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Garlic

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Garlic Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 58.6 g
Calories: 149 kcal
Protein: 6.4 g
Carbohydrate: 33.1 g
Dietary fiber: 2.1 g
Sugars: 1 g
Fat: 0.5 g
Saturated fat: 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2 g
Vitamin C: 31.2 mg
Vitamin B1: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.7 mg
Vitamin B6: 1.2 mg
Vitamin B9: 3 μg
Vitamin E: 0.1 mg
Vitamin K: 1.7 μg
Calcium: 181 mg
Iron: 1.7 mg
Magnesium: 25 mg
Phosphorus: 153 mg
Potassium: 401 mg
Sodium: 17 mg
Zinc: 1.2 mg

Apart from being used to scare off vampires, garlic has also been used as a medicinal food for centuries. Hippocrates, who is considered one of the most important figures in modern medicine, used it to treat toothaches and chest pain.

Garlic is a part of the allium family and is related to onions and leeks. Due to its incredibly strong taste, people don’t tend to eat it on its own; it is usually used as a base ingredient in a large number of dishes instead.

For 149 calories (per 100g) it provides 52% of your RDA of vitamin C, 60% of your RDA of Vitamin B6 and also contains decent amounts of manganese, calcium and potassium.

Scientific studies have proved that garlic can help boost your immunity; having a strong immune system means that you are less susceptible to colds and the common flu. If you do end up getting the flu, add lots of garlic to your diet – it has been shown to reduce the number of days you spend sick in bed.

The main active medicinal compound in garlic is known as Allicin. Research was carried out where rats were fed a diet high in fructose (a type of sugar), to make them fat. Some rats were then fed allicin, whilst they kept consuming the fat inducing diet. The results showed that these rats stopped gaining weight, whereas the others continued to do so. Even though this test was carried out on rats, garlic may have the same effects on humans, on a smaller scale.

Other studies carried out on humans have also found that garlic supplementation can lower blood pressure levels; this is particularly important for people who suffer from hypertension. This study found that garlic at high doses was as effective as Atenolol, a drug used to treat hypertension. Of course, if you do suffer from hypertension, never change or stop taking medication without speaking to a health professional first!

Apart from the above advantages, garlic can also help reduce LDL cholesterol, improve athletic performance and is rich in antioxidants, which may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.