The odour of garlic may be off putting for some but the benefits have been known for thousands of years. It was given to slaves building the Egyptian pyramids as a tool for increasing strength and endurance, a use that was also valued by Greek and Roman civilizations, who served garlic to athletes and soldiers before sporting events or war, respectively.
- Many of garlic’s therapeutic effect comes from its sulphur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which are also what give it its characteristic smell
- Garlic has immune-boosting properties and is beneficial for heart health, fighting cancer, warding off colds and flus, and reducing inflammation
- As allicin in garlic digests in your body, it produces sulphenic acid, a compound that reacts with dangerous free radicals more effectively than any other known compound
- Garlic is rich in manganese, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamins B6 and C, so it’s beneficial for your bones as well as your thyroid.
- To get the therapeutic benefits of garlic, be sure to crush the clove before you eat it; this stimulates the release of an enzyme called alliinase, which in turn catalyses the formation of allicin.