Making Garlic Your Partner Towards Healthy Living
There is a very old saying that states “you are what you eat.” What we eat definitely tells a lot about who we are, what our lifestyle is and how invested we are in caring for or health. A lot of us are very much conscious with what we eat. But sometimes we fail to see how much particular ingredient of a meal we eat can work wonders for our health.
More often than not, those small, affordable and delicious food ingredients are taken for granted and are more or less coined as “underrated.” Now that you figured this important fact out, you need to pay more particular attention to each and every item you put in your meal and most especially in your mouth. This is where the famous garlic ingredient steps in. It does not only give off a delectable taste and scent but it can be a very potent medicine against many aliments. It can even make you even healthier. How you say? Read along to find out everything you need to know about this medicinal wonder.
What is Garlic?
Garlic is basically a bulbous plant which means that its plant produces a bulb that is often harvested. It is under the family of “Allium” which is also the same plant family where onion, shallots and leeks are known for. Due to its ease of care and availability, it can be found almost anywhere around the world. Since ancient times, this plant and its “bulb” has been used not only for food flavoring but more so for traditional and herbal medicines.
Garlic has a lot of medicinal component in it and that is why we need to delve into it deeper so that we can clearly know how we can properly benefit from it. Each “bulb” houses around 10 to 20 smaller cloves which houses a power-packed portion full of flavors and bursting with medicinal properties.
Garlic has a chemical compound known as “Allicin”
Allicin is a Sulphur containing compound that is well-known to be a very potent medicinal mineral. It acts as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal warrior and is even rumored to help your body fight against cancer. If you are curious about this particular compound, Allicin causes the strong fragrant that we associate garlic with. And if crushed, eaten or chewed fresh, it becomes even more potent.
Garlic has a high nutritional value and low calories
If measured, each 100 grams of garlic will more or less provide you with 150 calories, 33 grams of carbohydrates and 6.36 grams of protein. Garlic is also now to be enriched with Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc. Basically, we can safely say that garlic gives us a little bit of vitamins, minerals and other nutritional values that we need each day.
Helps you live longer
Overall, garlic helps your body to function properly and aid it in preventing further illnesses from erupting and affecting you. From providing you a boost in metabolism, keeping your skin and hair shiny, smooth and healthy to even making your mental health in check, garlic will assist you in each and every way it can.
Garlic as Medicine
Having all these nutritious factors in just a small clove can give your body such a boost in terms of health. Here are some of the possible health benefits that you can expect when you consume garlic in a daily basis.
It can be used against usual illnesses like the common cold
Garlic has so many vitamins and antioxidants that can give your body a health boost that will prevent common illnesses such as cough, colds, infections, indigestion and many more.
Helps reduce blood pressure level
Consuming about four to five cloves of garlic a day gives your body enough amount of allicin to keep your blood pressure levels normal. In the same principle, most people with high blood pressure levels find garlic supplements very effective.
Lower’s your risk of having heart diseases
The chemical components found in garlic is able to aid your body in properly metabolizing whatever you eat. This, in term, will also aid in lowering your cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels.
Prevents Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Garlic has antioxidants that aid in fighting against free radicals that contributes to the aging process of your body. Consuming a large amount of garlic can protect our body against cell damage and aging that contributes to mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Promotes better athletic performances
Known to be one of the earliest “performance enhancing” herbal substance, garlic can work wonders for your physical performance. Regardless if you are a full time athlete or just someone who wants to become more physically active, garlic can reduce exercise-induced fatigue, enhance your exercise capacity and reduce your peak heart rate during exercise.
Detoxifies your body
Due to garlic’s Sulphur content, it can detoxify your body from certain unwanted heavy metals that our body has absorbed. Consuming high dosage of garlic can protect our body against liver damage and further heavy metal toxicity.
Aid in bone health
Helping your bones become sting using garlic is a possible task to accomplish. Consuming a daily dose of around two grams of garlic can help increase the estrogen level in the body which is beneficial for bone health.
Weight control answer
Garlic’s major component allicin also has a potential to reduce the insulin and triglyceride levels of the body. These two mentioned sugar levels greatly affect your body and makes it gain weight and even cause diabetes.
A lot of studies have stated that ingesting 5 grams of garlic every day blocks the excretion of nitropoline, a very potent enzyme that helps prevent cancer cells from maturing and even developing.
Skin and hair care
Similar to how garlic prevents mental health issues, it also goes for keeping our skin and hair healthy and beautiful. With the help of antioxidants from consuming garlic, your skin and hair are protected from free radicals that can make them weak, loose collagen level and even make them brittle and easily broken. Applying crushed garlic on your skin and scalp is the best way to go of you want a faster result.
Let’s all face it, garlic is probably one of the most versatile ingredient that you can think of. It can be eaten raw, grilled, fried, baked or even roasted. You can even put it in salads, soups, sauces, chicken, and so much more. It is also easy to prepare and cook. Just crush or cut it to let the juices flow out and you are good to go. But if you are just starting to use this delectable delicacy then here are two fun and easy recipes that you can start off with.
Garlic Fried Chicken
- Start off by washing your whole chicken and cutting it to then pieces.
- Mix your garlic (8 cloves), vinegar (250ml), and salt (1 ½ tsp) in a large bowl before adding the chicken.
- Cover the bowl using a cling wrap and marinate it inside your refrigerator for one to two hours. Make sure to mix it every now and then to coat each piece of chicken.
- Fry the chicken after draining the excess marinade from it.
Garlic and Leek Risotto
- Using a saucepan, melt butter with olive oil and shallots (1 shallot), pancetta (4 thinly sliced pieces), and garlic (1 bulb peeled and cut lengthwise). Cook for about five minutes making sure that the ingredients do not change their color.
- Add your rice (100 grams of Arborio rice) and stir thoroughly until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Add your warm stock (500ml chicken stock) a ladle full a time. Make sure to stir it occasionally and allow the rice to cook before adding another ladle.
- After about ten minutes, you can now add the chopped lettuce (half a head of Romanian lettuce) and stir.
- Once the lettuce has wilted, add the chopped leeks (1 whole leek).
- Add the lime juice (1/2 of a lime) and stir in peas (75 grams of frozen peas) as well.
- Check the consistency of your rice and add water if needed.
- Cook for a few more minutes while stirring continuously until your peas are cooked and the rice is already tender.
- Add cheese (4 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese) before serving.
Garlic is such a versatile ingredient that it can work wonders not only to our food but also to our health. So now that you know how healthy this ingredient is, you need to start adding it to your diet immediately. Use your creativity to make delicious meals that has garlic as its star ingredient.