3 Reasons Garlic Is Nature’s Healthiest Spice
I was cutting up some nectarine for my 1 year old the other day, and when I tasted one, it tasted like garlic! That my cutting board is permanently flavored with garlic is not surprising because we cook with garlic practically every day. It adds such unique flavor to almost any vegetable or meat dish, and the good news, it’s incredibly good for you!
What Garlic Can Do For You
Some studies show that garlic can help battle high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure and the prevention of certain types of cancers, such as stomach and colon cancer. Preliminary studies have shown that garlic has some ability to slightly lower blood pressure and potentially slow the development of atherosclerosis.
Garlic has very few calories per clove, and adds such full-bodied flavor, it will enhance any savory dish you’re serving up. This little bulb is also a powerhouse of immune-boosting nutrients including manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, and is a good source of thiamin or vitamin B1, phosphorus, selenium, calcium, potassium, iron and copper. How cool that you are seasoning your meal and supporting your health at the same time!
It Comes Back Every Year
Grown for its underground root or bulb, garlic contains health promoting phyto-nutrient substances that have proven benefits against coronary artery diseases, infections and cancers. Once you plant garlic you can expect to see it pop up again and again because it is a perennial. Garlic is closely related to onions, chives, leeks and scallions, and gets its characteristic odor from an abundance of sulfur-containing compounds. These compounds are linked to it’s amazing healing benefits, it’s no wonder that garlic has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years!
Chop It Up!
Garlic contains an abundance of antioxidants and sulfur compounds formed from a substance called allicin. When garlic bulbs are chopped or crushed, this compound changes into other active compounds which give garlic its taste and smell, and are linked to garlic’s purported health benefits. Though many people shy away from eating garlic because they fear the dreaded bad breath that comes along with it, one easy way to avoid any embarrassing odors is to make sure that everyone around you eats plenty of garlic too. They won’t notice any strong smell coming from your mouth, and they’ll be consuming an age old health remedy too!
Prove your love by roasting up an entire bulb of garlic–I actually do one bulb per person, minimum.
Easy Tip to Roasted Garlic:
Cut the pointy end of the bulb of garlic so that the tops of the cloves are exposed. Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper and drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Let the oil soak in until the oven is pre-heated to 350 degrees. Using your finger, spread the oil around the exposed bulbs and the upper part of the skin. On a foil-lined baking sheet, turn the cloves CUT SIDE DOWN and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven, let cool for 20 or 30 minutes, then serve with crusty whole-grain bread, goat cheese (or some other good cheese), and some fancy olives. Just grab bulb and squeeze to release the squishy garlic goodness. Paired with some Sangiovese, you won’t even need a main course!
Let us know what you think, or how you like to include garlic in your favorite meals, by leaving a comment below!