Garlic is a species within the onion genus (Allium) and is closely related to shallots, leeks and chives. During the autumn season, garlic cloves are planted and will be harvested in early spring. Here is a photo of our harvested garlic this spring.
Garlic has been known to be used in cooking and medicinally. For cooking, it adds a spicy and very bold flavor to foods.
Medicinally, we have always heard that it could be used for heart health. But why is that? And is that all it could be used for? Let’s take a look.
The active ingredient in garlic that everyone is so interested in is called allicin.
Medicinal uses for garlic (allicin):
2. Allicin is also well know for lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol which puts you at lower risk for heart attack or stroke.
3. While taking allicin, immune function of lymphocytes in cancer patients improved, production of carcinogens were inhibited and tumor sizes were reduced.
4. Free radicals that may damage endothelial cells may be stopped by aged garlic extract! This means garlic may help with diseases that hurt your endothelial cells like atherosclerosis, diabetes and inflammatory diseases.
Serving: 1 clove (3 g)
Protein: 0.14 g
Carbohydrate: 0.99 g
Fat: 0.02 g
Garlic is only beneficial to your health. It has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduces inflammation of the endothelial cells. What that means is that it reduces swelling of the cells that line your blood vessels which allows better blood flow. So your blood vessels are not so constricted and the opportunity for plaque build up is reduced.
Every chance I get, I add it to recipes. Not only for all the health benefits, but for the savory and spicy flavor!