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6 Benefits of Eating Garlic in the Golden Years

By , 9:00 am on

The taste of garlic makes it a valuable addition to many meals, but this aromatic seasoning also contains several benefits for seniors who want to stay healthy. As part of the allium species, garlic has many helpful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds. Seniors who add garlic to their diets can enjoy these six great benefits. 

1. Boosts the Immune System

Garlic is loaded with antibacterial and antimicrobial compounds, and it also contains plenty of vitamin C and vitamin B, which strengthen the immune system. Seniors tend to frequently develop colds and other infections because the immune system weakens with age, so this effect of garlic is quite useful. Garlic is so good at helping the body fight off illnesses that doctors suggest seniors take garlic pills when they get a cold.

Eating nutritious foods is one of the healthiest habits your loved one should consider adopting. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. New Hampshire families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

2. Reduces Cholesterol Buildup

Garlic is helpful at preventing cholesterol from building up in the arteries and causing heart issues. It works to lower cholesterol by inhibiting enzymes the liver needs to synthesize cholesterol, which can boost overall cardiovascular health because less cholesterol means less chance of a blockage in a blood vessel.

3. Lowers High Blood Pressure

Another way garlic benefits cardiovascular health is by lowering blood pressure. When eaten fresh, garlic has a helpful compound called adenosine, which relaxes the muscles of the heart so it does not pump with as much pressure. Adenosine is so effective at regulating blood pressure that it is included in several heart medications. The compound works best when taken regularly, so make sure your loved one includes garlic in at least one meal a day for optimal effects.

Some seniors need help preparing healthy meals. In New Hampshire, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

4. Reduces the Risk of Cancer

Consuming garlic and other allium vegetables can lower risks for certain types of cancer because they have an anti-inflammatory effect. These anti-inflammatory compounds protect the body from damage on a cellular level. Garlic consumption is particularly helpful for reducing risks of cancer in the stomach, colon, and other regions of the digestive tract. It has also been linked to lower levels of breast, pancreas, and prostate cancer.

5. Manages Inflammatory Pain

Because garlic contains a lot of anti-inflammatory compounds, it is excellent for managing certain types of pain. Garlic contains quercetin, a type of flavonoid that can reduce inflammation due to arthritis, ulcers, and other issues. For seniors with constant pain, garlic can be a viable alternative to painkillers.

6. Increases Micronutrient Absorption

Micronutrients are essential for proper bodily functioning. Seniors are frequently deficient in micronutrients, and eating garlic can be an excellent way to increase selenium, copper, and manganese intake. These three micronutrients are necessary for the formation of the immune system, thyroid, blood clots, and hormones.

If your busy schedule can’t accommodate extra attention to your aging loved one’s diet, consider hiring a professional caregiver. New Hampshire respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed. To learn about our in-home care plans, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (603) 471-3004 today.