We’re told to eat colorful fruits and vegetables to get the wide range of vitamins and minerals we need for health.
However, the pale and often overlooked garlic bulb provides a power packed punch of nutrients which affect several levels of health.
Check out the incredible health benefits research says adding this savory vegetable to your daily diet can bring.
Sulfur Compounds and Phytochemicals
Garlic is part of the allium family, and has so many health properties that it’s often considered medicinal food. This is because allium vegetables are rich in organosulfur compounds, which some research suggests are beneficial for lowering both cholesterol and blood pressure. It may even help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The best known of these compounds is allicin, which is only present in fresh garlic after it’s been cut or crushed (1). Other compounds that play a role in garlic’s health benefits include diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine (2).
Garlic also contains phytochemicals, chemical compounds in plants that influence many metabolic processes. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research studies suggest that the phytochemicals in garlic may improve immune function and can reduce the risk of developing cancer by preventing inflammation and DNA damage. Other studies also find that garlic and onions have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties (3).
Garlic is Bursting with Nutrients
It doesn’t just taste great in a meal; a one-ounce serving of garlic contains (4):
- 23% of the RDA of Manganese
- 17% of the RDA of Vitamin B6
- 15% of the RDA of Vitamin C
- 6% of the RDA of selenium
Significant amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1
Charges Up Your Immune System
Researchers have found that compounds in garlic, like allicin, are very effective at killing the bugs responsible for many infections, including the common cold.
Garlic actually could even help prevent colds and other infections.
In one study, subjects used garlic supplements or a placebo for 12 weeks between November and February. The garlic users were significantly less likely to catch cold, and those that did recovered faster than the placebo group.
The placebo group also had a greater likelihood of catching more than one cold over the 12-week study. Researchers attributed garlic’s cold virus fighting ability to its biologically active component allicin (5).
Garlic Can Reduce Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the biggest drivers of heart disease and stroke.
High doses of garlic have been found to improve blood pressure in those diagnosed with this dangerous condition. Recent research finds that, in some instances, garlic can be as effective as some prescription medications.
Several studies have confirmed garlic’s significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with hypertension (6, 7, 8). In one recent study, 600 to 1,500 mg of garlic extract was equally effective as the prescription blood pressure drug Atenolol at improving hypertension over a six month period (9).
Helps Fight Tooth Decay
Garlic has an antiseptic effect on the dental plaque bacteria that can cause cavities if left untreated.
It can also treat mouth infections like periodontitis, oral thrush, and the sore mouth some people get from wearing dentures. Garlic may also be used together with antibiotics treat multi-drug resistant bacteria (10, 11, 12).
Allicin in garlic combats bacteria by inhibiting the enzymes that bacteria need for survival (13).
Fights Ulcer-Causing Bacteria
Raw garlic has been shown to be an effective antibacterial against H. pylori, a common bacterial infection and the main cause of ulcers in both human and animal studies.
This is because the allicin in garlic reacts with proteins that inhibition inflammation pathways associated with inflammation (14, 15). Allicin also increases the concentration of antioxidant enzymes (16).
May Help Fight Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that robs people of their mental abilities and memories. Eventually, they don’t even remember who they are.
The antioxidants in garlic help support your body’s protective mechanisms against free radical damage that can contribute to cognitive decline.
In Alzheimer’s patients, β-amyloid peptide plaques are typically found in the brain and central nervous system. These plaque deposits increase the production of free radicals and cause brain tissue damage.
A recent study in the Journal of Neurochemistry reports that aged garlic extract has significant neuroprotective properties through the biologically active compound S-allyl-L-cysteine (SAC). The researchers concluded that the aged extract containing SAC has potential to develop future drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease (17).
The Next Level Difference
Many multivitamins feature “token amounts” of garlic in their formulations so they can say they offer it but Alpha Wolf Nutrition is proud to say we have a full 350 mg serving of garlic in Next Level Superfoods multivitamin!
And that is just 1 of 11 different full serving micronutrient and phytonutrient dense superfoods you’ll get everyday in a single serving.
- Borlinghaus J, Albrecht F, Gruhlke MC, Nwachukwu ID, Slusarenko AJ. Allicin: chemistry and biological properties. Molecules. 2014 Aug 19;19(8):12591-618. doi: 10.3390/molecules190812591 – Link
- Zarezadeh M, Baluchnejadmojarad T, Kiasalari Z, Afshin-Majd S, Roghani M. Garlic active constituent s-allyl cysteine protects against lipopolysaccharide-induced cognitive deficits in the rat: Possible involved mechanisms. Eur J Pharmacol. 2017 Jan 15;795:13-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2016.11.051. Epub 2016 Nov 30 – Link
- Elnima EI, Ahmed SA, Mekkawi AG, Mossa JS. The antimicrobial activity of garlic and onion extracts. Pharmazie. 1983 Nov;38(11):747-8. – Link
- Josling P. Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Adv Ther. 2001 Jul-Aug;18(4):189-93 – Link
- Dhawan V, Jain S. Garlic supplementation prevents oxidative DNA damage in essential hypertension. Mol Cell Biochem. 2005 Jul;275(1-2):85-94 – Link
- Sobenin IA, Andrianova IV, Demidova ON, Gorchakova T, Orekhov AN. Lipid-lowering effects of time-released garlic powder tablets in double-blinded placebo-controlled randomized study. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2008 Dec;15(6):334-8. Epub 2008 Dec 6 – Link
- Ried K, Frank OR, Stocks NP. Aged garlic extract lowers blood pressure in patients with treated but uncontrolled hypertension: a randomised controlled trial. Maturitas. 2010 Oct;67(2):144-50. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2010.06.001. Epub 2010 Jul 1 – Link
- Ashraf R, Khan RA, Ashraf I, Qureshi AA. Effects of Allium sativum (garlic) on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2013 Sep;26(5):859-63 – Link
- Houshmand B, Mahjour F, Dianat O. Antibacterial effect of different concentrations of garlic (Allium sativum) extract on dental plaque bacteria. Indian J Dent Res. 2013 Jan-Feb;24(1):71-5. doi: 10.4103/0970-9290.114957 – Link
- Bakhshi M, Taheri JB, Shabestari SB, Tanik A, Pahlevan R. Comparison of therapeutic effect of aqueous extract of garlic and nystatin mouthwash in denture stomatitis. Gerodontology. 2012 Jun;29(2):e680-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2011.00544.x. Epub 2011 Nov 30 – Link
- Bakri IM, Douglas CW. Inhibitory effect of garlic extract on oral bacteria. Arch Oral Biol. 2005 Jul;50(7):645-51. Epub 2005 Feb 5 – Link
- Ankri S, Mirelman D. Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic. Microbes Infect. 1999 Feb;1(2):125-9 – Link
- Zardast M, Namakin K, Esmaelian Kaho J, Hashemi SS. Assessment of antibacterial effect of garlic in patients infected with Helicobacter pylori using urease breath test. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2016;6(5):495–501 – Link
- Shmuely H, Domniz N, Yahav J. Non-pharmacological treatment of Helicobacter pylori. World J Gastrointest Pharmacol Ther. 2016;7(2):171–178. doi:10.4292/wjgpt.v7.i2.171 – Link
- Arreola R, Quintero-Fabián S, López-Roa RI, et al. Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds. J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:401630. doi:10.1155/2015/401630 – Link
- Ray B, Chauhan NB, Lahiri DK. Oxidative insults to neurons and synapse are prevented by aged garlic extract and S-allyl-L-cysteine treatment in the neuronal culture and APP-Tg mouse model. J Neurochem. 2011 May;117(3):388-402. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2010.07145.x. Epub 2011 Mar 14 – Link