “stinking rose," garlic has an intense aroma due to its content of sulfur-rich compounds. It has been cultivated for thousands of years and used in cuisines worldwide for its delicious, complex flavor. Several ancient civilizations also used garlic for cultural practices and in traditional medicine. It was famous as a powerful natural antibiotic and tonic to treat infections, parasites, respiratory problems, and high blood pressure. Many of these medicinal properties have now been confirmed by science, and garlic supplements are available to help you get the benefits – minus the bad breath!

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How does garlic work?

The potent health benefits of garlic are due to its rich source of the active sulfur-containing compounds alliin, allicin, diallyl-disulfide, and S-allyl-cysteine. The compounds are released when garlic is crushed and work synergistically to provide potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, blood-thinning, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties (1). In addition, these compounds have been shown to inhibit the production of the pro-inflammatory chemical prostaglandin E2 and other inflammatory chemicals (2). Research has also found that ingesting garlic fights oxidative stress by increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the body. Unfortunately, the compounds released when fresh garlic is crushed are highly unstable and lose their potency when exposed to light and air. So, a garlic supplement provides a stable and concentrated form of active compounds, so you can quickly obtain the health benefits without worrying about their potency!

    Healthy woman running taking garlic supplement

    Health Benefits of Garlic

    Here are some of the health benefits you could experience from taking garlic capsules regularly.

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    Supports Heart Health

    By soothing inflammation in the body and protecting your cells against oxidative damage, garlic extract may reduce your risk of chronic disease and provide powerful heart-protective properties. It may be one of the reasons the Mediterranean diet is excellent for the heart! A 2013 study on adults with hypertension found that garlic capsules significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in a dose and duration-dependent manner (3). This is likely due to garlic's ability to influence hydrogen sulfide production, a gas that enhances nitric oxide levels and promotes blood vessel relaxation and expansion (4). Another 2013 meta-analysis study found that garlic extract had a beneficial effect on total cholesterol, "bad" LDL cholesterol, and "healthy" HDL cholesterol levels in patients with dyslipidemia (5). The study also suggested that garlic was a safe alternative to conventional cholesterol-lowering drugs!

    Boosts Immunity

    Garlic is a popular natural immune booster, helping you fight off infections thanks to its antimicrobial properties. In fact, in the 18th century, people reportedly ate crushed garlic and applied it topically to ward off the plague and treat skin wounds. While these stories are anecdotal, recent studies show garlic's active compounds may help reduce the frequency of the common cold and speed up your recovery. For example, a placebo-controlled study on healthy subjects found that taking 2.5g of aged garlic extract daily for 90 days resulted in (6):

    • Improved function of immune cells such as T-cells and natural killer (NK) cells
    • Reduced cold severity in those who fell ill
    • A reduction in the number of cold symptoms reported
    • 58% fewer days of school or work missed due to illness. 

      Promotes Healthy Detoxification

      A rich source of sulfur, garlic promotes efficient detoxification. The Journal of Nutrition notes this effect of garlic, and it's a significant effect, too. As with all allium vegetables, garlic donates the sulfur molecules necessary to form enzymes involved in phase II liver detoxification. In addition, garlic's antioxidant properties may also help protect the liver from free radical damage. This is promising because toxins from poor diet, alcohol, body care products, and environmental pollution are pervasive nowadays, causing the liver to become overwhelmed and sluggish.



      Make garlic part of your daily diet.

      cup of coffee next to a spoon

      Okay, you knew it was coming. It's time for a shameless plug. Do you think the benefits of adding garlic to your daily diet could help? First, create a personalized daily vitamin pack that includes garlic and other vitamins, minerals, or supplements you think could help. Then, start by adding garlic to your Kit here!

      Garlic


      Garlic pill odorless

      Make Garlic a part of your daily vitamin and supplement routine

      • Rich in sulfur-containing compounds
      • Provides potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties
      • Natural antibiotic properties support the immune system and reduce the frequency of colds

       

      Resources: 

      1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11238796/
      2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23057778/
      3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24035939/
      4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4266250/
      5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23590705/
      6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22280901/

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