Garlic has been used in folk medicine for more than 4,000 years, and many of its health benefits have been confirmed by research over the last several decades. Garlic is considered a super food because it’s low in calories but packed with important nutrients and compounds that can fight cancer, offer cardioprotective benefits, and even fight the common cold. Here are 5 hidden benefits of garlic from which seniors can benefit.
1. It boosts the immune system
The common cold can be serious for seniors. Taking a garlic supplement every day can help seniors prevent cold and flu and reduce the severity of both illnesses. According to one study, taking garlic every day can reduce the number of colds by 63 percent and reduce the length of cold symptoms by 70 percent from 5 days to 1.5 days.
2. Garlic reduces blood pressure
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has found that someone who has healthy blood pressure at the age of 50 has a 90 percent chance of developing high blood pressure later in life. The risk of hypertension increases with age, as do the potential consequences of high blood pressure. Research has found that daily consumption of garlic can reduce blood pressure among people with hypertension. The allicin in garlic is responsible for this protective benefit. Boca Raton elder home care professionals suggest 4 cloves of garlic per day or a physician-recommended garlic supplement.
3. Garlic can improve cholesterol levels
Thirty-two percent of adults in the U.S. have high LDL (bad) cholesterol. High cholesterol puts seniors at high risk for heart disease and stroke, although it can be managed. Along with prescription statins, garlic can be an effective way to control cholesterol levels. One study found that daily garlic consumption or supplements can reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 15 percent.
4. Its antioxidants may help prevent dementia
Free radicals in the body contribute to aging and increase the risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other conditions. The antioxidants in garlic have been found to boost antioxidant enzymes in people while reducing oxidative stress in people with high blood pressure. By reducing blood pressure and cholesterol, it’s believed the antioxidants in garlic can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by protecting against cell aging.
5. It may reduce bone loss
Post-menopausal women are at a high risk of osteoporosis or bone loss because estrogen is necessary for building bone mass. While there have been no human studies yet, research has found that garlic can increase estrogen in female rats and minimize bone loss. A study involving menopausal women also found that daily consumption of garlic decreased a marker of estrogen deficiency.
Interested in learning more about senior wellness? Reach out to Home Care Assistance. We offer live-in, part-time, and respite care in Boca Raton and can help families just like yours manage your aging parent’s care needs. Please give us a call today at (561) 826.9282 to learn more. We look forward to speaking with you.