A good diet is the fastest way to good health. No matter your age, properly feeding yourself is very important for both short and long-term health. Many food items are helpful in this regard, boosting our body’s health through compounds and chemicals inherent to them. We see them suggested on dieting forums, in health magazines, and by older members of our family. In these cases, mention of garlic is to be expected. This plant from the Allium genus has been a staple of home medicine for thousands of years. That’s no hyperbole, the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates is known to have prescribed garlic as a solution to various illnesses. Of course, not all of these ancient purposes remain valid under the scrutiny of modern science but there are still plenty of benefits that are scientifically confirmed. Let’s dive into some of them and see how we can boost our immunity with something as simple as garlic.
Use of garlic in diet impacts every layer of our body, from bones to skin. So let’s revise the health benefits and the improved immunity it brings us, starting from the bone. Multiple rodent studies have shown that garlic can minimize bone loss by increasing estrogen in females. This also applies to a study done on menopausal women. Lack of estrogen is closely related to osteoporosis, making this group susceptible to it. However, there have been no general studies of garlic’s effect on bone loss.
While bones are the framework of our body cells are the building blocks. Long-term cell damage can come in many uncomfortable forms. One of these is oxidative stress. This state occurs when there is an excess of free radicals, atoms with unpaired electrons that cause chain chemical reactions, in the body’s cells. Oxidative stress can result in diabetes, inflammatory conditions, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and many other conditions. Despite being very scary, heavy conditions they can be prevented by downsizing oxidative damage to your body. To do so antioxidants are required, something garlic is full of. Garlic supports the body’s protective mechanism against damage caused by oxidative stress. Studies even show that high doses of garlic supplements have a firm impact on antioxidant enzymes in humans.
The number of dangerous conditions the human body can find itself in is exponentially large. However, one of the most frequent causes of death is heart disease. Cardiovascular diseases are very frequent and do not limit themselves to any age group. High blood pressure alone can induce some of these cardiovascular conditions, even if the one suffering from the increase in blood pressure is a younger person. Thankfully, we can boost immunity to these diseases with something as simple as garlic. There have been multiple human studies that showcase garlic reducing the blood pressure of test subjects with high blood pressure. Research suggests this is due to garlic increasing the body’s production of nitric oxide, a molecule that relaxes the inner muscles of the blood vessels allowing for increased circulation. The use of garlic has shown to be equally as effective as the drug Atenolol in one of the studies. For this effect to take place you will have to consume four cloves, segments, of garlic per day. Using supplements based on garlic usually requires a higher dosage.
While we are discussing heart diseases we may as well mention garlic’s effect on cholesterol. After all, high levels of cholesterol are another factor that increases the risk of heart disease. The use of garlic or garlic-based supplements can lower total and LDL cholesterol. The effect of including these in your diet will result in a 10 to 15 percent reduction of cholesterol. Keep in mind, not all cholesterol is bad. What we usually consider “bad” cholesterol is LDL cholesterol. The LDL cholesterol has its use in the organism despite being labeled as bad but it can build up in the walls of your arteries making them hard and narrow. On the other hand, we want to retain a decent level of HDL, or “good” cholesterol, as it takes excess cholesterol back to the liver. The addition of garlic to the diet has been scientifically proven to be a potent way of specifically reducing LDL while HDL remains barely impacted.
We’ve talked specifics for a while now but how increasing the strength of our overall immune system? Well, we’ve scarce research still on the matter but thus far the projections are positive. The few studies that were done show sickness goes away faster with the use of garlic. A longer-term study also showed a reduced number of colds crop up in subjects that consumed garlic supplements daily. Of course, this is not conclusive evidence. There are still studies and tests to be done to confirm the beneficial effects on overall immunity. Although garlic doesn’t hurt your immune system either, you’ve nothing to lose by introducing it to your diet even if previous benefits didn’t cover health issues that concern you.
To top it off, let’s take a look at garlic’s effect on the skin. Garlic has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. These properties come from allicin. This oily, slightly yellow liquid can help kill bacteria that cause acne. It can also assist in reducing swelling and inflammation of the skin. Some antimicrobial components of garlic can also help clear skin. These aren’t necessarily tied to boosting your immunity but considering that skin is in immediate contact with the outside world, harmful substances included, keeping it clear and healthy can prevent deeper problems with our body.
While side effects of bad breath or garlic’s peculiar taste makes some people avoid it the health benefits are worth the downsides. Those who find improved immunity not worth the smell should try coated garlic supplements, these dissolve inside of your stomach rather than throat and reducing bad smell. Eating or drinking items that kill the smell can also help. These include apples, spinach, green tea, spearmint gum, and mint. Lastly, the quality of garlic remains an important variable in its consumption. For maximum quality garlic, find farmers and suppliers who organically grow it. One of these is garlics.com which offers organic garlic grown by hand in exceptionally fertile soil. The fine selection they have will make sure you get the best quality garlic with rich nutrition. Waste no time in improving your health, include garlic into your diet now, and secure a healthier future.