“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 actually used to prescribe garlic to treat a variety of medical conditions.
Well… modern science has recently confirmed many of these beneficial health effects.
Here are 11 health benefits of garlic that are supported by human research studies.
1. Garlic Contains a Compound Called Allicin, Which Has Potent Medicinal Properties
Garlic is a plant in the onion family.
It is closely related to onions, shallots and leeks.
It 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.
Its use was well documented by all the major civilizations… including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and the Chinese (2).
This is what garlic looks like:
The entire “head” is called a garlic bulb, while each segment is called a clove. There are about 10-20 cloves in a single bulb, give or take.
We now know that most of the health effects are caused by one of the sulfur compounds formed when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed or chewed.
This compound is known as Allicin, and is also responsible for the distinct garlic smell.
Bottom Line: Garlic is a plant in the onion family, grown for its cooking properties and health effects. It is high in a sulfur compound called Allicin, which is believed to bring most of the health benefits.
2. Garlic Is Highly Nutritious, But Has Very Few Calories
Calorie for calorie, garlic is incredibly nutritious.
A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of garlic contains (3):
Manganese: 23% of the RDA.
Vitamin B6: 17% of the RDA.
Vitamin C: 15% of the RDA.
Selenium: 6% of the RDA.
Fiber: 1 gram.
Decent amounts of Calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, Iron and vitamin B1.
Garlic also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. In fact, it contains a little bit of almost everything we need.
This is coming with 42 calories, with 1.8 grams of protein and 9 grams of carbs.
Bottom Line: Garlic is low in calories and very rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Manganese. It also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients.
3. Garlic Can Combat Sickness, Including the Common Cold
Garlic supplementation is known to boost the function of the immune system.
One large 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared with placebo .
The average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from 5 days in placebo to just 1.5 days in the garlic group.
Another study found that a high dose of garlic extract (2.56 grams per day) can reduce the number of days sick with cold or flu by 61% .
If you often get colds, then adding garlic to your food could be incredibly helpful.
Bottom Line: Garlic supplementation helps to prevent and reduce the severity of common illnesses like the flu and common cold.
4. The Active Compounds in Garlic Can Reduce Blood Pressure
Cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes are the world’s biggest killers.
High blood pressure, is one of the most important drivers of these diseases.
Human studies have found garlic supplementation to have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure .
In one study, aged garlic extract at doses of 600-1,500 mg was just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a 24 week period .
Supplement doses must be fairly high to have these desired effects. The amount of allicin needed is equivalent to about four cloves of garlic per day.
Bottom Line:High doses of garlic appear to improve blood pressure of those with known high blood pressure (hypertension). In some instances, supplementation can be as effective as regular medications.
5. Garlic Improves Cholesterol Levels, Which May Lower The Risk of Heart Disease
Garlic can lower Total and LDL cholesterol.
For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplementation appears to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10-15% .
Looking at LDL (the “bad”) and HDL (the “good”) cholesterol specifically, garlic appears to lower LDL but has no reliable effect on HDL .
Garlic does not appear to lower triglyceride levels, another known risk factor for heart disease .
Bottom Line: Garlic supplementation seems to reduce total and LDL cholesterol, particularly in those who have high cholesterol. HDL cholesterol and triglycerides do not seem to be affected.
6. Garlic Contains Antioxidants That May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
Oxidative damage from free radicals contributes to the aging process.
Garlic contains antioxidants that support the body’s protective mechanisms against oxidative damage .
High doses of garlic supplements have been shown to increase antioxidant enzymes in humans , as well as significantly reduce oxidative stress in those with high blood pressure .
The combined effects on reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as the antioxidant properties, may help prevent common brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia .
Bottom Line: Garlic contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and ageing. It may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
7. Garlic May Help You Live Longer
Effects on longevity are basically impossible to prove in humans.
But given the beneficial effects on important risk factors like blood pressure, it makes sense that garlic could help you live longer.
The fact that it can fight infectious disease is also an important factor, because these are common causes of death, especially in the elderly or people with dysfunctional immune systems.
Bottom Line: Garlic has known beneficial effects on common causes of chronic disease, so it makes perfect sense that it could help you live longer.
8. Athletic Performance Can be Improved With Garlic Supplementation
Garlic was one of the earliest “performance enhancing” substances.
It was traditionally used in ancient cultures to reduce fatigue and enhance the work capacity of labourers.
Most notably, it was administered to Olympic athletes in ancient Greece .
Rodent studies have shown that garlic helps with exercise performance, but very few human studies have been done.
Subjects with heart disease that took garlic oil for 6 weeks had a reduction in peak heart rate of 12% and improved their exercise capacity .
However, a study on nine competitive cyclists found no performance benefits .
Other studies suggest that exercise-induced fatigue may be reduced with garlic .
Bottom Line: Garlic can improve physical performance in lab animals and people with heart disease. Benefits in healthy people are not yet conclusive.
9. Eating Garlic Can Help Detoxify Heavy Metals in the Body
At high doses, the sulfur compounds in garlic have been shown to protect against organ damage from heavy metal toxicity.
A four week study in employees of a car battery plant (excessive exposure to lead) found that garlic reduced lead levels in the blood by 19%. It also reduced many clinical signs of toxicity, including headaches and blood pressure .
Three doses of garlic each day even outperformed the drug D-penicillamine in symptom reduction.
Bottom Line: Garlic was shown to significantly reduce lead toxicity and related symptoms in one study.
10. Garlic May Improve Bone Health
No human trials have measured the effects of garlic on bone loss.
However, rodent studies have shown that it can minimise bone loss by increasing estrogen in females .
One study in menopausal women found that a daily dose of dry garlic extract (equal to 2 grams of raw garlic) significantly decreased a marker of estrogen deficiency .
This suggests that this garlic may have beneficial effects on bone health in women.
Foods like garlic and onions have also been shown to have beneficial effects on osteoarthritis .
Bottom Line: Garlic appears to have some benefits for bone health by increasing estrogen levels in females, but more human studies are needed.
11. Garlic Is Easy to Include In Your Diet and Tastes Absolutely Delicious
The last one is not a health benefit, but still important.
It is the fact that it is very easy (and delicious) to include garlic in your current diet.
It complements most savory dishes, particularly soups and sauces. The strong taste of garlic can also add a punch to otherwise bland recipes.
Garlic comes in several forms, from whole cloves and smooth pastes to powders and supplements like garlic extract and garlic oil.
The minimum effective dose for therapeutic effects is one clove eaten with meals, two or three times a day.
However, keep in mind that there are some downsides to garlic, such as bad breath. There are also some people who are allergic to it.
If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinning medications, then talk to your doctor before increasing your garlic consumption.
The active compound allicin only forms when garlic is crushed or cleaved when it is raw. If you cook it before crushing it, then it won’t have the same health effects.
Therefore, the best way to consume garlic is raw, or to crush and cut it and leave it out for a while before you add it to your recipes.
My favorite way to use garlic is to press a few cloves of fresh garlic with a garlic press, then mix with olive oil and a bit of salt. This a healthy and super satisfying dressing.
12. Anything Else?
For thousands of years, garlic was believed to have medicinal properties. We now have the science to confirm it.
1.Take care of your health. Spend time n money on maintaining yourself. 2.Learn to be independent. Its perfectly ok to not earn, but its important to be independent. 3.Learn to ride that bike or drive that car. You don't always need an escort! 4.Learn about investments and taxes. Its not necessary to have someone else manage your savings n earnings all your life. 5.Plan and save for your own gifts n desires. You don't always need a boyfriend or husband or your dad to buy you something you love. Gift yourself! 6.When you expect equal pay at work, take equal responsibilities. Its not ok to play the "woman" card or "mother" card and shun tough tasks. 7.Take equal responsibility of your parents. Its not acceptable to expect everything from your brother every time. 8.Let the father take care of the unwell child once in a while. Its ok. Your career is equally important and the father is equally responsible. 9.Let other family members take care of your kitchen sometimes. Its ok if the kitchen platform is exceptionally unclean or sink is full of dirty vessels. Relax n take that break! 10.Help the other woman, even if you dont like her ;) You never know what her battles are. Empower the needy ones, like your maids. Teach her basics of hygiene, education and finances. 11.Create a support system. Its ok to get on well with inlaws! Not every family needs to have a saas-bahu drama. 12.Have some friends (men and women) beyond your husband's or boyfriend's group. Its ok ! Spend some time away from family with your friends. 13.Its ok to not cry. Not all women need to be senti all the time ;) 14. Be vigilant, be prepared to handle tough situations. When things go wrong, try to be balanced and find way out of your problems. You don't need to play the victim. 15. Find time to read and keep yourself updated. 16.Raise independent, caring and health conscious kids. Make all family members equally accountable and responsible. 17. Create different girlie groups. Share your problems and seek opinions. Finally take your own decision and be confident about it. 18. Spend some time doing what you like, even if its just sitting idle. Don't feel guilty about it, just because others feel its worthless. 19. Believe in yourself...... . If you don't, no one else will
A lot of folks in our society try to be hyper-productive.
You know — the people who scurry from task to task, always checking e-mail, organizing something, making a call, running an errand, etc.
The people who do this often subscribe to the idea that “staying busy” means you’re working hard and are going to be more successful.
While this belief may be true to an extent, it often leads to mindless “productivity” — a constant need to do something and a tendency to waste time on menial tasks.
Instead of behaving in this way, I choose to do things differently.
Working Smarter, Not Harder
The old adage, “work smarter, not harder” has become a staple in the way I go about work of any kind.
Instead of being robotic in how I approach tasks, I try to be thoughtful and always ask myself if something can be done more efficiently or eliminated altogether.
Managing my time isn’t about squeezing as many tasks into my day as possible. It’s about simplifying how I work, doing things faster, and relieving stress.
It’s about clearing away space in my life to make time for people, play, and rest.
I promise you — there really are enough hours in a day for everything you’d like to do, but it may take a bit of rearranging and re-imagining to find them.
21 Time Management Tips
I compiled this list of 21 tips to hopefully nudge you in the right direction.
Remember: There are innumerable hacks and tricks to manage your time effectively. These are some tips that I find helpful, but everyone is different.
Let this list be a catalyst to get you thinking regularly about how to refine your own practices.
1. Complete most important tasks first.
This is the golden rule of time management. Each day, identify the two or three tasks that are the most crucial to complete, and do those first.
Once you’re done, the day has already been a success. You can move on to other things, or you can let them wait until tomorrow. You’ve finished the essential.
2. Learn to say “no”.
Making a lot of time commitments can teach us how to juggle various engagements and manage our time. This can be a great thing.
However, you can easily take it too far. At some point, you need to learn to decline opportunities. Your objective should be to take on only those commitments that you know you have time for and that you truly care about.
3. Sleep at least 7-8 hours.
Some people think sacrificing sleep is a good way to hack productivity and wring a couple extra hours out of the day. This is not the case.
Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep for their bodies and minds to function optimally. You know if you’re getting enough. Listen to your body, and don’t underestimate the value of sleep.
4. Devote your entire focus to the task at hand.
Close out all other browser windows. Put your phone away, out of sight and on silent. Find a quiet place to work, or listen to some music if that helps you (I enjoy listening to classical or ambient music while writing sometimes).
Concentrate on this one task. Nothing else should exist. Immerse yourself in it.
5. Get an early start.
Nearly all of us are plagued by the impulse to procrastinate. It seems so easy, and you always manage to get it done eventually, so why not?
Take it from a recovering chronic procrastinator — it’s so much nicer and less stressful to get an earlier start on something. It isn’t that difficult either, if you just decide firmly to do it.
6. Don’t allow unimportant details to drag you down.
We often allow projects to take much, much longer than they could by getting too hung up on small details. I’m guilty of this. I’ve always been a perfectionist.
What I’ve found, though, is that it is possible to push past the desire to constantly examine what I’ve done so far. I’m much better off pressing onward, getting the bulk completed, and revising things afterward.
7. Turn key tasks into habits.
Writing is a regular task for me. I have to write all the time — for school, work, my student organization, my blog, etc. I probably write 5,000 – 7,000 words per week.
The amount of writing I do may seem like a lot to most people, but it’s very manageable for me, because it’s habitual. I’ve made it a point to write something every day for a long time.
8. Be conscientious of amount of TV/Internet/gaming time.
Time spent browsing Twitter or gaming or watching TV and movies can be one of the biggest drains on productivity.
I suggest becoming more aware of how much time you spend on these activities. Simply by noticing how they’re sucking up your time you’ll begin to do them less.
9. Delineate a time limit in which to complete task.
Instead of just sitting down to work on a project and thinking, “I’m going to be here until this is done,” try thinking, “I’m going to work on this for three hours”.
The time constraint will push you to focus and be more efficient, even if you end up having to go back and add a bit more later.
10. Leave a buffer-time between tasks.
When we rush from task to task, it’s difficult to appreciate what we’re doing and to stay focused and motivated.
Allowing ourselves down-time between tasks can be a breath of fresh air for our brains. While taking a break, go for a short walk, meditate, or perform some other mind-clearing exercise.
11. Don’t think of the totality of your to-do list.
One of the fastest ways to overwhelm yourself is to think about your massive to-do list. Realize that no amount of thought will make it any shorter.
At this point in time, all you can do is focus on the one task before you. This one, single, solitary task. One step at a time. Breathe.
12. Exercise and eat healthily.
Numerous studies have linked a healthy lifestyle with work productivity. Similar to getting enough sleep, exercising and eating healthily boost energy levels, clear your mind, and allow you to focus more easily.
This is a tactic recommended by one of my favorite bloggers, Leo Babauta. Basically, do less is another way of saying do the things that really matter.
Slow down, notice what needs to be done, and concentrate on those things. Do less things that create more value, rather than more things that are mostly empty.
14. Utilize weekends, just a little bit.
One of my favorite memes depicts a gentleman casting his work aside, declaring, “It’s Friday! F#%$88u this shit.” The following image reads “Monday”, and the man is stooping to pick up the papers he’d tossed to the ground.
This is comical, but I’ve found that it’s amazing how doing just a little bit on weekends can really lessen the workload during the week. Aim for 2-4 hours per day. You’ll still leave yourself plenty of free time for activities.
15. Create organizing systems.
Being organized saves tons of time, and you don’t have to be the most ultra-organized person in the world either. Systems aren’t complicated to implement.
Create a filing system for documents. Make sure all items have a place to be stored in your dwelling. Unsubscribe from e-mail lists if you don’t want to receive their content. Streamline, streamline, streamline.
16. Do something during waiting time.
We tend to have a lot of down-time where we don’t try to do much. Waiting rooms, lines at the store, time on the subway, on the elliptical at the gym, etc.
Find things to do during this time. I tend to have a lot of reading for classes, so I bring some of it almost everywhere I go and read during waiting time.
17. Lock yourself in.
No distractions, no excuses. Sometimes, the only way I’m going to get something done is if I’m under lock and key, alone in a room. If you’re like me, realize it, and act accordingly.
18. Commit to your plan to do something.
I kind of mentioned this already, but it’s worth repeating. Don’t flake on your own plan to do something!
Be resolute. Be committed. Be professional about it, and follow through. A firm will to accomplish what you decide to accomplish will take you anywhere.
19. Batch related tasks together.
Let’s say that over a given weekend you need to do two programming assignments, write three essays, and make two videos. Rather than approaching this work in whatever order you feel, group the like tasks and do them consecutively.
Different tasks demand different types of thinking, so it makes sense to allow your mind to continue to flow with its current zone rather than switching unnecessarily to something that’s going to require you to re-orient.
20. Find time for stillness.
In our go, go, go world, too many people don’t find time to just be still. Yet, it’s extraordinary what a stillness practice can do. Action and inaction should both play key roles in our lives.
Discovering time in your life for silence and non-motion reduces anxiety and shows you that there is no need to constantly rush. It also makes it easier to find your work pleasurable.
21. Eliminate the non-essential.
I know this one has been mentioned in one capacity or another already, but it’s one of the most useful tips you can take away from this post.
Our lives are full of excess. When we can identify that excess and remove it, we become more and more in touch with what is significant and what deserves our time.
One Last Tip (The Best One)
There’s one final tip I want to mention. If you remember one thing from this post, remember this:
Enjoyment should always be the goal. Work can be play.
We get so caught up in busyness that we forget to enjoy what we’re doing. Even when we focus on working smarter, we’re still often too focused on getting things done.
This should never be the point. Always ask yourself: What can I do to spend more time enjoying what I’m doing?
The goal should be to arrange your commitments in a way that you’re happy living out the details of your daily life, even while you’re working.
This may sound like a pipe dream, but it’s more possible than ever in today’s world. Be curious. Be open to opportunity. Know yourself. Embrace your passions.
Wonderful things will happen. Best of luck implementing these tips, and let me know if I can do anything else to help you.