Five reasons Garlic is healthy for you

heads of garlic

Garlic is great. I love garlic. I love it so much, that there is rarely a dish that I cook that doesn’t have garlic in it. Unless you’re Queen Elizabeth II or have a garlic allergy, you probably eat it more times than you think. Garlic is in sofrito, adobo, and mojo — the bases for a lot of Latinx dishes. Although many recipes call for garlic because of the flavors that it adds, many people are unaware that garlic is jam-packed with lots of nutrients that are great for the body.

Back when medicine wasn’t really a thing, people would look toward Mother Earth to help heal themselves. According to Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, garlic was believed to ward off evil (vampires, anyone?). Ancient Greeks even fed it to athletes because they thought it would help enhance their abilities when game time arrived.

Garlic is part of the Allium family. So, who are its cousins? Garlic is related to leeks, onions, shallots, and chives. It’s believed that garlic originated in Asia, but because of its ease of farming, it went everywhere (via Southern Exposure Seed Exchange). Today, you can find it in all sorts of places — food, supplements, and even nail polish. Check out why maintaining that garlic consumption high is so important below. And if anyone brings up your garlic breath? Tell them you’re just being healthy.

Garlic cloves

#1 – Garlic can be medicinal

According to Heatlhline, major civilizations like the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese, would use it because of all the goodness it packed. The true health benefits lie within the sulfur compounds that are released when a clove of garlic is is chopped, crushed, or chewed.

#2 – They pack a bunch of nutrients

Garlic is said to carry plenty of nutrients as well. It is said to be a good source of vitamin B6, manganese, selenium, vitamin C, phosphorous, calcium, potassium, iron, and copper (via BBC Good Food).

Heads of garlic

#3 – Garlic can help your body detox metals

Did you know the body carried “heavy metals?” I didn’t, so this tidbit was surprising to me. A Major Difference reports that a 2013 study found that garlic, when used as a prescription medicine, was able to safely extract chronic lead poisoning within employees of the car battery industry.

#4 – Garlic can assist in making your bones stronger

A Medical Daily report states that because of certain properties found in garlic — like zinc, manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin C — it can help keep bones strong. Holistic nutritionist Risa Groux told Medical Daily via email that, “Garlic is really high in manganese, which contains enzymes and antioxidants that facilitates the formation of bones and connective tissues, bone metabolism, and calcium absorption.”

Head and cloves of garlic

#5 – Garlic is great for the brain

Have you ever heard of the saying “healthy gut, healthy brain?” No? That’s okay, it might not be an actual saying, to be honest. Regardless, it’s true. By keeping your gut healthy, you are in turn, keeping your brain healthy. Being Patient reports that the brain-gut relation is strong, so it’s important to be mindful of what you eat. Scientists from the University of Louisville found that “allyl sulfide [found in garlic] could help maintain healthy gut microorganisms and improve cognitive health in the elderly.”

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