Garlic is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek,and Chinese nion.
Garlic is native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran, and has long been a common seasoning worldwide, with a history of several thousand years of human consumption and use.
It was known to ancient Egptians, and has been used both as a food flavoring and as a traditional medicine.In Ancient Rome, it was “much used for food among the poor”.China produces some 80% of the world’s supply of garlic.
health benefits of garlic
1. Garlic Contains Compounds With Potent Medicinal Properties
Garlic is a plant in the Allium (onion) family.
It is closely related to onions, shallots and leeks. Each segment of a garlic bulb is called a clove. There are about 10–20 cloves in a single bulb, give or take.
Garlic grows in many parts of the world and is a popular ingredient in cooking due to its strong smell and delicious taste.
However, throughout ancient history, the main use of garlic was for its health and medicinal properties (1Trusted Source).
Its use was well documented by many major civilizations, including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese (2Trusted Source).
Scientists now know that most of its health benefits are caused by sulfur compounds formed when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed or chewed.
Perhaps the most famous of those is known as allicin. However, allicin is an unstable compound that is only briefly present in fresh garlic after it’s been cut or crushed (3Trusted Source).
Other compounds that may play a role in garlic’s health benefits include diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine (4Trusted Source).
The sulfur compounds from garlic enter the body from the digestive tract and travel all over the body, where it exerts its potent biological effects.
2. Garlic Is Highly Nutritious But Has Very Few Calories
Calorie for calorie, garlic is incredibly nutritious.
One clove (3 grams) of raw garlic contains
Manganese: 2% of the Daily Value (DV)
Vitamin B6: 2% of the DV
Vitamin C: 1% of the DV
Selenium: 1% of the DV
Fiber: 0.06 grams
Decent amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1
This comes with 4.5 calories, 0.2 grams of protein and 1 gram of carbs.
Garlic also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. In fact, it contains a little bit of almost everything you need.
Garlic supplements are known to boost the function of the immune system.
One large, 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared to a placebo
The average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from 5 days in the placebo group to just 1.5 days in the garlic group.
Another study found that a high dose of aged garlic extract (2.56 grams per day) reduced the number of days sick with cold or flu by 61%
However, one review concluded that the evidence is insufficient and more research is needed
Despite the lack of strong evidence, adding garlic to your diet may be worth trying if you often get colds.
4. The Active Compounds in Garlic Can Reduce Blood Pressure
Cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes are the world’s biggest killers.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most important drivers of these diseases.