Despite its rather unpleasant after smell, garlic has been used as a nutritional supplement for centuries. Indian and Chinese cultures have been using the plant in cooking and as a medical remedy for thousands of years.
The bulb contains several active ingredients, many of which are known to be extremely beneficial to the health of the human body. Dithiins, sulfoxides, and thiosulfinates may not sound very nice, but in fact these substances help make garlic something of a superfood.
Numerous studies have shown that garlic can help lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots (by thinning the blood) and reduce the likelihood of build ups on the artery walls. Garlic has also been proven to help reduce blood pressure by preventing unwanted contraction in our blood vessels.
There have also been strong indications that garlic has a positive effect in the prevention of cancer. Research into a variety of cancers including lung and breast, suggest that garlic can help prevent the formation of cancerous cells. However, it must be said that there is still a lack of concrete evidence proving this potentially life saving link.
Eating garlic may also have positive effect on your immune system. Studies have shown that garlic can help control infection by bacteria and viruses. It's doubtful whether the bulb itself actively fights harmful infections but it is believed to encourage your body's natural defences to overcome potential threats.
Garlic is also an excellent source of a number of essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin B6, vitamin C, selenium, and calcium. The plant also provides good levels of vitamin B1, copper, and phosphorus.
Top garlic tip - cooking garlic at too high a heat, for too long will have an adverse effect on many of its health promoting properties.
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