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Last Updated on August 21, 2020

11 Amazing Health Benefits of Garlic (Backed by Science)

11 Amazing Health Benefits of Garlic (Backed by Science)

What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of garlic? You probably think of the smell. You might have even been reminded of a junior high trauma after the garlic smell scared off your crush. Or you could even think of a high-end cuisine that was spiced up with this incredible delicacy. However, I bet you didn’t think of the incredible, science-backed health benefits of garlic, a potent vegetable (and yes…garlic is technically a vegetable and not a spice).

Throughout this article, prepare to have you mind blown with the potential of garlic and how this “natural supplement” can power up your life!

1. Potent Medicine

While we might think of garlic as a mere spice today, people in ancient times used it primarily as medicine!

According to science, most of the benefits are caused by the “sulfur compounds formed when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed or chewed”[1].

Because of these properties, garlic can help with detoxification and the health of our joints. If that doesn’t leave you wanting to pop some garlic along with your supplements, I don’t know what will!

2. Improves Blood Flow

A 2004 study came to the conclusion that garlic intake helped to significantly increase blood flow to various areas of the body[2]. The study suggested that this was due to the way garlic affected levels of interleukin-6, a chemical that affects inflammation in the body. Whatever the reason, increased blood flow is a major health benefit of garlic!

3. Boosts the Immune System

I’m sure this one doesn’t come as much of a surprise! Ever since many of us were kids, we were fed garlic at the first onset of a cold! One study discovered that, in a 12-week timespan, daily garlic pills reduced the number of cold by 63% compared to a placebo[3].

Evidence for this was based on both traditional use and some evidence that garlic contains both antimicrobial and anti-viral properties.

Needless to say, garlic could be an essential powerhouse to keep in your arsenal!

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4. Boosts Metabolism

I’m sure you all were wondering, so here it is. YES! Garlic does actually help boost metabolism!

I’m sure you might be wondering how. The first way is that it comes packed with vitamin C, B6, manganese, and calcium, all of which are essential for fat loss. Second is that garlic can lower insulin resistance, which is such an important factor for a healthy metabolism and weight! Not only that, but garlic also can be helpful to detox our body; an essential factor in losing weight.

Our friends might not appreciate our love for garlic, but our bodies sure do!

5. Cleanses the Body

It might seem counter-intuitive that something with such a pungent smell could actually help cleanse your body, but it can. Well…from the inside anyway!

The sulfhydryl compounds in garlic are incredibly powerful in helping to rid your body of toxins[4]. While, for the most part, our liver does a fantastic job of cleansing our body, we also live in a very toxic world. That being said, getting a little assistance definitely can’t hurt!

The properties in garlic can actually help boost detox enzymes in our bodies. Garlic can work synergistically with milk thistle, if you want an even more powerful detox. Some people even drink garlic with warm lemon water each morning for a bonus detox boost.

So, yes! Garlic can definitely clean your insides. However, you might want to put a little extra TLC into cleaning the rest if you choose to chew it raw.

6. Reduces Cholesterol

High cholesterol seems to be a battle many people are fighting these days. Thankfully, with the amazing health benefits of garlic, this powerful little vegetable could come to the rescue!

While evidence is limited, there have been some cases to show that garlic reduces cholesterol[5]. Since it has been proven to lower insulin resistance when taken consistently, this would make sense.

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Studies show that it should be taken daily for at least eight weeks to see results. However, the results might be limited, so it’s important to help solve the problem with regular exercise and diet as well.

For more on how to naturally reduce cholesterol, check out this article: Complete Guide: How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally

7. Increases Athletic Performance

It might make you smell your sweat more, but can garlic actually increase athletic performance? Some people say yes!

For one, garlic is high in antioxidants, which can help protect the body from stress (including the stress of working out). However, there might be another scientific reason for this as well. Garlic can increase nitric oxide[6], which in turns dilates blood vessels to increase blood flow. This is the same reason why beets are known to increase workout performance.

Garlic was one of the first athletic enhancements on the market! In fact, garlic was used by athletes even in ancient Greece[7].

With all these benefits, it definitely can’t hurt to try and see if it helps you!

8. Anti-Fungal Properties

Garlic doesn’t stop at just killing off viruses and bad bacteria in your body. It kills fungi, too! This is one of the major health benefits of garlic.

With the modern S.A.D diet (Standard American Diet) many of us have become accustomed to, our bodies have become practical breeding grounds of microbes we don’t want around. Fungus could be very likely included in that list.

Candida is a fungus that all of us have. However, some studies have shown that candida could “overgrow” in our bodies[8] as a result of too much sugar, processed foods, and an overall poor diet. Some studies suggest that this could result in weight gain, cravings, and many other poor side effects.

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Many people who experience athlete’s foot have already experienced the side effects of candida and fungus overgrowth.

Thankfully, garlic can be a powerful component in fighting off this negative overgrowth! With the same properties that make it an anti-microbial, garlic is powerful at fighting off many other unwanted visitors in your body.

9. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Anti-inflammatory has become somewhat of a buzzword these days! But for good reason. Many people claim that inflammation could actually be a leading cause for disease.

This chronic inflammation has left many with conditions like diabetes, allergies, and arthritis, just to name a few! To help cure these issues, it’s essential to tackle the underlying problem as well: inflammation.

Thankfully, garlic can pack a powerful punch against inflammation in the body. According to recent research, garlic could be used to fight arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory superpowers[9].

While diet still plays a huge role in reducing inflammation, garlic could also be an incredible addition to jump-start your healthy lifestyle.

10. Decreases Heavy Metals

As mentioned before, garlic is powerful in reducing toxins in the body. Reducing heavy metals is another benefit of this and, perhaps, one of the most surprising health benefits of garlic.

Studies with garlic were used on patients with lead poisoning. The results were rather shocking!

Previously, it was scientifically proven that garlic used on animals could reduce heavy metal toxicity. Later, the effects were proven in humans tested with lead poisoning.

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117 factory workers were tested for high lead concentrations in their blood. These workers were divided into two groups: one for garlic and one for d-penicillamine for 4 weeks. The results for garlic were impressive! It reduced irritability and headaches and decreased deep tendon reflex and systolic blood pressure, while the d-penicillamine didn’t see any results. The group who took garlic also tested for lower concentrations of lead[10].

While heavy metal toxicity is rare, it can also be an underlying cause for some chronic health concerns. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to stay on top of it and ensure your body is properly ridding itself of metal toxicity through garlic.

11. Aids Weight Loss

With all of it’s powerful components, it should not be a surprise that garlic can help overall weight loss efforts. Garlic’s combined efforts in reducing fungus and microbes, balancing blood sugar, and increasing workout performance can lead to overall weight loss.

This is a huge green light for many people hoping to find an extra way to boost their efforts.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, if we take care of our bodies, our bodies will take care of us. For many of us, the key isn’t about figuring out the best fat-burner or anti-inflammatory pill on the market. It’s about learning to nurture our bodies so that it will work properly for us in return.

Since garlic can help achieve overall balance in our bodies, we can rest assured that it will help us reach our fitness and health goals as well. Next time you’re making lunch, chop up a bit of garlic and throw it in. Your body will thank you!

More Nutritional Foods

Featured photo credit: Yogesh Pedamkar via photopin.comhttps

Reference

More by this author

Katelyn Delaney

Owner of Revifi -- Fitness Training & Life Coaching

Will a Weight Loss Cleanse Really Improve Your Health? How to Find Weight Loss Meal Plans That Work for You how to start exercising How to Start Exercising Right Now (And Stick to It) 11 Amazing Health Benefits of Garlic (Backed by Science) How to Plan for a Healthy Diet for Weight Loss

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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