Top 10 Health Benefits of Garlic

Here are the top 10 health benefits of garlic that make it such an important food or supplement to include in your diet every day.

Garlic is a well-known vegetable that belongs to the Allium family, a class of bulb-shaped plants, which also includes onions, chives, leeks, and scallions.

Garlic is native to central Asia and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic has been used throughout history not only as a culinary spice but also for its medicinal purposes. The key ingredients in garlic are the sulphur-based compounds, which are known to have a range of beneficial effects in the body.

Here are top ten health benefits of garlic:

1. Cardiovascular benefits
Garlic extracts have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in both human and animal studies. A meta-analysis of 13 clinical trials concluded that garlic is superior to a placebo in reducing total cholesterol levels. This is one of the major health benefits of garlic.

Other studies indicate that garlic favourably shifts the HDL : LDL ratio towards lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) and higher HDL (the good cholesterol). This means it can reduce the build-up of plaque in the arteries.

Garlic has also been shown to lower triglyceride levels in people with elevated triglyceride levels and reduce platelet aggregation. This means it is a natural blood-thinning compound.

2. Reduces blood pressure
Numerous studies have shown that garlic may lower blood pressure and that its blood-pressure reducing effects occur almost immediately. In fact, in one study blood pressure reduced in the majority of patients within 3 days!

3. Helps overcome type 2 diabetes
It appears that garlic may be effective at helping to reduce blood sugar levels in people. This means it has glucose disposing properties and may be useful for people who have type 2 diabetes.

Some studies have shown that the anti-hyperglycemic effect of garlic extracts are comparable with gliclazide, a well-known anti-hyperglycemic drug.

4. Fights colds and flu
Traditionally garlic has been used to treat a range of respiratory conditions including, bronchitis, recurrent colds, bronchitic asthma and influenza.

One study involving 146 people demonstrated that a garlic preparation significantly reduced the incidence of colds and accelerated recovery.

It appears that garlic exerts both direct and indirect effects against various pathogens because it enhances macrophage and T-lymphocyte function, primarily by stimulating their production in the body.

5. Prevents Cancer
Another one of the major health benefits of garlic is the fact that it may reduce the risk of cancer. Although evidence is still preliminary, studies have shown that garlic can play a significant role in preventing many cancers. For example, population studies have shown that increased garlic consumption is associated with lower rates of colorectal cancer, prostate, and stomach cancer, just to name a few.

6. Liver-protecting effects
The liver has a wide range of functions in the body. Since garlic has a positive influence on various liver enzymes, it may protect the liver as it performs some of its demanding actions.

Garlic also appears to have a glutathione-sparing effect in the liver, the primary antioxidant in the body.

7. Enhances detoxification processes
Many of the active compounds in garlic have been shown to increase detoxification processes in the body. This is crucial, given the ever increasing exposure of toxins in the environment. Without proper detoxification, toxins are left to build up in our body, leading to a range of diseases and ill-health.

8. Anti-inflamatory effects
Another one of the garlic health benefits is the fact that it has been shown in a number of studies to have anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to reduce the pro-inflammatory enzymes cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase, lower the expression of Nuclear factor kappa B, inhibit the degradation of platelet phospholipids, and reduce the formation of thromboxane.

9. Antioxidant effects
Garlic has strong antioxidant activity and is capable of directly scavenging free radicals and enhancing endogenous antioxidant systems such as glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalsase and glutathione peroxidise.

10. Has anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic effects
Many bacteria, fungi and parasites have proven susceptible to garlic extracts. Some of these include: Pseudomonas, E. coli, Candida, Trichophyton, Torulopsis, Rhodotorula and Trichosporon. The sulphides in garlic appear to be effective is eliminating these in the body.

Ideally, garlic should be a food that is consumed in the diet every day. However, this is not practical for most people. Therefore, taking a garlic supplement every day is a far better option.

Unfortunately though, not all garlic supplements are the same! In fact, the manufacturing and extraction processes used to obtain the active ingredients must be very specific in order to ensure adequate levels of the active ingredients are obtained.

BCN's HemoGard is a potent liquid capsule supplement that contains Liporol, a highly active liquid concentrate of fresh garlic bulb extract in a base of organic extra virgin olive oil. The extraction techniques used for preparing HemoGard ensures that there is no oxidation occurring or excessive heat being used. This guarantees maximum purity and potency and therefore ensures you will provide your body with all the health benefits of garlic.

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