Pop Quiz! – What food can fight cancer, ward off vampires and is a cousin to the onion? You are right-Garlic!
The word garlic comes from Old English garleac, meaning “spear leek.” Dating back over 6,000 years, it is native to Central Asia and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Egyptians worshiped garlic and placed clay models of garlic bulbs in the tomb of Tutankhamen. Garlic was so highly-prized, it was even used as currency.
Folklore holds that garlic repelled vampires, protected against the Evil Eye, and warded off jealous nymphs said to terrorize pregnant women and engaged maidens. And let us not forget to mention the alleged powers of garlic which have been extolled through the ages.
Surprisingly, garlic was frowned upon by foodie snobs in the United States until the first quarter of the twentieth century, being found almost exclusively in ethnic dishes in working-class neighborhoods. But, by 1940, America had embraced garlic, finally recognizing its value as not only a minor seasoning, but as a major ingredient in recipes.
Quaint diner slang of the 1920’s referred to garlic as Bronx vanilla, halitosis, and Italian perfume. Today, Americans alone consume more than 250 million pounds of garlic annually.
Calorie for calorie, garlic is incredibly nutritious.
A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of garlic contains:
- Manganese: 23% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B6: 17% of the RDA.
- Vitamin C: 15% of the RDA.
- Selenium: 6% of the RDA.
- Fiber: 0.6 gram.
- Decent amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1Garlic also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. In fact, it contains a little bit of almost everything we need.
Garlic supplementation is known to boost the function of the immune system.
One large 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared with placebo.
The average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from 5 days in placebo to just 1.5 days in the garlic group.
Another study found that a high dose of garlic extract (2.56 grams per day) can reduce the number of days sick with cold or flu by 61%.
If you often get colds, then adding garlic to your diet could be incredibly helpful.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most important drivers of cardiovascular disease – add some garlic!
Human studies have found garlic supplementation to have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
In one study, aged garlic extract at doses of 600-1,500 mg was just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a 24 week period.
Supplement doses must be fairly high to have these desired effects. The amount of allicin needed is equivalent to about four cloves of garlic per day.
Oxidative damage from free radicals contributes to the aging process – hello garlic to the rescue!
Garlic contains antioxidants that support the body’s protective mechanisms against oxidative damage .
High doses of garlic supplements have been shown to increase antioxidant enzymes in humans, as well as significantly reduce oxidative stress in those with high blood pressure.
The combined effects on reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as the antioxidant properties, may help prevent common brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
At high doses, the sulfur compounds in garlic have been shown to protect against organ damage from heavy metal toxicity.
A four week study in employees of a car battery plant (excessive exposure to lead) found that garlic reduced lead levels in the blood by 19%. It also reduced many clinical signs of toxicity, including headaches and blood pressure.
Three doses of garlic each day even outperformed the drug D-penicillamine in symptom reduction. Mother Nature at work!
OK- I could go on for days about the benefits of garlic. You can read more about these studies in the article By Joe Leech, Dietitian at https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-garlic/
The most important thing is start eating garlic! Remember it’s high in sulfur so for some a little goes a long ways.
Always listen to your body- it knows best!
Come By Cuisine for Healing and try our Organic Spice Mix- it is fabulous! Hurry over- it will fly off the shelf!
Happy Healthy Eating