Not only does garlic smell and taste wonderful, but it also has tremendous health benefits. Garlic has been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes for thousands of years. The health benefits of garlic are numerous. The compound that contains therapeutic benefits in garlic is called allicin. Garlic can be used to treat and prevent numerous heart-related disease. It can be useful in helping those with atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, and high blood pressure. Low-Calorie Nutritional Punch The great thing about garlic is that it is low in calories while packing a lot of nutritional power. One ounce of garlic contains 23 percent of the daily value of manganese, 17 percent of vitamin B6, 15 percent of vitamin C, six percent of selenium, and 0.6 grams of fiber. It also contains calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorous, iron, vitamin B1 and other various nutrients. All of these nutrients are contained in an amount that only packs 42 calories. Health Benefits of Garlic Hypertension contributes to heart attacks and strokes. Garlic can help reduce high blood pressure. The amount of allicin needed for this health benefit is equivalent to about four cloves of garlic per day. Garlic can help to fight the common cold and boost the immune system. In can reduce the length of time a person has a cold or flu. High cholesterol can lead to heart disease. Garlic supplementation has been shown to help reduce cholesterol in patients. Studies have shown that garlic can reduce LDL cholesterol, which is the “bad” type of cholesterol, by 10 to 15 percent. Antioxidants work to combat diseases commonly associated with aging, like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Garlic contains antioxidants to help the body fight the aging process. Bone health is something many women worry about, especially after the onset of menopause. Although human trials need to be conducted, garlic has been shown to be successful in increasing estrogen in rodents. Lack of estrogen is a major contributor to osteoporosis in women. Heavy metals, like lead, are toxic to humans. Eating raw garlic can help to detoxify the body from heavy metals. Signs of lead toxicity include headaches and blood pressure issues. Garlic was shown in a study of employees at a car battery plant that had been exposed to lead, to reduce lead levels in the blood by 19 percent. Garlic is an excellent nutritional, low-calorie source of many health benefits. Whether taken alone or eaten as part of something like our tasty salsas, the benefits of incorporating garlic into a regular routine are easy to see. For those wanting to incorporate garlic into their diet through supplements or extracts, patients should talk to their doctor about how much they should be taking for maximum health benefits.