For a vegetable of its size, garlic (Allium sativum) has a well-deserved notoriety. This little guy from the Amaryllis family (cousin of onions, leeks and chives) is capable of changing any recipe to an intense and sweet-smelling culinary experience.

Garlic is made up of several “cloves” encased in a paper-like skin that may appear as white or sometimes pinkish in color. Despite the fact that they have a firm surface,  garlic can be effectively cut or smashed without too much effort. The flavor of garlic is exquisite; it hits the sense of taste with sharpness that is shadowed by an inconspicuous foundation of sweetness.

Throughout history, garlic has been  used for its health benefits probably due to its medicinal compound Allicin, which has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties.

Here are some known garlic benefits:

  1. Anti-cancer properties – Garlic is considered the most powerful anti-cancer spice. Studies all over the world have shown that it lowers the risk of developing all types of cancers especially colon, stomach, intestinal, and prostate cancer. Check out this garlic fact sheet from cancer.gov if you want to know more.
  2. Good for the Heart – Garlic would undoubtedly be very helpful when included in the diet of people with poor heart conditions . It prevents heart diseases by bringing down cholesterol and improving blood circulation. It stalls the improvement of Atherosclerosis, a condition wherein the arteries becomes stiff therefore increasing the chance of a   heart assault or stroke.
  3. Healthy Eyes – Sulfur is obtained from garlic, which is essential for producing glutathione, an antioxidant that helps the eye lens. As  garlic contributes to maintain blood circulation, it also helps in  keeping the eyes healthy.
  4.  Good for Digestion –  Daily inclusion of garlic in your diet aids in eliminating many digestive problems.  It aids the digestive system by eliminating noxious waste matter in the body, stimulate peristaltic action and secretes digestive fluids. Problems such as swelling or irritation of the gastric canal may be relieved with garlic as a treatment.
  5. Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Parasitical properties – For the last 7,000 years, garlic has been used as an antibiotic to treat bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections. It may not have that appealing smell like mint but using a garlic-based mouthwash with through small quantities of its extracts is enough to fend off cavity-causing bacteria. Studies also supports that garlic extract helps children with tapeworm infections. 

Although there are still many benefits that can be taken from eating garlic, these are probably most popular ones that majority of us can relate to. Just go and do a quick search and you’ll learn that it can also be used for wounds, acne, and many more. So go ahead and start including it in your daily diet and reap its benefits!

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