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Garlic: Thousands of Years Old
Garlic has been used as both a medicine and a spice for thousands of years. Egyptian tombs may have the oldest visible records of garlic’s existence in burial chambers in El Mahasna. Archeologists discovered clay sculptures of garlic bulbs dating about 3700 BCE in one tomb, while paintings of garlic were found in another tomb dating about 3200 BCE.
Nutritional Benefits of Garlic
Garlic is a mini-storehouse of minerals. Manganese, copper, iron, zinc, sulfur, calcium, aluminum, chlorine, and selenium are all part of the minerals contained in garlic. One hundred grams, or 3 1/2 ounces, of fresh garlic will supply the following:
- Copper 0.30 mg
- Iron 1.7 mg
- Manganese 1.12 mg
- Phosphorous 153 mg
- Selenium 14.2 mg
- Zinc 1.16 mg
Those three garlic cloves comprise a surprising nutritional profile. For instance, they register trace levels of most B vitamins with the exception of vitamin B12. They have a vitamin C content of 2.8 mg and 16.3 mg of calcium. The magnesium and potassium content weighs in at 2.3 mg and 36.1 mg respectively.
Though garlic is a nutritionally endowed food, it is only consumed in small amounts. One shouldn’t expect to gain large doses of vitamins from a clove or two of garlic.
Garlic can fight arterial plaque, improve the elasticity of arteries, and reduce blood clotting and slightly lower cholesterol, triglycerides and high blood pressure.
Side effects include allergic reaction, upset stomach and increased blood-clotting time. Taking with aspirin or coumadin might increase chances of prolonged bleeding.
Avoid garlic for at least one week pre-surgery.
Recommended doses: Garlic powder (standardized): 200mg to 300mg, three times daily. AGE (>Aged Garlic Extract): 300mg to 800mg, three times a day.
Garlic and Cancer
Several studies suggest a link between garlic intake and a reduced risk of cancer. To find out if garlic really has cancer-protective powers deserving of a labeling health claim, researchers from Korea evaluated 19 of the most well-controlled human studies. They found some limited evidence that garlic intake may play a role in reducing the risk of colon, prostate, esophageal, larynx, oral, ovary and kidney cancers. However, they found no credible evidence to support a link between garlic intake and a reduced risk of stomach, breast, lung or endometrial cancers.
Most of the studies were conducted with supplements. Garlic eaten as a food is difficult to measure in the small amounts generally consumed and several factors affect garlic’s beneficial compounds – such as how the garlic is prepared – making it difficult to know just how relevant even this careful evaluation is. Researchers will continue to study the garlic-cancer connection potential.
The Goodness Of Garlic
Garlic, the cousin of the onion, enhances the taste of many foods. When cooking, break apart the head of garlic and remove the skin from individual cloves before chopping.
Note: The smaller you chop garlic, the stronger the flavor.
Garlic Quick Tip: To peel garlic quickly, snip the pointed end off individual cloves and microwave them for 10 to 15 seconds.
Garlic Mustard Recipe
If you’re a garlic fan, try this delicious recipe – great on just about anything but exceptionally good on sandwiches!
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 jar (8 ounce) Dijon-style mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano leaves
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place garlic in a small baking dish and drizzle with oil. Roast 20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently until garlic is soft. Mash garlic, removing any tough pieces. Combine with other ingredients and refrigerate overnight to blend flavors. Recipe makes 1 cup.
Read More: Essential Nutrients