A clove of garlic is one of the ingredients that every kitchen must have. Beside having unique flavor, it also has powerful health benefits. Garlic is a member of the onion family which contains a powerful sulfur compound called allicin. However, it also lends a distinctive and to many people it may give unpleasant smell.
The allicin in garlic exhibits strong antioxidant activity and it has the ability to fight harmful free radicals in the body. No wonder, garlic is used in a wide variety of products, including extracts, oils, powders, and raw or cooked fresh garlic.
Garlic is also popular to improve immune function and some cancer researchers have paid attention to this ingredient. Health benefits of garlic oil will tell you more about the amazing benefits of garlic.
The question is: can you eat raw garlic? Garlic is typically cooked or used in powdered form. However, it can be enjoyed raw as well.
When it is raw, it has stronger and more pungent flavor so it can be consumed safely and makes a great addition to many dishes.
Let’s check these health benefits of raw garlic that might surprise you.
- Improving Immunity
There are several studies showing that garlic may help decrease inflammation. Besides, it also helps boost immune function due to its high content of antioxidants and sulfur-containing compounds called allicin.
Beside garlic, there is also yoghurt which is beneficial for your immune system as being elaborated in health benefits of yoghurt for immune system.
- Reducing Blood Pressure
Beside boosting the immune system, active compounds in garlic are also able to reduce blood pressure or hypertension. It also helps reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases caused by hypertension, such as heart attack and stroke.
Are you having problem with your blood pressure? Ginger tea will be perfect for you to cure it. See more health benefits of ginger tea for blood pressure and start brewing one for your morning tea!
- Improving Physical Performance
If you commonly experience fatigue after work, then you can consume garlic. Garlic can reduce fatigue and improve athletic performance as well as physical capacity. In ancient times, it was used by laborers and Olympic athletes in ancient Greece to improve their physical performance.
- Detoxification of Heavy Metals in the Body
Sulfur compounds in garlic, especially when it is consumed at high dose, has been proven to fight against heavy metal toxicity.
There are some other ways to detox your body. One of them is by consuming apple and cucumber juice. You can read some more health benefits of apple and cucumber juice which is not only great for detoxification, but is also good for your skin!
- Stabilizing Blood Sugar Level
Fasting blood sugar level can be reduced by eating garlic both in people with or without diabetes. Consuming raw garlic is effective in diabetic patients, especially they consume it for more than 3 months.
Anti-inflammatory property in garlic helps blood flow more easily through the body. There are some studies showing that the blood pressure of the participant was lowered by 10% when they took garlic supplements.
Imagine that! It is using garlic supplement, how about using raw garlic? The benefit should be greater than that. Take around 4 cloves of garlic a day.
- Reducing Cholesterol Level
Not only sugar level, garlic also helps lowering the levels of cholesterol. As a result, it also reduces the risk of getting heart diseases. However, lowering the cholesterol level cannot be done only by eating garlic. You also need commitment. It is not instant as it takes a while to experience the benefit of garlic.
- Fighting Colds and Flu
As being explained before, consuming garlic can boost your immune system. When the immune system is strengthened, then the severity and the length of cold and flu symptoms can be reduced. Even if you don’t like consuming raw garlic, you can add some to your meals when you feel that a cold is coming on.
If you have flu, then you should also read these benefits of onions for cold and flu symptoms. You may combine it with garlic too!
- Promoting Stronger Bones
Adding a daily dose of garlic is helpful to reduce the risk of getting osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. There is some evidence showing that consuming garlic could help reduce bone loss as it increases estrogen in females.
However, keep in mind that consuming raw garlic is not the only way to make a real impact on bone density. You still need to consume other healthy foods too, such as dairy products, green leafy vegetables, fish and nuts.