There have been many claims to fame for the humble garlic pod.
It is an ancient herb that has featured prominently in various cooking styles around the world. Garlic is an herb that is related to the onion, chive and leek family of bulbs. Garlic grows underground with a leafy overgrowth found above the earth’s surface. Making use of garlic in cooking is a great way to ensure good health.
There are numerous varieties of garlic available the world over, but the two common varieties of garlic are the hard and soft neck garlic; t. Garlic has two primary ingredients that contribute to good health allicin and diallyl sulphide. While there are many health benefits to consuming garlic as part of one’s regular diet, there are many unproven claims as well.
Modern science has helped highlight the powerful antibiotic properties of garlic. Bacteria found in the human body appear unable to combat the effectiveness of garlic and its antibiotic properties. In other words bacteria are unable to develop resistance to garlic.
Aged garlic has been the subject of study for its antioxidant properties. Garlic helps the body fight against the damage caused by free radicals. A large number of people prefer to take garlic supplements to avoid the harsh taste and bad breath of garlic. However, adding garlic to cooking is one of the best ways to consume garlic in its natural form.
Adding garlic to food may help in managing cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It can also help to lower risk of blood clots and maintain a healthy heart. There have been studies conducted in America and Australia to show that consuming garlic in food helps to prevent blood clots that lead to heart attack and stroke. The allicin in garlic is the agent that lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
During World War I the antibacterial and antiparasitic properties of garlic were revealed to the full. Infections and amoebic dysentery that plagued soldiers were successfully treated with garlic thanks to the allicin present. When garlic is chopped, crushed or chewed, the allicin compound is released together with allinase, an enzyme. Together they produce the allicin chemical that has a variety of health benefits. More recently, modern studies show the association of garlic in helping to destroy potentially dangerous bacteria such as salmonella causing food poisoning and other bacteria associated with urinary tract infections and tuberculosis.
Tip: leave garlic to rest for 10 minutes after crushing or chopping prior to cooking. This enhances the formation of the chemical allicin