Today, we’re going to explore garlic, whether or not it’s helpful for gout sufferers, where this pungent herb came from, how it’s been used over the centuries, and how you can incorporate it into your lifestyle.
Benefits of Garlic for Gout
Garlic possesses many antioxidant properties that make it highly beneficial for gout sufferers. It is high in vitamin B1, B6, C, selenium, copper, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, allicin, and sulfur.
If you’ve had gout for awhile now, you’ll know how important vitamin C is for your health. It assists in lowering uric acid in your body, helping you to avoid those dreaded gout attacks.
In addition, the other substances found in garlic help to get rid of toxins, lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and excess blood sugar. Again, these are all symptoms related to gout condition. When these are addressed, it can significantly improve the patient’s health.
Garlic also has anti-inflammatory properties which means that if you ever do experience a gout flare, you can take this powerful herb to reduce pain, swelling, and redness.
Once diagnosed with gout, the patient has to take extra care of their kidney and liver health as these are at greater risk for experiencing complications if uric acid levels are not managed well. Garlic can help with your kidney health because it prevents injury or infection to this organ. Its effects on your overall health can also protect the kidney from getting damaged.
With regards to the liver, garlic can help protect it from natural and environmental toxins. It also reduces fat accumulation in the liver by reducing total serum cholesterol in patients with high cholesterol levels. For those with liver cancer, garlic might just be what you need as the allicin in garlic has been found to fight human liver cancer cells.
Another way that garlic can help with gout is by improving bone health, although this benefit is more evident in women. It does so by increasing estrogen production which helps reduce a woman’s risk for developing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Other Benefits of Garlic
- Garlic helps fight the common cold
It does so by boosting your immune system. So the next time you get a cold or you feel like it’s about to come on, add some garlic into your next meal so you can recover faster. One study showed that patients who took a garlic supplement while they were sick were able to shorten their sick days to just one a half compared to the average five days.
- Garlic lowers risk for heart disease
It improves your cholesterol levels, lowering your chances of developing heart disease. Garlic also relaxes blood vessels that have hardened, avoiding platelet aggregation. You’re not going to see results right away. You have to take garlic consistently for the benefits to kick in.
- Garlic may prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Common brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia are the result of oxidative damage caused by aging. Fortunately, you might be able to reduce your risk for this damage with the help of garlic since it is high in antioxidants.
- Garlic detoxifies heavy metals in the body
If you take garlic in higher doses, you might just be able to fight organ damage caused by the high levels of lead in the body.
- Garlic improves athletic performance
Garlic was originally used in ancient cultures to fight the fatigue caused by intense physical labor. Later on, Olympians in Greece would use garlic to improve their athletic performance. In Egypt, whenever there was a garlic shortage, there would also be work stoppage. This is because workers and slaves were paid with garlic.
Today, garlic is used just the same: to avoid exercise-induced fatigue and to improve endurance. For gout patients, it can be challenging to stick to an exercise routine and you might get tired faster given your condition. Simply take garlic so you can exercise longer and not feel fatigue the next day. This should keep you motivated to exercise consistently.
- Garlic enhances you skin
If you have wounds, acne, or fungal infections, you can easily fix it with garlic. This is because garlic is an antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial superfood. It can help solve your skin woes, just apply it topically. If you’re trying to fight the signs of aging, you can also use garlic since it helps enhance your skin cell’s longevity.
- Garlic reduces lung cancer risk
One study showed that those who ate garlic raw, even just twice a week, were able to reduce their risk for developing lung cancer by 44%. This study was done on patients who took garlic for a long period of time. As mentioned earlier, you need to be taking garlic consistently over a long time to really reap its wonderful benefits.
History of Garlic
Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated crops and its origins is highly debated. It is believed to come from central Asia, South Asia, or southwestern Siberia. It would later be available in China, India, Pakistan, and Egypt. Crusaders also brought back this pungent herb in countries in Europe like France, Spain, and Portugal. In the United States, it wasn’t until the 90s that people increased their consumption of garlic after knowing about its beneficial properties.
Garlic is available in many parts of the world so it’s no wonder why its use span centuries. Even back then, they didn’t just use garlic in their cooking, they used it in medicine as well. The Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese, and Romans are just some of the major civilizations in ancient history that used this powerful herb to treat a variety of conditions such as heart disease, impotence, low energy, and even the black plague.
The famous Greek physician Hippocrates even prescribed it to his patients for various illnesses. For the superstitious, garlic was used to ward off evil elements. Residents would hang it on their doors and windows to ward off vampires. Some even wore it around their neck to protect against witches and the black plague.
In ancient Egypt, they used to worship garlic as a god and even used it as a currency. Before burying the departed, they would place clay garlic bulbs in the tomb. Historians of today speculate that this was for appeasing the gods or equipping the dead with money for the afterlife.
Ways to Incorporate Garlic into your Diet
- Add it to dishes
Garlic is such a staple ingredient in the kitchen that you won’t have a hard time incorporating it into whatever dish you make whether it’s stew, soup, pasta, rice bowls, sauces, or even salads. It has a very powerful flavor profile so a little garlic goes a long way. You can also use more if you prefer your meals to have a strong taste.
- Consume fresh garlic
You can consume a clove of garlic everyday. It’s definitely cheaper than supplements and it might even be more potent than the garlic you use in your cooking. To really enjoy its benefits, you need to cut or crush the garlic and let it sit for a bit. This releases the compound called allicin which plays an important role in garlic’s health benefits.
Avoid microwaving, boiling, or mixing garlic with other ingredients after you chop or crush it. If you do so, it will affect the garlic’s ability to provide health benefits.
- Use garlic powder
If you’re cut for time, you can use garlic powder in your cooking instead. The flavor is just as good as fresh garlic and it contains trace nutrients like vitamin B-6, phosphorus, and manganese.
Aside from food, you can also take garlic in supplement form. There is no set dose for taking garlic for gout but you can begin with the highest dose. Most garlic supplements will have between 600 to 1500mg of garlic extract. That’s about four cloves of garlic a day. If you can’t stomach the idea of taking fresh garlic every meal, then garlic supplements are definitely for you.
Garlic supplement can come in the form of a capsule, paste, powder, or flakes. Which form to take entirely depends on you. Some like the simplicity of a garlic capsule supplement while others prefer to add it to their tea.
The great thing about garlic is that it has no known side effects. It’s been used for so many centuries and its benefits have been proven and tested. You need not worry about any harmful symptoms.
But just to be absolutely sure, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about taking garlic supplements. They can even check your blood pressure and blood sugar to ensure it is within the healthy range. That’s when you’ll know that the garlic supplements are working. If you see no change, don’t hesitate to switch brands. Not all garlic supplements are made equal, and it may take some trial and error before you can find one that has the best efficacy.
What has been your experience with garlic for gout? Do you hate it or love this staple ingredient? Share your thoughts in the comments below.