So, just how healthy is garlic for you? Let’s look at all the benefits but before we do, we need to answer this question: Is garlic a spice or herb?
Garlic is neither an herb nor spice but a bulb considered a vegetable because of its leaves which are also edible. It is seldom eaten on its own but predominantly mixed with other seasonings in food dishes. Raw garlic is most nutritious for you. Just a 3.5 ounce serving provides 33 grams of carbs, 1 gram of sugar, 2.1 grams of fiber, .5 grams of fat, 6.4 grams of protein, plus Vitamins B1, B5, B6, and C and Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, and Zinc.
Studies show that garlic can help regulate blood sugar levels. Please recognize that we do not speak as medical professionals but only share this as helpful information. People taking insulin should always consult their physician before consuming medicinal amounts of garlic. While health advocates proclaim garlic’s beneficial need, the side effects of long-term garlic supplements are still largely unknown, and no FDA-approved study has been performed as yet.
Because of its high Vitamin C content, garlic was found to be an effective way to prevent scurvy in the early 1900’s. Also, during WW I and WW II garlic was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene, and today it is even used as a disinfectant because of its bacteriostatic/bactericidal properties (killing bacteria).
Within the garlic bulb cloves lies a sticky juice used as an adhesive for mending glass and porcelain. Garlic has also been used in Europe as additives to insecticides. The green, dry ‘folds’ in the center of the garlic clove are the most pungent.
GARLIC and HALITOSIS
You may have avoided garlic because it is known for causing bad breath (halitosis). A person’s sweat can even have a strong ‘garlicky’ smell. Both garlicky breath and sweat are caused by allyl methyl sulfide, referred to as AMS. As the body metabolizes the garlic-derived sulfur compounds, it is absorbed into the blood, travels to the lungs, and from there to the mouth causing bad breath and to the pores of the skin where it also exits. Some declare sipping milk when consuming garlic counters halitosis.
Garlic is a natural plant that adds flavor and aroma to your foods. Enjoy the excitement and taste of garlic while enhancing your health.
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GARLIC is on the menu today, so sit down and take in its aroma. An added bonus for adding its flavorful distinction to your cooking is that it is really healthy for you.
Garlic is a member of the lily or Allium family which also includes onions, leeks, shallots, as well as rakkyō – the Japanese cousin to the onion. Llium sativum, is commonly known as garlic. It’s not surprising but garlic is affectionately referred to as the “the stinking rose”.
Garlic history shows that it has been used and cultivated for 5000-7000 years beginning with its native roots in central Asia. Ancient Egyptians were probably the first to cultivate this plant, along with historical evidence that the Babylonians used garlic 4500 years ago. Garlic was introduced into new cultures by migrating tribes and explorers and popularity in many regions throughout Mediterranean areas and eventually Europe and North America. Today South Korea, India, China, Spain, and the United States are the top commercial producers of garlic.
Hippocrates, the ‘Father of Medicine’, wrote 2500 years ago a most likely description of garlic by stating that your food should be your medicine and your medicine your food.
Over the years garlic’s been used not only for medicinal purposes in healing heart disease, arthritis, fatigue, parasites, leprosy but also in culinary food dishes, and even to cover up the smell of certain perfumes. Garlic provides fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. In the early 1800’s, garlic was used as a stimulant, expectorant and tonic. It was Dr. John Gunn in the late 1800’s who specified garlic’s use as a diuretic and for treatment of worms. It is also used to aid in preventing and fighting colds.
Don’t shy away from using garlic. Even taking a garlic supplement can help reduce the accumulation of cholesterol on vascular walls in both humans and animals. Be aware of these cautions.
There are several things to be aware of regarding garlic. Garlic may interact with various medications such as warfarin, antiplatelets, antihypertensives, calcium channel blockers, and some antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin and hypoglycemic drugs. If you take any of these, please don’t eat garlic. Your doctor should give you a list of foods to avoid, so please follow your doctors guidelines.
Also, if you have any known allergies to garlic or other plants in the allium genus including onions, chives, leeks, shallots, garden lilies, ginger, and bananas, please stay clear of garlic as well. An allergic reaction is not to be taken lightly and certainly not fun to endure.
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