Written by UConn Extension Summer Intern Jenna Zydanowicz
Garlic, a root vegetable, has many benefits when included in your diet. It’s not only flavorful, it is also packed with a lot of antioxidants that can keep our bodies their healthiest! According to Amy Fischer, MS, RD, CDN, garlic has anti-inflammatory and microbial benefits. Garlic’s health benefits can promote better gut health, help you live longer, resist osteoporosis improve cardiovascular health, and even prevent against certain types of cancer. 1 There are many ways to cook and eat garlic. Did you know that after chopping or crushing garlic, you should allow it to sit for approximately 10 minutes before adding to food or cooking for it to produce its full nutritional value. When it comes to storing and keeping garlic fresh it is best to keep unpeeled garlic at room temperature and place peeled garlic in the fridge.
Health Benefits of Garlic
- Garlic may have anti-viral effects
Garlic has been associated with immune- boosting and antimicrobial benefits. Most of the health benefits found in garlic are released when garlic is cut, crushed, or chewed. Garlic may boost the immune system to better deal with viral infections.
- Garlic may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol
Garlic has been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol in patients with and without hypertension. It can also lower unhealthy (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Garlic may boost gut health
Garlic contains the fiber inulin, a prebiotic, which can boost good gut bacteria.
- Garlic may have anti-cancer properties
It was found that vegetables like garlic, leeks, and onions was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
- Garlic may contribute to longevity
A study discovered that regular consumption of garlic was associated with lowered all cause death risk and could extend life by half a year.
- Garlic may have anti-inflammatory benefits
Garlic has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce pain intensity in tender joints and those with arthritis.
- Garlic may help to improve bone health
An oral garlic supplement could help with calcium absorption which can lead to stronger bones.
- Garlic may improve cognitive function
Garlic could play a positive role in preventing the decline of learning and cognitive memory functions.
Sources: 1Adapted from Amy Fischer MS, R. D. (2022, July 20). 8 proven ways garlic can benefit your health. Good Housekeeping. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a40447277/garlic-health-benefits/
This material is funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
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