Article Written by Home Doctor Gold Coast Team
What you didn’t know and what you should know
Garlic – we all know it, we all love it and with flu season approaching, it is a great go-to ingredient to add to your cooking, not just for flavour but for its health benefits as well.
Garlic has long been used as a natural health remedy, to help fight off coughs and beat congestion.
The most known health benefit of garlic is that it can boost the function of the immune system. Garlic can be consumed in many forms: fresh, powder, dried flakes and tablet supplements.
Author and researcher Peter Josling conducted a 12-week study which found that a daily garlic supplement can reduce colds by 63 per cent. The average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70 per cent, from five days to two.
As well as this, a study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy discovered a compound in garlic was almost 100 times more effective at fighting particular bacteria than some popular antibiotics.
Author of the study, Dr Xiaonan Lu from Washington State University said the results showed there was potential for the compound in garlic to reduce disease-causing bacteria.
Other reported health benefits of garlic include:
- Reduced cholesterol
Garlic appears to reduce LDL (the ‘bad’) cholesterol levels by approximately 10 to 15 per cent, whilst not affecting HDL (the ‘good’) levels.
- Immunity booster
Garlic helps to prevent common illnesses, like cold and flu, and reduce their severity.
- Great antioxidant
There are many antioxidants found within garlic that can support the body’s protective mechanisms and increase antioxidant enzymes. It’s reported these effects may help prevent chronic disease, like dementia.
- High in nutrients
Garlic contains several nutrients including:
– Vitamin B6
– Vitamin C
- Reduced blood pressure
It has been frequently reported in the US National Library of Medicine that garlic can reduce blood pressure and, in some instances, be as effective as regular medications.
- Improve bone health
Garlic also appears to have benefits for bone health as it increases estrogen levels in women. The reason for this is because estrogen is required for closure of the epiphyseal growth plates during bone growth.
- Toxin cleanser
In high doses, garlic can detoxify heavy metals in the body. This is due to the sulphur compounds within the garlic.
With flu season around the corner, garlic is a natural health remedy many aren’t aware of or tend to forget – so why not add a few more spices to your cooking this winter.