You have probably heard the saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Many people interpret this to mean that a healthy diet is the key to good health. You may be surprised to find, however, that it applies to other foods as well and that it can be taken quite literally.

A Clove a Day
Though many people are more likely to associate fruits like apples with a healthy diet, garlic is an important element in a healthy diet as well. Garlic is known by the scientific name Allium sativum and it belongs to the same genus as onion. Closely related to shallots, leeks, chives and onion, garlic has been a part of human history for over 7,000 years.

This plant is native to central Asia, though it has long been a staple in Mediterranean, African and European diets. Not only is garlic an excellent food to cook with, it also has significant health benefits.

Health Benefits of Garlic
When I think of garlic, I often think of the stinky breath I have after enjoying my favorite garlic beef with broccoli stir-fry. I have always loved cooking with garlic but it wasnt until recently that I learned that it could actually be beneficial for my health. Garlic has natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and it can also benefit your blood health.

Some of the most significant health benefits associated with garlic are listed below:

Garlic contains diallyl sulfides which may help to improve your bodys iron metabolism

Digesting garlic results in the formation of red blood cell compounds which help to relax blood vessels and increase blood flow

Because it contains high levels of allicin, the oil found in garlic may help to reduce hair loss

The antioxidants in garlic help to repair free radical damage to cells it can also help to kill bacteria, including the type that causes acne

Garlic has been shown to boost the immune system, helping you to fight off colds

Eating a diet rich in garlic has shown to help lower the risk of nearly all types of cancer it may even help slow tumor growth

Garlic has been shown to help lower blood triglycerides and total cholesterol as much as 5 to 15%

The health benefits associated with eating garlic are numerous. In addition to these specific benefits, garlic may help also help relieve dry skin, treat cold sores and repel mosquitos. Garlic truly is an amazing food and it is certainly one you should use more often.

You dont necessarily need to bite into a head of garlic the way you would an apple to receive all of the benefits explained above just use garlic to flavor the recipes you already enjoy! A clove or two of garlic a day can work wonders for your health, so stock up!