Although garlic is a common ingredient do you really know all of its potential benefits? The World’s Healthiest Foods takes a bite into garlic to find the answers.
Garlic is part of the vegetable family known as Allium and originated in several places throughout the globe. The World’s Healthiest Foods notes that garlic grew wild in Egypt, China, India and in the area of land that includes present-day Ukraine. It has spread to become a staple-food in many different cultures. Interestingly, the largest grower of garlic in the world is China, producing in 2014 20 million tons.
Garlic contains several nutrients including:
- Vitamin B1 and B6
- Vitamin C
Additional Benefits of Garlic
It also contains sulfur compounds which have been found to have positive health benefits. These include helping cells detoxify, improving our connective tissues and joints, and improving the elasticity of our blood vessels.
Garlic is known to support our cardiovascular system by containing antioxidants, which help prevent inflammation. It also contains ingredients that keep platelets in the blood from sticking together, which in turn prevents blood clots from forming.
There are cancer-fighting properties in garlic as well, helping to lower the risk of some cancers. This is also due to the sulfur compounds found in garlic. This includes even developing cancer from cigarette smoke. Interestingly, the same qualities that help stave-off smoking-related cancers may also support healthy bones too.
Another area of research is controlling blood sugar. Participants in research studies who ate garlic were found to produce more of a hormone that our bodies make to control blood sugar. This holds promise for those who struggle with type-2 diabetes.
The World’s Healthiest Foods recommends purchasing garlic that is fresh from certified organic producers. Fresh garlic contains far more of the healthy properties you need than processed garlic such as garlic powder. When preparing finely cut, crush, or mince it to release more of the helpful enzymes.
Want to learn more about the health benefits of garlic? You can read the full article here: Garlic.