Snacking on pita chips and garlicky hummus not only tastes good, but is good for you, too. Garlic is a natural source of many phytonutrients that may help improve heart health, reduce risk of cancer and fight off infection. However, to get the most Health Benefits Of Garlic, you need to eat it raw, because cooking negatively alters the beneficial compounds.
Better for Your Heart
This little flavor enhancer is filled with nutrients that do your heart good, including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and reducing risk of atherosclerosis, which is hardening of the arteries. In test-tube studies, it’s thought that γ-Glutamylcysteines in garlic may help prevent the constriction of your arteries, which in turn, helps lower blood pressure. The S-allylcysteine, or SAC, in garlic may help lower cholesterol by inhibiting the enzymes that produce cholesterol and lipids. And the acetone and chloroform compounds in raw garlic may help prevent the build up of plaque on your arteries, reducing risk of hardening.
Garlic and Cancer
A number of compounds found in garlic, including allicin, ajoene, and diallyl trisulfide, or DATS, may help protect you against cancer. Allicin may inhibit the growth of tumor cells, while ajoene and DATS kill cancer cells. In addition to decreasing growth and killing cancer cells, it’s also thought that garlic may help protect against cancer by assisting in cell detoxification and working as an antioxidant
Protection Against Infection
Garlic has been used as an anti-microbial agent for centuries, according to a 2014 review article on the health benefits of garlic published in Acivenna Journal of Phytomedicine. The allicin in garlic is believed to be the component that helps your body fight off bugs such as salmonella, E. coli and Staph aureus. Garlic is such a potent anti-bacterial that it’s been shown to be beneficial in fighting off bacteria that have become resistant to certain antibiotics
Getting More Raw Garlic
Garlic appears in a number of cooked foods, from spaghetti sauce to lo mein, but you might be struggling on how to add the bulb to your diet in raw form. In addition to hummus, guacamole and salsa are also dipping foods that use raw garlic. Also, you can add thinly-sliced raw garlic to your avocado toast or mix it into your cooled mashed potatoes. Minced garlic also adds a little punch to salad and soup. Or try adding a clove or two to your kale, carrot and tomato smoothie.