Garlic is a species in the onion family Alliaceae, together with the onion, shallot, leek, chive and rakkyo. This plant has been used for a long time for medical and culinary purposes. Garlic plant’s bulb is most frequently used as its clove contain strong and characteristic spicy flavor. The leaves and even the flowers are also edible, but they are usually consumed while still immature and tender. Garlic is relatively easy to grow and it is available all over the world, throughout the whole year.
How to use garlic
Garlic is wonderful for adding aroma, taste, and nutrition to various dishes. Besides the great taste, garlic contains amazing health benefits, and it is relatively easily incorporated to the daily diet. Garlic will provide maximum health benefits if used fresh, chopped or pressed. However, most of the people have difficulties tolerating raw garlic. These people should add chopped garlic to food, and it is best to add it towards the end of the cooking process. To get the maximum health benefits from it, one should let it sit for a while after shopping or crushing it. Otherwise, garlic will lose some of its cancer-protective properties and be less beneficial to health.
Nutritional value of garlic
Garlic is loaded with the sulfur compounds and all of them function as powerful antioxidants able to fight against free radicals and prevent many serious health conditions. Some of these sulfur compounds are responsible for anti-inflammatory benefits of garlic. Garlic is a great source of manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. It is a good source of protein and vitamin B1, as well as the minerals phosphorus, selenium, calcium, potassium, and copper. A portion of raw garlic, weighing approximately 100 grams, contains somewhere about 149 calories.
Health benefits of garlic
Garlic has numerous therapeutic benefits. Garlic contains a variety of sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible both for its characteristically strong odor and its health promoting effects. Garlic is claimed to help prevent heart diseases such as including atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and hypotension. Regular use of garlic can lower blood triglycerides and cholesterol levels. This modest plant can also protect blood cells and blood vessels from inflammatory and oxidative damage. Not that it just prevents the blood vessels from becoming blocked, but it also prevents formation of the clots inside the blood vessels. Compound called allicin, and found in garlic, is able to help prevent contraction of our blood vessels and increases in blood pressure. In other words, garlic lowers the blood pressure.
The most prominent health benefits of garlic are its antibacterial and antiviral properties. This vegetable can control infections by bacteria, viruses and other microbes including yeasts and worms. Crushed garlic can also prevent future infections and strengthen the immune system.