Garlic isn’t just your regular spice that lends flavour and taste to your meals. Its powerful nutritional profile can help prevent many chronic health conditions and boost your overall well-being. Even more than its cooked form, raw garlic can work wonders for your health from lowering cholesterol and blood pressure to improving digestive health. Raw garlic has an enzyme called allicin that has anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antibacterial, and anticancer properties. Chewing raw garlic can unlock sulphur-containing compounds which in turn translates into a range of benefits. (Also read: Lip-smacking dish that you can make with garlic; recipe inside)

As per a study, after chewing of garlic, participants experienced decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 5%, 8%.(Freepik)

As per a study, after chewing of garlic, participants experienced decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 5%, 8%. Similarly, cholesterol and triglyceride reduced to 4-10%. Ingestion of garlic by chewing or crushing it can reduce cholesterol, triglyceride, MDA, systolic and diastolic blood pressure even in the presence of increasing fat intake. Swallowing garlic on the other hand has no significant effect on serum lipids (TG, Chol, LDL and HDL), diastolic blood pressure, and BUN, Cr and cyclosporine serum level.

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How many raw garlic cloves can you eat?

1-2 garlic cloves are ideal for reaping its many benefits. Eating more than the recommended amount can lead to acidity, heart burn or bleeding.

One clove of raw garlic is packed with manganese, Vitamin C, selenium, fibre, calcium, copper, phosphorus, iron, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, and potassium.

Benefits of chewing raw garlic

Chewing raw garlic on an empty stomach can have numerous health benefits.

Here are six impressive benefits, explained by Dietitian Rashi Tantia, HOD – Dietetics , Metro Hospital, Faridabad.

1. Boosts immunity: Raw garlic is rich in antioxidants and sulfur-containing compounds, which help strengthen the immune system. Regular consumption can help protect against infections and illnesses.

2. Anti-inflammatory properties: Garlic contains anti-inflammatory compounds like diallyl disulfide, which can help reduce inflammation in the body, potentially alleviating symptoms of conditions like arthritis.

3. Improves heart health: Garlic is known to improve cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, and preventing the hardening of arteries. These benefits collectively reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

4. Detoxifies the body: The sulfur compounds in garlic help detoxify heavy metals from the body. It supports liver function and helps cleanse the body of toxins, promoting overall health.

5. Enhances digestive health: Consuming garlic on an empty stomach can stimulate digestion and improve gut health. It promotes the production of digestive enzymes and has antimicrobial properties that can help balance gut flora.

6. Antimicrobial and antiviral effects: Garlic has potent antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Chewing raw garlic can help fight off pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, reducing the risk of infections and promoting oral health.

While these benefits are significant, it’s important to note that consuming raw garlic in large quantities can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and other side effects for some people. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet or health regimen.