Could Garlic Save Your Health?

Marian Weyo /
Marian Weyo /

We all know that certain foods are better for us than others. And some, such as garlic, may even have the power to keep us strong and healthy.

If you didn’t know it, garlic has been used as a medicinal source, as well as flavorful food, for the better part of 5,000 years, according to the National Library of Medicine.

It’s part of the onion or Allium family and is most commonly used to flavor many delightful meals. But it’s also extremely healthy for you.

For starters, it’s a natural antioxidant, meaning it can reduce inflammation and help to repair things like damage caused by free radicals. As such, it can go a long way in helping to prevent deadly and dangerous conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

It also contains a good amount of potassium, which adds to heart health, maintains muscle strength, contraction, and, therefore, overall heart function.

Selenium is also found in the herb. Our bodies use this in the production of deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA, and reproduction.

Garlic also contains manganese, which is most commonly used by the body to build strong bones and help keep up a healthy immune system.

Now, of course, there are many different ways to get garlic in your system. The most common, naturally, is to use it in your food, whether that means consuming it raw, sauteed, roasted, concentrated herbal extracts (tinctures), or essential oils.

You might also find it interesting to know that there are several different varieties of garlic.

They can be broken into two basic groups.

Softneck garlic is the most commonly found. It has a long shelf and is typically what you see in grocery stores and garlic braids. It usually has a softer or not as strong of a taste.

Hardneck garlic, in contrast, is usually much more potent in flavor. However, it doesn’t last as long on the shelf and can be harder to find. It also typically comes in edible scapes or a flower-like stalk.

Between the two types, many varieties exist; some are sweeter, hotter, less intense, and different in size and color. Check out your local farmers market or specialty stores to see the difference.

But all offer the same medicinal and healing benefits. So, if you’re looking to eat better and more naturally, simply add more garlic.

Want to know what other herbs can do for you? Check out this guide.