Garlic Greatness


December 5, 2012

Care of Amy Symington

Although often criticized for its stanky breath and garlicky sweat inducing qualities, Allium Sativum, also known as garlic, is definitely worth the potential risk of losing friends. Here is why.
It is a prebiotic.  Firstly, what the heck is a “prebiotic”?  Well, it is a non-digestible food that stimulates the growth of good bacteria (bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria) that exists in the small and large intestines. Simply stated, a prebiotic improves the host’s health by improving their metabolism. In turn, this increases the absorption of vitamins and minerals, and reduces the risk of colon cancer and potentially most illnesses. Raw garlic is an example of a prebiotic.
It is an immune booster.  When crushed or chewed, garlic releases a compound called allicin that has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties, which is why it is often used to combat those nasty winter illnesses. What is even better than that, garlic helps in preventing said illnesses from occurring in the first place. It is also used to fight fungal infections like thrush, combat bacteria related digestive disorders and doubles as a disinfectant.
It is good for your heart. Garlic reduces the presence of lipids in the blood, which if high, could potentially have detrimental effects on one’s heart health. The consumption of garlic can aid in reducing this risk of heart related illnesses by lowering LDL cholesterol and decreasing the risk of hypertension, insulin resistance and Atherosclerosis. These are more than a few reasons to whole-heartedly love garlic.
It is a flavour enhancer. Instead of slathering on the oil or adding handfuls of salt, add some garlic to boost your food’s flavour. It’s inexpensive, better for your ticker and a little goes a long way. You can put it in almost everything. Bruschetta, homemade bread, salsa, stuffed olives, ANY soup, “cream” sauces, sauces in general, stuffing, marinades, (name a vegetable) gratin, nut loafs, or roasted on its own and eaten solo. Try to name a savoury dish that wouldn’t benefit from the addition of garlic. It’s pretty difficult.
So, in conclusion, after screaming from the roof top about how fantastic it is for your health as well as its magical culinary enhancing skills you can guarantee that you will in fact, make (not lose) friends with garlic!  Bon appetite!

Filed under: Eat Veg elifelines Food of the Month Nutrition