Best Foods That Boost Your Immune System

Proven Health Benefits Of Garlic

Current research shows that there some proven  health benefits of garlic, such as protection against the common cold and the ability to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”

Those are famous words from the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, often called the father of Western medicine.

He prescribed garlic to treat a variety of medical conditions — and modern science has confirmed that indeed these are proven health benefits of garlic.

Here are some proven health benefits of garlic that are supported by human research

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.

This plant 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 resulting in the early discovery of the proven health benefits of garlic.

Its use was well documented by many major civilizations, including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese

Scientists now know that most of the proven health benefits of garlic’s are caused by sulfur compounds formed when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed, or chewed.

Perhaps the most well-known compound is allicin. However, allicin is an unstable compound that is only briefly present in fresh garlic after it’s been cut or crushed.

Other compounds that may play a role in the proven health benefits of garlic may include diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine.

The sulfur compounds from garlic enter your body from the digestive tract. They then travel all over your body, exerting strong biological effects.

  • Garlic is highly nutritious but has very few calories

Calorie for calorie, garlic is incredibly nutritious.

A single 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

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.



  • Garlic can help protect against illness, including the common cold

Garlic supplements are known to boost the function of the immune system.

A large, 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared with 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.

  • May have anti-cancer properties

The sulphurous compounds in garlic have been studied for their ability to inhibit cancerous cells and block tumours. That said, much of the evidence for garlic in relation to colon, prostate, oesophageal and renal cancer is observational, with only small numbers of subjects included in the studies. As a result, the effect garlic has in relation to cancer remains uncertain and more studies are needed.

  • Has antimicrobial and antifungal properties

Garlic has a long history of use as an infection fighter against viruses, bacteria and fungi. It has been referred to as ‘Russian penicillin’ to denote its antibacterial properties, which is once again attributed to the compound allicin. Some skin conditions, such as warts and insect bites, may also respond to garlic oil or a crushed raw garlic clove.