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This Is What Garlic Can Do for Your Health

Garlic is known for its pungent smell and wide variety of health benefits. As a natural antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral, garlic has been shown to help reduce inflammation, boost immune function, improve heart health and even help inhibit or prevent certain types of cancer. With all of the impressive health benefits garlic has to offer, it’s no surprise that a recent study tacked another one to the list. According to researchers at the University of Louisville, consuming garlic could help alter gut bacteria associated with age-related memory problems.


In the study, researchers gave allyl sulfide — a compound found in garlic — to 2-year-old mice. The age of the mice correlates to men and women ages 56 to 69. Researchers then compared the mice to 4-month-old mice as well as mice of the same age that were not receiving allyl sulfide. They found that mice that received the garlic compound had better memory and healthier gut bacteria, compared to mice of the same age that were not receiving it. The mice that didn’t receive the supplement also showed impaired special memory, greater intestinal inflammation and lower levels of a gene required for both long- and short-term memory.

Studies suggest that Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut and travel to the brain via the vagus nerve, and chemicals produced by certain gut bacteria can worsen the accumulation of proteins in the brain associated with the disease. The results from this study suggest that allyl sulfide could help promote healthy gut microorganisms and improve cognitive health in elderly men and women, helping to better protect against neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

As one of nature’s most impressive foods, garlic has been shown to fight over 160 diseases, thanks to its potent health-promoting properties. If it’s not currently a staple in your diet, start adding it to your recipes and daily routine to reap the health benefits. The best way to consume garlic is to take a whole, fresh clove and chop it, smash it or press it. Add it to a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner recipe and enjoy all that it has to offer.