Losing weight isn’t a cakewalk. It takes time, sweat, hard work and the right food to shed unwanted body fat. Sadly, there are no shortcuts to becoming a healthier and fitter version of yourself! But, what we do have are healthy and active ways to do the same. Losing weight is not only possible through exercise. It also requires the addition of correct food to our diet. Many food products may help us lose weight. However, this article will talk about one such ingredient, garlic.
Garlic is an essential component in Indian cuisine because it improves the flavour of any dish. Furthermore, it is well-known as a nutritional powerhouse, especially for weight loss. In addition, garlic helps boost immunity, relax blood vessels for smooth blood flow and lower blood pressure. It also helps reduce inflammation and protect blood vessels from damage. All these benefits of garlic help minimise the risk of heart disease.
Garlic is one such food that may help you with your weight loss. Yes, this odoriferous herb has numerous health benefits, known since ancient times. This bulb-shaped, medicinal herb helps cut down fat and its accumulation in innumerable ways. Let’s find out more about it below:
Nutritional Properties of Garlic
Raw Garlic (1 clove)
- Protein – 0.57g
- Fat – 0.04g
- Carbohydrate – 2.98g
- Energy – 13.41kcal
- Sugar – 0.09g
- Fiber – 0.19g
- Calcium – 16.29mg
- Iron – 0.15mg
- Magnesium – 2.25mg
- Phosphorus – 13.77mg
- Potassium – 36.09mg
- Sodium – 1.53 mg
- Zinc – 0.1mg
- Copper – 0.03mg
- Manganese – 0.15mg
- Vitamin C – 2.18mg
- Thiamin – 0.02mg
- Riboflavin – 0.01mg
- Niacin – 0.06mg
- Pantothenic Acid – 0.05mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.11mg
- Folate – 0.27mg
- Fatty Acids (saturated) – 0.01g
How Garlic Aids Weight Loss
Garlic, the cousin to onion and sister to the shallot, is a small but powerful ingredient that aids weight loss. The benefits of garlic far outweigh the bad-breath risk. Garlic is an indispensable part of the Indian kitchen as many recipes need it to enhance its aroma and taste. Apart from increasing the taste of the food, the herb is known to aid weight loss.
However, the research on garlic’s weight loss abilities are limited, but many studies show its effect on weight loss. The sulfur-containing compounds of garlic are primarily responsible for its weight loss abilities. One of the significant sulfur-containing compounds, allicin, helps prevent obesity. In addition, it also fights metabolic disorders by activating brown fat.
Unlike white fats, brown fat burns calories and helps lose weight. However, not many adults have brown fats. That is why the consumption of garlic for weight loss becomes essential.
The beneficial ingredients in garlic such as vitamin B6 and C, fibre, calcium, protein, and manganese play a significant role in burning unwanted health-deteriorating fat. In addition, adding garlic into your diet helps boost energy levels and increases metabolism. As a result, it helps burn fat efficiently. It also acts as a fantastic detoxifying agent by flushing out toxins that hinder the digestive system.
Research and Studies of Garlic
A study on mice reveals the antiobesity effects of garlic supplementation. It says that the oral administration of garlic extract for eight weeks may show antiobesity results by reducing cholesterol levels, triglycerides, body weight and fat. In addition, it may also suppress the formation of white-fat cells.
The beneficial effects of garlic on obesity are also seen through clinical trials. It may reduce waist circumference, but not body weight and body mass in some cases. At the same time, some studies reveal that garlic powder supplements help reduce body weight and fat in people who have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Aged garlic extract may even lead to weight loss in postmenopausal women. A 2012 study suggests that postmenopausal women who take aged garlic extract for three months tend to lose more weight than others.
Various studies and trials have shown the effect of garlic and its role in weight loss. However, there is a need for more human research on the subject. But, with the information available so far, it is safe to say that adding garlic to your diet helps cut down on those extra kilos. So, add this fantastic weight loss herb to your diet and shed those extra inches.
Health Benefits of Garlic
Helps Cure Cold and Infection
Garlic is a rich source of antioxidant compounds like ally disulfide, allyl cysteine and allicin. These compounds help protect from free radical damage and thus, boost immunity. Therefore, garlic helps to boost immunity and helps prevent the occurrence of cold and infection.
Consuming garlic with warm water can help get rid of infections like cough and cold. As per research, a high dose of aged garlic extract reduces the number of days you spend fighting a cold or flu by 61%.
As per another 12-week study, a garlic supplement reduces the occurrence of colds by 63% than a placebo. In addition, the consumption of garlic supplements also decreased cold symptoms by 70%.
Improves Cholesterol Levels
Allicin is one of the active compounds present in garlic. It helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels in your body. Since garlic is rich in allicin, regular consumption of garlic may help lower cholesterol and improve heart health.
Various studies suggest that garlic supplements may help lower total and/or LDL cholesterol by 10%–15% in people with high cholesterol. In addition, another study says that though garlic decreases LDL levels, it has no consistent effect on HDL.
Lowers the Blood Pressure
The sulfur in garlic stimulates nitric oxide production in blood vessels. As a result, it relaxes and improves their elasticity, helping lower blood pressure and further reducing the risk of strokes and hardening of arteries.
As per human research, garlic supplements substantially influence lowering blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure. Another study reveals that 600–1,500 mg of aged garlic extract for 24 weeks was as efficient as any medicine for lowering blood pressure. However, relatively high supplement dosages may help reap the intended benefits. The adequate amount required each day is around four garlic cloves.
Flaunts Anti-Ageing Properties
Hydrogen sulfide, a compound found in garlic, can slow down the hardening of arteries and prevent strokes and attacks by ensuring the free flow of blood all through the body. A better blood flow means more oxygen to your skin. As a result, it prevents your skin from ageing.
Allicin, another compound present in garlic, has anti-wrinkle properties. Besides the above compounds, vitamin C in garlic also helps collagen production, thereby aiding healthy skin.
It Prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Several studies suggest that a high dosage of garlic supplements help boost antioxidant enzymes in humans. In addition, it may lower oxidative stress in those with high blood pressure. Garlic is high in antioxidants, which help the body’s natural defences against oxidative stress.
Multiple studies show that the combined benefits of lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and the antioxidant capabilities may lessen the incidence of prevalent brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Helps with Athletic Performance
One of the first “performance-boosting” agents was garlic. Ancient societies commonly used it to alleviate weariness and increase labourers’ workability. In addition, coaches and organisers offered garlic to Olympic competitors in ancient Greece.
Garlic can also improve exercise performance in rodents, but there has been little human research. In one trial, people with heart disease who took garlic oil for six weeks had a 12% drop in peak heart rate and experienced improved exercise capacity.
Thus, it is safe to say that garlic may help improve athletic properties by controlling the heart rate and providing you with performance-boosting advantages.
Increases Oestrogen Levels and Improves Bone Health
An experiment suggests that boosting oestrogen in females can reduce bone loss. Furthermore, as per research, a daily dosage of dried garlic extract dramatically reduces oestrogen insufficiency in menopausal women.
It indicates that this supplement may be suitable for women’s bone health. Garlic and onions, for example, may help treat osteoarthritis, as noted in this study.
Detoxifies the Body
The sulfur component in garlic protects against organ damage caused by heavy metal poisoning at significant levels. As per a four-week trial, garlic helped lower the lead levels in a personnel’s blood by 19%. In addition, it also decreased clinical symptoms of toxicity such as high blood pressure, headaches etc.
Thus, adding garlic to your diet may bring many benefits to you.
Incorporating Garlic in Your Daily Routine
Like any other fat loss good, garlic also won’t magically make you lose kilos. However, it will give your weight-loss journey a delicious boost and loads of health benefits. In addition, it’s easy to incorporate into your everyday diet. Given below are some ways to use garlic:
- You can add chopped garlic to your morning chilla or eggs.
- You can also add garlic to your salad dressings.
- Brewing up some garlic lemon tea is also a great way to use garlic.
- Add raw chopped garlic to the toast after adding butter to it.
- Toss some garlic in a pan with any veggies you want.
However, eating raw garlic is the best way to maximise the health benefits. But, if you want to cook it, crush or chop your garlic and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before adding it to heat. It will help preserve many of garlic’s health benefits.
Below are a few homemade recipes that will aid in weight loss. You can make them with little to no preparation.
Garlic with lime juice
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- One glass of water
- Take lukewarm water.
- Add one tablespoon of lemon juice and 1-2 pieces of crushed garlic cloves to it.
- Mix and drink while it’s still warm.
This heavenly combination of both ingredients will help stimulate weight loss and help reduce free radical damage, and improve immunity due to vitamin C.
Raw garlic and honey
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp honey
- Take 2-3 garlic cloves, peel off their outer skin.
- Crush the peeled cloves and then mix with honey.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes and consume the concoction after that.
This mixture helps to improve immunity and reduce the risk of seasonal cold and cough.
Ginger, garlic, and lemon tea
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- Pea-sized piece of ginger
- Two glasses of water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Honey, to taste
- Take 1-2 pieces of garlic clove; add a small piece of ginger to it.
- Grind them to get a fine paste.
- Now, boil about two glasses of water in a pot and add the paste to the pot of boiling water.
- Let the whole concoction boil for about 5 minutes.
- Cover the concoction and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture and simultaneously add lemon juice to it.
- If you do not like the taste of the concoction, add some honey to it to enhance the flavour.
This mixture primarily aids digestion and helps flush out toxins from the body.
Unpeeled garlic cloves covered in honey
Preparation Time: 3-5 days
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- ½ cup of honey
- For this recipe, remove the outermost layer; make sure you do not peel the clove cover.
- Now, take a mason jar, add 3-4 cloves inside it, and pour raw honey.
- For the next few days, store the combination of the two, leaving it in the refrigerator.
- Let the goodness of the two infuse and then consume the magical combination on an empty stomach.
In the long run, this mixture will help to improve your overall immunity, heart health, and skin health.
Garlic Milk with Benefits
Preparation Time: 50 minutes
- 5-6 garlic cloves
- 1 cup of fresh milk
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- Pinch of black pepper
- ½-1 tsp Organic honey (to enhance the taste)
- Crush the garlic cloves or grind them.
- To maximise health benefits, crush the garlic at room temperature.
- Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes to trigger an enzyme reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in garlic.
- Now, heat milk in a pan and allow it to boil.
- To the boiling milk, add the crushed garlic and then add black pepper and turmeric.
- Simmer on low heat till the garlic softens.
- Take off heat and strain the mixture through a strainer.
- Drink the mixture when lukewarm, with a tsp of honey to enhance the taste.
This magic potion is not known to many! However, this recipe will aid in weight loss and help keep your gut healthy and happy. In addition, this recipe helps in improving overall digestion and reduces migraine pain drastically.
Precautions of Garlic
Be careful while consuming garlic. The ideal dosage is 1-2 raw cloves daily. Overconsumption of garlic can cause heartburn, burning in the mouth or throat, nausea, vomiting, gas, and diarrhoea.
Garlic has various health benefits, but too much to your diet too quickly may cause stomach discomfort, bloating, diarrhoea, body odour, and bad breath.
Indubitably, garlic is one herb that will add goodness to any food. It elevates the flavour and fragrance and also helps you with other health benefits such as weight loss. In addition, the healthy bulb of food has a powerful punch of health benefits with manganese, phosphorus, calcium.
So, irrespective of what you are eating, a slight hint of garlic in it won’t hurt! Whether you plan to eat it raw, uncooked or cooked, it is still beneficial for consumption.
Now that you have come across the health benefits of garlic, you wouldn’t mind swallowing down one or two to reap the herb bestowed with ample benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What are the benefits of eating raw garlic?
A. Allicin, a sulfur-containing component present in raw garlic, has a higher concentration. Therefore, raw garlic helps improve immunity, blood sugar regulation, as well as heart and brain health.
Q. What happens if I eat garlic every day?
A. Eating garlic every day helps improve your immunity, helps with your cholesterol levels, lowers blood pressure, keeps you young, helps to detoxify your body, and prevents early onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Q. What garlic can cure?
A. Garlic is commonly used to cure colds and coughs. It is also supposed to help with asthma symptoms and boost the immune system.
Q. How much garlic should I eat in a day?
A. Consuming 1–2 raw garlic cloves every day may be beneficial. In addition, doses of up to 3,600 mg of garlic extract per day in supplement form are helpful.
Q. Is garlic an antibiotic?
A. Garlic contains allicin. It is a very effective antibiotic. It is released when cloves are crushed or consumed. Garlic has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic effects.
Q. Can garlic cause liver damage?
A. Garlic is high in allicin, a compound that, when ingested in large quantities, can cause liver damage.
Q. What are the side effects of garlic?
A. Garlic can cause heartburn, burning in the mouth or throat, nausea, vomiting, gas, and diarrhoea. But that is only when you consume very high amounts.
Q. Can too much garlic be harmful?
A. Garlic has various health benefits, but don’t add too much to your diet too quickly, no matter how appealing it may appear. Overdoing it may cause stomach discomfort, bloating, diarrhoea, body odour, and bad breath.
Q. How does eating garlic help your immune system?
A. Yes, Garlic helps boost your immune system.
Q. Can garlic reduce belly fat?
A. Yes. Garlic may help you lose weight and belly fat.
Q. Can garlic cure urine infection?
A. Garlic can aid in the treatment of antimicrobial-resistant urinary tract infections (UTI).
Q. Who should not eat garlic?
A. Garlic, like any sulfur-rich material, has a hot effect on the body. As a result, garlic use aggravates illnesses such as acid reflux, ulcers, colitis, heartburn, intestinal inflammation, skin rashes or redness, and others.
Q. Is garlic bad for your heart?
A. Garlic and garlic supplements have been shown in human research to promote heart health by preventing cell damage, regulating cholesterol, and lowering blood pressure. Garlic supplements may also aid to avoid the formation of plaque in the arteries.
Q. How many cloves of garlic a day?
A. It may be helpful to consume 1–2 cloves of raw garlic every day. In addition, doses of up to 3,600 mg of aged garlic extract per day in supplement form are helpful.
Q. Is it good to eat raw garlic at night?
A. Eating a clove of garlic before night will help you sleep better and reduce insomnia. Garlic has a high concentration of allicin, a sulphurous compound that may help with mental relaxation organically.