Garlic has been used for medicinal purposes around the world for thousands of years. Now scientists are saying garlic helps weight loss efforts too! I started eating and cooking with fresh garlic over three years ago when I started my weight loss journey. Garlic quickly became one of my must-have foods I do not want to do without.
I began to use fresh garlic just about every time I cooked and ate small pieces of raw, fresh garlic when I decided to eat healthier. I don’t recall where I read garlic helped with weight loss. I guess somewhere during my research about healthier eating, increasing metabolism and weight loss, I discovered how great garlic is for not just weight loss, but for other things as well.
Garlic and Allicin
Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which is activated when fresh garlic is cut or crushed. According to Wikipedia, allicin is an oily, slightly yellow liquid that gives garlic its unique odor. They also write: “Several animal studies published between 1995 and 2005 indicate that allicin may reduce atherosclerosis and fat deposition, normalize the lipoprotein balance, decrease blood pressure, have anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory activities, and function as an antioxidant to some extent.”
The allicin found in garlic is what gives garlic its health and weight loss properties. To receive the maximum benefits of allicin you must cut, chop or crush fresh garlic and let it sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before eating or cooking. Studies have shown that letting the garlic sit before using helps retain about 70 percent of its beneficial compounds compared to cooking it immediately after rupturing. Cutting or crushing garlic releases the allicin that has been trapped in the cells of the plant. The health promoting and weight loss benefits of garlic peak about 10 minutes after rupturing.
How Garlic Helps Weight Loss – Scientific Studies
Garlic helps weight loss by assisting in eliminating fat from the cells. When combined with a healthy diet, garlic can help assist with weight loss efforts. Every little bit of natural, healthy weight loss assistance helps! A study published in “Nutrition Research and Practice” in June 2012 using aged garlic extract found that taking 80 milligrams per day of this supplement for 12 weeks helped women lose weight and reduce their body mass index. Study participants lost about 6.6 pounds, or about 1/2 pound per week during the study.
Garlic may increase the number of calories you burn during your daily activities and decrease your body’s production of fat, according to another study published in “The Journal of Nutrition” in September 2011.
How Much Garlic Helps Weight Loss?
I try to eat fresh garlic 3-4 times per week. I’ll use about 3-4 cloves each time. I also slice my garlic, let it sit and eat a couple of raw, uncooked pieces of garlic at least twice per week. I know – garlic breath. For me the benefits of eating raw garlic on a regular basis outweigh me smelling like fresh herbs and garlic!
1-2 medium cloves everyday, or 3-4 cloves every other day is what some dietitians say is needed to get the maximum health benefits from garlic.