Garlic: The Magic Pill?

Veggie of the Week

Garlic: The Magic Pill?

Fresh garlic bulbsWhat is Garlic?

A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat.
–Yiddish proverb

The Stinking Rose or Russian penicillin, as garlic is also called, is a member of the lily family. The bulb, which grows underground, is the most used part of the plant, but the leaves, called scapes, are also edible and give off a lighter flavour and scent. The bulb is made up of many cloves (usually around 8-10).

Under the Spotlight

Garlic (Alium sativum) is rich in nutrients and is best known for being:

  • An excellent source of vitamin B6
  • A very good source of selenium, manganese and vitamin C
  • A good source of copper, iron, calcium, potassium and phosphorus

It’s active ingredients, among more, include:

  • Sulphur-containing compounds such as allicin (responsible for the odour and most health benefits), diallyl disulphide and diallyl trisulphide
  • Trace minerals selenium, germanium
  • Glucosinolates
  • Enzymes

Benefits to Your Health

The benefits of garlic are great and it’s impossible to list everything here, but the key ones are:

  • Protects against heart disease and atherosclerosis (furring up of the arteries)
  • Lowers total cholesterol (but raises the ‘good’ HDL)
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Fights infections as it’s a powerful antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral (including fungus like candida, virusses such as herpes simplex and bacteria like salmonella and helicobacter pylori (h. pylori)
  • May protect against colon, stomach and intestinal cancers and stop the growth of colon cancer cells once they develop
Instructions on growing your own garlic

Courtesy of Your Market Garden

Start Now!

  1. When you develop a cold/flu/infection don’t go running for antibiotics, but rather include more garlic in your diet, especially raw
  2. Macerate (infuse) garlic in olive oil for a week and use it in dressings
  3. Add a clove of garlic every time you cook to reap its benefits. START SLOWLY…if you’ve never eaten it, it will seem strong at first so try 1/4 of a garlic clove, next time 1/2 and so on
  4. Roast a couple of bulbs of garlic in the oven and then squeeze the soft garlic into a few cups of cooked potatoes, add 1/2 cup of olive oil and mash togther for garlicky deliciousness
  5. Try growing garlic yourself in pots on the balcony or in your garden in a sunny spot

Recipe Challenge

Join our Recipe Challenge and make a recipe from this and the other three Veggies of the Week in this month. We’ll be choosing a recipe randomly and turning it into a video. Find out more here!

Have a look at last week’s Veggie of the Week.

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