Cancer is the biggest economic and social burden of the 21st century. Treatments are generally expensive and often leave patients in significant financial difficulties. There are many factors that can influence the development of the disease, but among the ones that are easily managed, you will find lifestyle, activity levels, and nutrition.
Garlic is a very common vegetable from the same family as onions, chives, leeks, and scallions. It is often a key ingredient in cooking, but garlic has also been frequently used in traditional medicine. The plant is rich in vitamins (B1, B6, C) and minerals (calcium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc) as well as plenty of antioxidants. It also contains several bioactive components beneficial to health – arginine, oligosaccharides, flavonoids, and selenium.
The National Cancer Institute notes that increased garlic intake has been linked with “reduced risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas, and breast”. The World Health Organization also recognizes that the plant “has a broad range of antibacterial and antifungal activity”.
One example in the medical literature regarding the antitumor effects of garlic was Iowa Women’s Study which investigating whether diet, distribution of body fat, and other risk factors are related to cancer incidence in older women. It found that “consumption of garlic was inversely associated with risk, with an age- and energy-adjusted relative risk of 0.68 for the uppermost versus the lowermost consumption levels”.
Similar studies conducted in China showed that frequent intake of garlic and various types of onions and chives was associated with reduced risk of esophageal and stomach cancers, with greater risk reductions seen for higher levels of consumption.
Adding some garlic in your diet can also protect against heart disease and lower cholesterol.
Why not take advantage of nature’s simple (but effective) offerings?