As the Greek physician Hippocrates famously wrote many centuries ago, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” He could have been -- and very well might have been -- talking about garlic, among other nourishing foods.
Garlic is the ultimate super food to add to your everyday diet. Enjoyed raw or cooked, it not only creates delicious flavor, but it also packs in some potentially big health benefits.
A native of Asia, garlic (Allium sativum) has been used for millennia in cooking, as well as for promoting well-being. The plant -- in particular, the familiar garlic bulb -- contains special compounds, including one known as alliin, which contains sulphur and is derived from cystein (an amino acid). As the precursor to allicin, alliin is considered to be garlic’s potent secret weapon and its main active ingredient.
Garlic can help support health in an amazing variety of ways. Here are five things it's known for:
Helping to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level and in a normal range.* For extra support in maintaining already normal and healthy cholesterol levels, make garlic a regular part of your diet. Or, try adding a garlic supplement to your regimen.
Promoting cardiovascular system health, including platelet function.* Besides living a healthy lifestyle, including eating well, exercising regularly and managing stress, eating garlic regularly can help support heart health.* Again, if this doesn’t work for your digestive system, consider taking a garlic supplement.
Assisting in maintaining healthy blood pressure (already within normal range). This benefit of garlic is related to other factors, including your diet and exercise habits. In order to maximize the benefits of garlic for health, make sure you’re eating a high-quality diet and include regular exercise (both aerobic and strength training) into your days.*
Supporting colon health, as well as prostate and endothelial tissue health.* The health of all of these systems is important for overall health! A healthy colon means a healthy microbial population in your intestines. Men, be sure to include garlic in your diet to help promote prostate health. An everyone also could use garlic’s help in supporting the health of the lining of blood vessel walls (also known as the endothelium), which in turn help support cardiovascular health.*
Playing a role in protecting against oxidation of lipids in blood.* This means that consuming garlic can help protect healthy cells from free radical activity that may affect the fats in your blood. Garlic’s potential in this regard may be especially valuable, because lipid oxidation in blood may be related to certain health issues.
Although eating raw or cooked garlic can be a big win for your health, so-called “garlic breath” can be an unpleasant side effect. This is another reason to consider taking garlic supplements, which are available in odor-free formulas. Vitacost’s odorless garlic contains garlic bulb extract (standardized to 26,400 mcg of alliin, to ensure consistent potency in each dose), and each bottle of the product contains 90 servings of two capsules per serving.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.