The Amazing Benefits of Garlic!

Garlic has been known to be one the world’s most enjoyed foods primarily coming from China, Egypt and India in early centuries.  Although a good portion of the garlic production is done in these countries, garlic has the ability to grow in diverse conditions and each culture has been using it in different ways. You can even grow it in your own backyard.

Whether you are looking for the extra flavor of garlic in your food or the health benefits, the demand for garlic has grown. In the 1970’s, Americans were consuming just half a pound of garlic each year. Today, that number has risen to close to two pounds of garlic per adult per year.

Unless you are cooking your dishes yourself, you will be hard pressed to find a product that doesn’t include garlic in it – either fresh, minced or as a garlic spice. For example, Italians use quite a bit of garlic in traditional tomato sauces.

Garlic itself is made up of cloves that can be easily pulled apart depending on how much garlic you need. Each clove can then be cut or crushed to be added to any dish. Not only has it been used to add extra flavor it’s been used as a natural medicinal ingredient for centuries, both in its fresh plant form and as a supplement.

 

What makes it so good?

One of the sayings is ‘garlic keeps the vampires away’ – meaning you won’t have to visit the doctors as often for blood tests. But you might be wondering what makes garlic so good that might make those doctor’s visits a little more tolerable? Let’s look – The sulfur compounds in garlic serve as its spotlight nutrients. Garlic is an excellent source of manganese and vitamin B6. It is also a very good source of vitamin C and copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B1 and calcium.

 

A great way to do garlic!

 

Your Body Will Thank You

  1. Immune System Boost – it was first discovered to be an immune system boost during the first world war to fight gangrene but it works wonders on our modern-day colds and flu. The antioxidants in garlic keep your immune system in tip top shape.
  2. Improved Heart Health – Garlic is your respiratory and circulatory systems best friend. Garlic will help those with high blood pressure and cholesterol as well as heart and artery disease. Studies have shown that this is done through the sulfide gas that garlic produces when mixed with red blood cells and helps to expand your blood vessels resulting in more steady blood pressure. As well as fewer clogged arteries.
  3. Reduce Inflammation – if you have inflammation, try garlic before over the counter meds if possible. There is four sulphuric compounds found in garlic that have been proven to reduce inflammation. This can be done by include garlic in everyday diets to applying topically – usually with garlic oil in this case.
  4. Prevent Food Poisoning – if you have a fear of food poisoning, garlic might be able to help. Although garlic isn’t a substitute for proper cooking and cleaning procedures, garlic is equipped with anti-bacterial properties that kill bacteria such as salmonella and e.coli.

 

Garlic in the Kitchen

When working with garlic in the kitchen, you want to make sure you are working with a good head of garlic. You know that is a good one in a few different ways: if it’s starting to sprout it’s getting older, if it is damp or squishy – you probably don’t want to use it.

There are many ways you can cook with garlic. You can eat it raw which will allow you to get the most nutrients from each clove. If you are cooking with it raw, you will want to remove the skin and cut off each end. After you have done that you will want to crush your garlic. This can be done with a press or very finely chopping the garlic. By crushing the garlic, you will take advantage of the release alliinase enzymes which are another health benefit and really bring out the flavours in your dish.

If you can’t stomach the taste or smell of raw garlic and prefer to cook it, you will want to again finely chop the clove. But you will want to add the garlic toward the end of cooking your dish. Over cooking your garlic will cause it to become bitter and it no longer has the added health benefits you are looking for.

Now, there’s probably a select few of you that will say, ‘I don’t like the taste and smell of garlic raw or cooked’. But you still want the benefits. There is something for you. You can visit your local pharmacy for a garlic supplement that is tasteless and odorless. You won’t get all the nutrients as raw garlic but you will be able to take advantage of some!

Take your dishes to the next level with garlic!

References

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/09/25/benefits-of-garlic_n_3990616.html

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60#howtouse

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