Garlic May Support Immune Function
Given our collective zest for learning about taking care of our immune system during the COVID-19 pandemic, heres one reason to add garlic to your dinner tonight. While theres not enough evidence to suggest that that garlic will prevent or treat the common cold, for instance, it can play a role in your bodys defense mechanisms in a few ways.
For one, the allicin in garlic provides antibacterial properties, says Bazilian. Scientists also believe that garlic has antiviral properties that may work in two ways, she says: by blocking the entry of viruses into cells, and by strengthening the immune response so that it can effectively fight off potential invaders. Its these things that can help support a healthy immune system overall.
Contraindications Adverse Effects Interactions
The ingestion of one to two cloves of raw garlic per day is considered safe in adults. The most common side effect of ingested garlic is breath and body odor. Consumption of excessive amounts of raw garlic, especially on an empty stomach, can cause gastrointestinal upset, flatulence, and changes in the intestinal flora.1,10 There have been reports of allergic dermatitis, burns, and blisters from topical application of raw garlic.10
Garlic appears to have no effect on drug metabolism,22 although recent studies23,24 in healthy volunteers show conflicting results related to garlics effect on protease inhibitor pharmacokinetics. It has been suggested that patients taking anticoagulants use caution when taking garlic because of its antithrombotic properties.10,22 It seems prudent to stop taking high dosages of garlic seven to 10 days before surgery because garlic can prolong bleeding time and has been associated with spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma.10,25
Garlic Makes Other Healthy Foods Taste Great
Bazilian classes garlic in the same category of food as onions, herbs, and spices, adding that garlic brings great flavor to foods, so it helps us eat more of the foods that were supposed to be eating more of, like vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and beans.
And finally, dont discount the role that taste plays in your overall diet: When we love the food we eat and learn to listen to our cues for satiety, it can be more satisfying, too, Bazilian says. All the more reason to add some garlic to your next meal!
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Top 10 Cholesterol Lowering Foods
Cholesterol is a steroid lipid present in the blood, necessary for the proper functioning of cell membranes and the production of vitamin D and certain hormones.
High cholesterol levels are a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Cholesterol-lowering foods are therefore a great addition to anyones diet for optimal health and as a preventative measure.
Cholesterol-lowering foods include oat bran, flax seeds, garlic, almonds, walnuts, whole barley, and green tea. Below is a detailed list of foods which lower bad LDL cholesterol, while leaving the good HDL cholesterol largely unaffected.
Does Garlic Lower Cholesterol 6 Targeted Studies
Earlier this summer, I wrote about garlics immune-boosting and brain-enhancing benefits. And today, I ordered some aged garlic extract powder to use in product development!
If youve never heard of aged garlic and youre asking yourself, does that smell worse? Nope! Aged garlic doesnt come with the same odor.;
But before doing that, I took another look at garlics health benefits to answer the question, Does garlic lower cholesterol? I began with an excellent overview of garlic research from Italys Marche Polytechnic University.
A team headed by Ph.D. research scholar Johura Ansary analyzed 83 human studies on the health benefits of garlic and summarized them in four tables.
- Anti-inflammatory Properties, Antioxidant Activities, and Lipid-Lowering Effects
- Cardiovascular Diseases, Cancer, Metabolic Syndrome, and Blood Pressure
- Diabetes, Skin, and Bone Diseases
- Other Conditions and Diseases
What struck me as I glanced over the various study was that garlic certainly deserved its distinction as one of the Middle Ages most versatile medicinal ingredients.;
Back in the 1500s, herbal and plant-based remedies were the go-to prescription for fighting all manner of sickness and diseases. Substantial research suggests that they were onto something.
But, in my book, garlics medicinal allure remains just as strong in 2021! However, has it specifically asked
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How To Grow At Home
Garlic is one of the more simple crops to grow. It thrives in different zones all across the United States.
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, we should plant our cloves during the fall season and harvest them in late spring/early summer.
Dont throw away any leftover cloves from your curry dish or garlic recipe.;Clove food scraps are amazingly simple to use to regrow garlic plants.
To plant garlic, put the cloves root end down in a sunny spot in your garden and trim off the shoots once the bulb produces them.;This spice flourishes;in dry, loose, well-drained soils in sunny locations.
When to harvest garlic requires good judgment, but in general, when you notice that the lower leaves are turning grown, you can dig up a few bulbs and check it theyre ready to eat.
This spice has a more than 7,000-year-old;history of human consumption and use.;In ancient and Medieval times, garlic benefits for men and women were revered;for the plants medicinal properties, and it was carried as a charm against vampires and other evils.
In France during the early 18th century, gravediggers drank wine containing crushed garlic to protect themselves from the plague. During both World War I and II, it was used as an antiseptic for wounds and given to prevent infections in soldiers.
Each bulb is made up of four to 20 cloves with each clove weighing about a gram. Garlic supplements can be made from fresh, dried or aged garlic or garlic oil.
But The Results May Be Short
As heartening as all this might seem, the effects of garlic on your cholesterol are not long lasting. In other words, youâll probably need to keep up that garlic intake if you need to see continued benefits or results from it.9 In one study, a significant reduction in both total and LDL cholesterol levels was seen at the 8-week and 12-week mark after using standardized dried garlic powder. But the researchers found that the lowered levels were no longer maintained after 6 months.10
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How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally
Here are 6 drug-free alternatives for lowering LDL cholesterol.
To avoid a heart attack, research has found that a key strategy is getting LDL cholesterol way down. Striving for LDL levels of 100 and below is good, but dropping to 80 and lower may be even better. Learn how to lower cholesterol naturally.
Go ahead, binge on beans! Enjoy all kinds! Black beans. White beans. Red beans. Pinto beans. Adzuki beans. They’re all champions at actively lowering LDL cholesterol.
Garlic Can Reduce Hypercholesterolemia This Meta Analysis Say
This meta-analysis of 5 studies from 1993 was made to assess the size and consistency of garlics effect on total serum cholesterol. The quality was evaluated by multiple reviewers.
Patients treated with garlic consistently showed a greater decrease in total cholesterol levels compared with those receiving placebo. Meta-analysis of the controlled trials of garlic to reduce hypercholesterolemia showed a significant reduction in total cholesterol levels. The best available evidence suggests that garlic, in an amount approximating one half to one clove per day, decreased total serum cholesterol levels by about 9% in the groups of patients studied.
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Garlic Intake May Be Problematic For Some
Some people may have mild side effects like bad breath, heartburn, flatulence, and gastric disturbances from taking garlic.12 But for the vast majority, having a clove or two as part of your normal diet shouldnât cause you problems . Taking larger amounts as a supplement must, however, be run by your doctor first.
As with anything taken in large amounts or as a supplement, you will need to be mindful of other health conditions or medication that could interact with the garlic or garlic extract and affect your body. For instance, if you are taking any kind of anti-inflammatory drugs or anticoagulants, you should be wary of possible drug interactions. Garlic tends to inhibit platelet aggregation â which basically means your blood will take longer to clot and you may bleed longer than normal. If you are already on medication that has this effect, like anticoagulants, for instance, it could amplify these effects, causing problems with clotting and putting you at risk of excessive bleeding.13
Garlic May Help Boost Your Immune System
A 2015 review from the Journal of Immunology found that garlic fortifies the immune system by stimulating immune cells like macrophages, lymphocytes, and natural killer cells. Garlic may also help stave off colds and flu because of the plant’s antimicrobial and antibiotic properties, Brigman says, which would stop the growth of viruses, bacteria, and other unwanted organisms.;
However, Brigman notes that although some studies show a benefit, there is a lack of strong evidence that garlic supplements help prevent or reduce severity of the common cold and flu.
You should still wash your hands, avoid touching your face, stay hydrated, and practice other methods to prevent getting sick. Garlic probably won’t prevent sickness, but it may provide a little extra boost if you want to strengthen your immune system.;
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Garlic Is Highly Nutritious But Has Very Few Calories
Calorie for calorie, garlic is incredibly nutritious.
One clove of raw garlic contains (
- Manganese: 2% of the Daily Value
- Vitamin B6: 2% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 1% of the DV
- Selenium: 1% of the DV
- Fiber: 0.06 grams
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.
Summary Garlic is low in calories and rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese. It also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients.
Salsa Pico De Gallo And More
Forget about mayo or ketchup. Get out your chefs knife and start chopping. Throw together fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and other heart-healthy ingredients for fresh dips that make snacking healthier.
Be careful with store-bought salsa, which is often high in sodium. You may need to closely monitor your sodium intake if you have heart disease or high blood pressure.
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Inconsistent Results For The Lipid
A meta-analysis from 2003 included a series of 26 studies to investigate the influence of garlic on serum lipid parameters. Garlic proved to be slightly superior to placebo in reducing total cholesterol and triglycerides.
Garlic powder and aged garlic extract were more effective in reducing serum TC levels, while garlic oil was more effective in lowering serum TG levels. In contrast, garlic did not influence other lipid parameters, including low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol .
More references about garlic and cholesterol here.
Note*:This is valuable info!
Lower Ldl Levels Are Better
In a JAMA editorial accompanying the study, Christopher P. Cannon, MD, of Brigham and Womens Hospital and Harvard Medical School wrote that aggressive LDL lowering is the ideal lower is better.
The JAMA studys findings echo those of another large 4,162-patient study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It concluded that LDL cholesterol levels of 62 were even better than levels of 95 at preventing death, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular-related problems in people with heart disease.
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Can Garlic Lower Your Cholesterol
Garlic is a plant closely related to the leek and the onion. Known for its distinctive odor, it has also been designated the name the stinking rose.” It is mostly known for the flavor it adds to a variety of foods.
Additionally, garlic contains the chemical allicin, which has been shown to kill bacteria and fungi and alleviate certain digestive disorders. It also lowers the clotting properties of blood. But the most notable attention garlic has received over recent years is its possible usefulness in lowering cholesterol levels.
Dietary Approaches To Lowering Cholesterol
Eating more foods with fiber, soy, omega-3 fatty acids, and plant compounds similar to cholesterol can lower LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol.
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Can Garlic Help Lower Your Cholesterol What Studies Say
Garlic is a popular remedy among those turning to complementary and alternative medicine. Its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties are well known. But if your focus is on heart health or metabolic problems, what is it that these smelly bulbs can do? Besides its ability to counter oxidative stress and possibly bring down your blood pressure, garlic is also being explored for its possible cholesterol-lowering effects.1 We look at some of the evidence. The promise of garlic for lowering cholesterol is undeniable if you look at studies.
What About Garlic And Cholesterol
While some studies have shown that garlic can benefit cholesterol levels, more research is needed. In particular, scientists are looking to learn more about its long-term effect on cholesterol and the heart.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that circulates in your blood. There are two types of cholesterol: “bad” cholesterol, or LDL cholesterol, and “good” cholesterol, or HDL cholesterol. Having too much LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol in your blood can raise your risk for severe health problems.
A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine concluded that a garlic-lemon juice mixture may benefit cholesterol. The small study, which involved 112 people ages 30-60, showed that garlic and lemon juice helped decrease total cholesterol and lower blood pressure. However, researchers recorded the results after only eight weeks.
An analysis of studies done between 1955-2013 also showed that garlic “moderately to significantly” lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. When taken for more than two months, the garlic helped reduce total cholesterol by 8%.
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How Much Garlic To Reduce Cholesterol
Studies showed that one half to one clove per day is a good start. Most trials used for their research between 500 to 1000 mg of garlic. It appears that garlic abilities to lower cholesterol is strictly dose-dependent. So, the more you consume, the lower your cholesterol will drop.
The recommended dose is one to two cloves raw garlic per day or 300 milligrams of dried garlic powder in tablet form.
Note* Prior to start taking any kind of garlic supplementation consult with your health care provider, as garlic acts as a blood thinner and can interfere with some other medication you may be on.
- While different results led to conflicting opinions and debates, the most reliable suggested that garlic may reduce total cholesterol & low-density lipoprotein levels in people affected by high values of those lipids. However, the effect is not significant and may take at least 8 weeks to notice some improvements.
- Garlic doesnt appear to have an effect over high-density lipoprotein values.
- Garlic therapy should benefit patients with risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Note*If youre solely relying on garlic to lower your cholesterol, you should expect small results after long periods of time. If you need to reduce your cholesterol fast, you may want to consider using a dedicated cholesterol lowering supplement like this one.
Trusted sources to support the facts within this article.
Garlic Contains Compounds With Potent Medicinal Properties
Garlic is a plant in the Allium family.
It is closely related to onions, shallots and leeks. Each segment of a garlic bulb is called a clove. There are about 1020 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 .
Its use was well documented by many major civilizations, including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese .
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 its been cut or crushed .
Other compounds that may play a role in garlics health benefits include diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine .
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.
Summary Garlic is a plant in the onion family thats grown for its distinctive taste and health benefits. It contains sulfur compounds, which are believed to bring some of the health benefits.
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