Four interesting health benefits of garlic
METRO — Garlic makes a delicious addition to various meals. Though some people may avoid garlic because of its potential to contribute to bad breath, doing so means people may miss out on some surprising health benefits produced by this powerful, if pungent, bulb.
1. Garlic bolsters the immune system. A 2015 review published in the Journal of Immunology Research found that garlic appears to enhance the functioning of the immune system by stimulating certain cell types. A strong immune system helps people fight germs that can lead to colds and other illnesses.
2. Garlic can have a positive effect on blood pressure. According to the Cleveland Clinic, researchers believe that red blood cells turn the sulfur in garlic into hydrogen sulfide gas that expands the blood vessels. That makes it easier to regulate blood pressure. That’s no minor benefit, as the American Heart Association notes that high blood pressure can contribute to heart disease and stroke.
3. Garlic can benefit the skin. Allicin is a compound that is produced when garlic is crushed or chopped. According to the online health and wellness resource MedLife, allicin benefits the body in various ways, including killing the bacteria that causes acne.
4. Garlic may help reduce lead levels in the body. A 2012 study published in the journal Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology studied the potentially therapeutic effects of garlic on 117 workers in the car battery industry. The clinical signs and symptoms of lead poisoning were significantly higher among workers who were not treated with garlic compared to those who were. Authors of the study concluded that garlic can be recommended for the treatment of mild-to-moderate lead poisoning.
Garlic can make for a nutritious addition to any meal, and some of its many health benefits may surprise even the most ardent supporters of this unique bulb.