I love the flavour of garlic and use it in cooking all the time. But what does this vampire repellent food have to offer in the health and nutrition stakes?
So here is the thing about garlic – there appears to be no ‘down-side’ or no debate as to its nutritional value. The overwhelming information available about garlic points to it being high up the nutritional scale. Evidence based studies show that garlic can be effective against high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, colds and even some cancers.
Even history loves garlic. For centuries garlic has been used for its medicinal benefits. Here is a little bit of food history for you. Garlic was used by the Sumerians as medicine as far back as 2600 BC. More recently, it was used during the world wars to fight gangrene.
Garlic contains vitamins C, B6, manganese, selenium and other antioxidants. Antioxidants play an important role in our health including helping to boost our immune systems. The most notable of these antioxidants in garlic is allicin. Allicin is a sulphur and offers a host of health benefits ranging from being antibacterial to anti-fungal. Allicin is formed when garlic cloves are crushed, chewed or cut and is most available when the garlic is eaten raw. Therefore it is important to keep this in mind when taking garlic to get the maximum health kick from it.
For the brave among you, you can chew raw garlic cloves on their own. However, as it is so easy to use raw garlic as an ingredient, I prefer to take this approach to incorporating it into my diet. I usually put a clove through my juicer when I am making my juice or crush some into my morning smoothie. Both are really easy ways to get a hit of allicin without having to go to too much effort. Raw garlic adds great flavour to salad dressings and dips and sauces. I use it in my basic salad dressing, hummus recipe and guacamole recipe. I must eat about 3 or 4 cloves a day and think it might be an idea to up my intake of parsley for my garlic breath. Parsley helps neutralise the odour of garlic. For the brave among you, you can always chew some raw garlic, but I perfer to incorporate it into my diet.,
Add to all of this the claims that garlic is an aphrodisiac and I cannot understand why this wonderfood is not top of everyone’s shopping list.