Health Benefits to Eating Garlic

Since Gilroy, California is the Garlic Capital, we figured it’s only fitting that we share some of the many health benefits you gain from eating garlic! We all love to cook with garlic because of how versatile it is. Whether you’re cooking an omelet, roasting veggies, making tri-tip sandwiches or making chicken soup, garlic is usually a go-to ingredient. From what food family garlic fits into, to how garlic can aid in preventing heart problems, you’ll learn so much about these incredible health benefits garlic has to offer by the end of this blog post!

Locally grown Gilroy garlic at Christopher Ranch

Some general fun facts about garlic:

  • Garlic bulbs usually include about 10-15 cloves
  • Garlic’s Latin name is Allium Sativum
  • Garlic is part of the Alliaceae family which includes onions, leeks, shallots and chives
  • Garlic can help strengthen your body’s defenses against allergens
  • Garlic helps to regulate your sugar levels
  • Garlic aids in loosening plaque from the artery walls
  • Garlic can assist in removing parasites from the human body

Of course the most important of all is that garlic is just so tasty! Garlic can be cooked in many different ways for so many different recipes (link garlic recipes here). There have been published studies that show garlic can help promote the well-being of your heart and immune systems. Garlic has several antioxidant properties, and also helps maintain blood circulation. It’s said that one of the most potent health benefits garlic has is the ability to enhance the body’s immune cell activity. The active component in garlic is the sulfur, allicin. Allicin is the chemical compound produced when garlic is chewed, chopped or bruised. Allicin is a strong antibiotic and a powerful agent that helps the human body inhibit the ability for germs to grow and reproduce.

Fun Fact! It’s said that 1 milligram of allicin has a potency of 15 standard units of penicillin. In case you’re one of those that has to see it to believe it, check out any one of over 12 published studies around the world that prove garlic can reduce cholesterol.

Besides all of these incredible health benefits, garlic also has numerous vitamins and nutrients such as vitamins A, B, B2 and C, Protein, Potassium, Zinc and more. If you were curious about what other healthy heart benefits garlic can have, here are some more fun facts (get ready – we’re pulling out the medical terms)!

Try eating 1 clove of garlic a day and see if you notice any changes in your health! Studies show that garlic increases serum HDL-cholesterol and fibrinolysis. In case you didn’t know, HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol, absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Fibrinolysis is the process through which the body breaks up blood clots. Garlic may even assist in stimulating production of nitric oxide in the lining of blood vessel walls, which is a substance that helps them relax. Some studies say eating one clove or a couple cloves of garlic a day may prevent you from the risk of heart attack or stroke. What a delicious way to pave a path for a healthy lifestyle!

Hopefully all of this exciting information encourages you to eat more garlic! If you’re looking for some fun recipes, check out some of our Gilroy garlic recipes also here on Visit Gilroy’s blog. One of the most versatile recipes is the Roasted Garlic Olive Oil, which you can cook with all day long or even give as a gift to friends and family. When you stop in Gilroy, make sure to snag a bag of Christopher Ranch Gilroy Garlic. And if you’re looking for the ultimate Gilroy Garlic experience…plan to join us for the Gilroy Garlic Festival where we have cook-offs, garlic ice cream, garlic wine, and some of the best shrimp scampi you’ll have in your life!

A “Combo Plate” of delicious garlic food from the Gilroy Garlic Festival.