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Garlic has proven time and time again how healthy it is for the human body. A large number of scientific studies on garlic have revealed how it improves heart health and even has chemopreventive effects. The next time you take a crack at cooking, a garlic dish will do wonders for your health – and your loved ones too!
It’s a known fact that cooking garlic (and other fruits and vegetables) can deactivate the substances in garlic that make it most beneficial to health, so taking raw garlic is the way to go. When you eat garlic on an empty stomach, it can further potentiate its effects since no other food that can interact with it.
Garlic is one of nature’s most potent antibiotics, which explains why it has been used since old times as an herbal remedy for fighting pathogenic bacteria. If you take garlic on an empty stomach, the effect is more concentrated.
Other health benefits of garlic:
1 – Garlic is an antioxidant
A study by Zakarova in 2014 revealed that garlic (specifically sprouted garlic) could stimulate the production of phytochemicals in the body, which promote antioxidant activities. Through this, there is reduced oxidative stress in the body (due to the lack of free radicals) and reduced risk for chronic diseases of the heart and liver. 
2 – Garlic can help fight cancer
Another 2014 study, this time conducted by Trio, et. al. as population and preclinical investigations suggest that garlic could decrease the risk for a number of cancers – specifically esophageal, stomach, and prostate cancer. These characteristics can be attributed to garlic organosulfur compounds (OSCs), which become degraded through cooking and processing, further solidifying the concept that the best way to receive the health benefits of garlic is to eat it raw. 
3 – Garlic oil reduces cholesterol and heart damage
Too much cholesterol in the body can damage the heart, causing a condition called cardiac hypertrophy. Low-density lipoprotein, “bad cholesterol”, easily damages the blood vessels and tissues, which can cause inflammation and damage. Hsieh, et. al.’s study showed that garlic oil was able to reduce cardiac hypertrophy and cholesterol levels significantly. 
4 – Garlic can protect you from lung damage and cancer
Two recent studies were published on the protective effects of garlic on the respiratory system. Jeong, et. al. revealed in 2012 that red garlic extract was able to reduce the damage to the lungs done by cigarette smoke.  A study by Jin, et. al. in 2013 revealed results on how raw garlic in particular was able to reduce the risk for lung cancer. 
5 – Garlic can fight the effects of Schistosomiasis
Schistosomiasis affects more than 200 million people worldwide. Its most dangerous effect on the body is the destruction of the liver caused by the deposition of eggs and worms by the parasite. A study in 2011 used garlic extracts on two groups, one control and one experimental. The group who consumed garlic extracts manifested reduced symptoms of the Schistosomiasis infection. 
Special Tip: Crush Garlic For Best Health Effects – According to the Oregon State University, chopping or crushing garlic (shortly before eating) causes the release of alliinase – a substance that promotes the maximum production and release of beneficial organosulfur compounds. 
Learn More – check out our full herbal page on garlic.
 Zakarova, A., et. al. (2014). Garlic sprouting is associated with increased antioxidant activity and concomitant changes in the metabolite profile. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24512482
 Trio, P., et. al. (2014). Chemopreventative functions and molecular mechanisms of garlic organosulfur compounds. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24664286
 Louis, X., et. al. (2012). Garlic extracts prevent oxidative stress, hypertrophy and apoptosis in cardiomyocytes: a role for nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22931510
 Jeong, Y., et. al. (2012). Aged red garlic extract reduces cigarette smoke extract-induced cell death in human bronchial smooth muscle cells by increasing intracellular glutathione levels. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21538625
 Jin, Z., et. al. (2013). Raw garlic consumption as a protective factor for lung cancer, a population-based case-control study in a Chinese population. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23658367
 Mantawy, M., Ali, H., & Zaki, M. (2011). Therapeutic Effects Of Allium sativum And Allium cepa In Schistosoma mansoni Experimental Infection. http://www.scielo.br/pdf/rimtsp/v53n3/a07v53n3.pdf
 Oregon State University. Garlic and Organosulfur Compounds. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/garlic
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