Garlic packs a pungent punch full of health benefits.
An ubiquitous condiment faded into the backgrounds of every pantry, the ordinary garlic has actually been used centuries ago as medicine by the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians! A relative of onions, this common ingredient gets its ‘stinking’ reputation from the sulphuric compounds within, that actually provides a host of health benefits!
With anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant properties, there is certainly nothing ‘anti’ about eating more garlic. Here are 5 reasons to stock up on this cheap superfood that does miracles for your heart, skin and more.
1. Get rid of smelly feet.
Garlic has a bad rep for causing unpleasant breath, but it is surprisingly effective at getting rid of smells emanating from our feet. Ajoene, an organic sulfur compound found in chopped or crushed garlic has anti-fungal properties that can help cure athlete’s foot, a type of fungal infection. Natural remedies include soaking the feet for 30 minutes in garlic infused water, or applying a mixture of minced garlic and olive oil using a cotton bud.
2. Possess better skin
If having good skin seems like a perpetual struggle, listen up. Like many superfoods, garlic is packed with antioxidant and antibacterial properties that help improve skin condition and reduce pimple outbreaks. When eaten and digested, allicin, a sulphuric compound that gives garlic its signature aroma and taste is released, reacting and destroying the free radicals and bacteria responsible for skin aging and acne. The result is smoother, unblemished skin free from pigmentation and wrinkling. Garlic can even be applied topically in sliced cloves to treat pimples
3. Strengthen your immune system
The simple garlic’s abilities is more than just skin deep. Did you know they were used in the world wars to treat gangrene infections? The benefits extend internally, where allicin is found to improve the body’s immune system better than some antibiotics like penicillin. The compound inhibits the growth of certain bacteria, including e.coli, salmonella and staphylococcus aureus, which is responsible for illnesses such as food poisoning, boils and even toxic shock syndrome.
4. Keep your heart healthy
This information will definitely put your heart at ease – garlic’s positive effects on cardiovascular health is one more reason to love this superfood. Garlic is known as a blood thinner and has been found to help vessel walls relax and expand, resulting in better circulation and lower blood pressure. Multiple studies have also shown a correlation between increased garlic intake and the slowing down of cholesterol and plaque formation in the arteries. This is due to the production of hydrogen sulfide gas which is released when garlics are crushed, contributing to the foods’ ‘rotten egg’ smell.
5. Fight against cancer
As if there isn’t any more reason to grab some garlic, this kitchen staple is equally beneficial in preventing and slowing down certain cancers such as colorectal, stomach and liver cancer. Its antioxidant qualities, derived from the sulfuric compounds fight against free radicals and carcinogens. Researchers have also discovered that the same compounds have the ability to activate DNA repair mechanisms, which are vital in preventing cancer cell growth.
From bolstering your immune system to preventing cancer, there are many incredible health benefits waiting to be discovered in this under-appreciated herb. Incorporate more garlic into your meals today!