The health benefits of garlic
There is a great deal of interest from both scientists and consumers in the health benefits of garlic.Why does it matter to me?
Observational and case control studies on humans have shown that people with diets (not supplements) high in garlic have:
- Lower deaths from heart disease
- A 50% lower risk of stomach cancer
- A 30% lower risk of colorectal cancer
Garlic has been shown to have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties
Tests performed in laboratories and in animal studies have shown that garlic may:
- Play an important role in the control of inflammation (important for protection against disease)
- Have a blood vessel relaxing property thus providing protection from heart disease
- Prevent some dangerous chemicals from becoming cancerous
- Promote the elimination of drugs, toxins and dangerous potentially cancerous chemicals from the body
Garlic has also been found to control the over activity of cancer cells when added to them in a test tube and induce appropriate cell death in cancer cells in a test tube.How can I maximize my intake?
Scientists recommend that to maximise the health promoting properties of garlic let it stand for 10 minutes after chopping or crushing, this preserves the properties that would ordinarily be destroyed or reduced by heating.
Onions are the other major container of organosulphur compounds so may well provide the same benefits although much less testing has been done on onions with the main focus being on garlic.