Health & Lifestyle

Health & Lifestyle

Garlic: The top benefits, nutritional values, Uses, and storage

Garlic is a part of the onion family and the ‘bulb’ of this herb typically consists of 10-20 smaller sections called the ‘cloves’. Each small clove is a powerhouse of flavor as well as medicinal properties.  Native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran, it experiences a common seasoning worldwide, with a history of several thousand years of human consumption and use. Known to ancient Egyptians, and used both as a food flavoring and as traditional medicine. In Ancient Rome, it was “much used for food among the poor”.China produces 80% of the world’s supply of garlic. It (Allium sativum) is a strong-smelling, pungent-tasting herb. This is a close relative of onion and is native to Central Asia.

  Use it as a food-flavoring agent and as traditional medicine. The health benefits of this are aplenty. It is a part of the onion family and the ‘bulb’ of this herb typically consists of 10-20 smaller sections called the ‘cloves’. Each small clove is a powerhouse of flavour as well as medicinal properties.

Prevention of Heart Disease


Consuming it on a daily basis (in food or raw) helps to lower cholesterol levels because of the antioxidant properties of Allicin. It is also immensely beneficial to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This can lower total and LDL cholesterol.
It seems to have no significant effects on triglyceride levels.

Anti-bacterial and Anti-parasitic


One of the best kept medicinal treasures of the past era – use it as an antibiotic to treat bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections for the last 7,000 years.

 Cancer Prevention


Daily consumption of garlic prevents the stomach and colorectal cancers. It strengthens the immunity of the body against cancer.

For Skin and Hair


It protects the skin from the effect of free radicals and slow down the depletion of collagen which leads to loss of elasticity in aging skin. Applied topically, it does wonders to skin infected with fungal infections and provides relief from skin ailments like eczema. It is also an effective remedy for fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ringworms.

The Active Compounds in Garlic Can Reduce Blood Pressure


It reduces high blood pressure and protects from various cardiovascular diseases.

They Contain Antioxidants That May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia


It contains antioxidants that support the body’s protective mechanisms against oxidative damage.
High doses of garlic supplements increase antioxidant enzymes in humans, as well as significantly reduce oxidative stress in those with high blood pressure.
The combined effects on reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as the antioxidant properties, may reduce the risk of common brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

It May Help You Live Longer


It could help you live longer.
The fact that it can fight infectious disease is also an important factor, because these are common causes of death, especially in the elderly or people with dysfunctional immune systems.

Reduces Hypertension


This is an herbal ingredient for lowering high blood pressure. When exposed to high levels of pressure, the allicin present in it relaxes the blood vessels. It also fights against thrombosis by reducing platelet aggregation.

Prevents Heavy Metal Poisoning


High doses of garlic can prevent organ damage caused by heavy metals. The sulfur compounds in this herb drastically reduce lead levels in the blood. Additionally, it also prevents the signs of toxicity such as headaches and blood pressure. Sulfur also aids in better absorption of iron and zinc in the blood.

Bone Health


Herbs like garlic and onion impact estrogen levels in menopausal women, preventing the risk of osteoarthritis. They also minimize bone loss and improve overall bone health.

Eye Care


It is rich in nutrients like selenium, quercetin, and vitamin C, all of which help treat eye infections and inflammation.

Relieves Ear Aches


This herb due to its antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic properties commonly used for giving relief from earaches and ear infections .

Weight Loss


Garlic aids in weight loss and reducing obesity. It reduces the expression of genes that are involved in adipogenesis, which leads to the formation of fat cells.  The herb increases thermogenesis, which helps burn fat and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

Prevents Fatty Liver


Garlic, rich in S-allyl-mercapto cysteine (SAMC) and antioxidants, helps prevent fatty liver. These compounds also reduce the risk of hepatic injury.

Eating it on an empty stomach makes it a powerful natural antibiotic. It is more effective when you eat it before breakfast because bacteria is exposed and cannot defend itself from succumbing to its power. Avocado, carrots, chicken, coconut, couscous, eggs, fish sauce, lamb, noodles, seafood, shallots, soy sauce & tomato. Beans, beef, chicken, lamb, mushrooms, onions, pasta, potatoes, pork, seafood, spinach, tomatoes & bread. Beef, carrot, chicken, fish, tea, sweet potato, pineapple & seafood wIll go well with garlic.

Ways to use garlic-

The herb can be consumed raw but the taste is so potent that people usually prefer cooking it or adding it to various dishes.

  • It can be chopped, crushed, sliced, or juices.
  • It can be used in salads, soups, stews, vegetable, fish, and meat.
  • Roast garlic and then mix into your favorite vinegar, and oil blend for a delicious salad dressing.
  • Add flavor to your olive oil by dicing garlic and adding it with pepper, let it sit for a while before use to let the flavors fully mix into the oil.

How to buy and store garlic

  • The garlic bulb should be firm with papery dry skin and have no sprouting. Soft bulbs indicate over-ripe garlic that will not store for very long.
  • Avoid shriveled garlic bulbs or those that are stored in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
  • Refrigerating it is a bad idea as it causes the bulb to deteriorate. Refrigerating garlic bulbs adds moisture and can cause the bulb to grow moldy.
  • If you have chopped or minced fresh garlic, you can store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container for a short period, but use it as soon as possible.
  • Freezing is not recommended, because it changes the consistency and flavor of the garlic.
  • Garlic bulbs can be kept in a mesh or wire basket, a small bowl with ventilation holes or even a paper bag.
  • Do not store fresh garlic bulbs in plastic bags or sealed containers. This can cause mold and sprouting.
  • Keep your garlic away from sunlight and moisture to avoid sprouting.
  • New season garlic has a milder flavor than regular garlic and can be used in place of onions and leeks in cooking.

Uses of garlic

For hair growth:

Rub sliced cloves of garlic on your scalp, squeezing as you go for the most benefit. You can also infuse oil with garlic and massage it into your scalp. In addition to preventing hair loss, using garlic like this also acts as one of the most effective dandruff remedies out there. Rubbing crushed garlic extract on your scalp or massaging with garlic-infused oil is known to prevent and even reverse hair loss.

Sore Throat:

It is an invaluable medicine for asthma, hoarseness, coughs, difficulty of breathing, and most other disorders of the lungs, being of particular virtue in chronic bronchitis, on account of its powers of promoting expectoration.

Asthma:

An older remedy for asthma, that was most popular, is a syrup of Garlic, made by boiling the garlic bulbs till soft and adding an equal quantity of vinegar to the water in which they have been boiled, and then sugared and boiled down to a syrup. The syrup is then poured over the boiled garlic bulbs, which have been allowed to dry meanwhile, and kept in a jar. Each morning a bulb or two should be taken, with a spoonful of the syrup.

Ear Infections:

Wrap a small piece of garlic in some tissue, and insert it into the ear. Leave it there overnight if possible. Pain is almost immediately removed and the infection tends to start clearing up overnight.

Scratchy Throat:

Put a small slice of garlic in your mouth and suck on it for 10-15 minutes. You can put it between your teeth and cheek, then scratch it with your teeth a little to help stimulate juice from the garlic slice. This juice slides down your throat and removes the pain.

Insect Bites:

It can heal the pain caused by insect bites like those of scorpions and centipedes. The juice of fresh garlic mixed with salt can be applied to bruises, sprains, and ringworms.

Colds:

At the first sign of a cold, chop up 4 cloves of raw garlic and eat or use it as a garnish in soups etc.

Toothache:

Cut raw garlic and rub the cut edge on the tooth and gums a couple of times a day to stop toothache.

Warts:

Take fresh garlic cloves and crush them, apply to warts until they disappear.

Garlic Breath Tip:

Crush a clove or two onto a dessert spoon then add olive oil and down the hatch. you get the benefits of raw garlic with none of the breath issues.

Sinuses:

Melt some butter and add minced garlic cloves, spread on toast and eat.

Herpes:

Take a garlic clove and cut in half. Eat one half and take the other half and rub into the affected areas. (may sting a little)

Rashes:

Use raw garlic juice on rashes and bug bites, it stops the itching immediately.

Coughts:

8 to 10 of garlic juice mixed with 2 TBLS of honey four times a day cures a persistent cough.

Tonsillitis:

Peel a clove of garlic and cut them in half lengthwise. Boil for a couple of minutes in about 1.5 cup water and add a pinch of salt, teaspoon of butter, a pinch of pepper and sprinkle with nutmeg.

BloatingConstipation:

Cut a garlic clove into small pieces. Swallow them all in one go with a little water to cure bloating, stomach cramps and constipation.

Asthma Cure:

10 drops of garlic juice with 2 teaspoon of honey cures asthma.

How to make garlic paratha

Ingredients-

Wheat flour 2 cups.

Garlic, crushed 8 cloves.
Rice flour 1 tablespoon.
Ghee 2 tablespoon.
Pepper crushed 1 teaspoon.
Cumin powder 1 teaspoon.
Dry mango powder 1 teaspoon.
Salt to taste.
Oil 1 tablespoon.


Directions


Take a bowl, add whole wheat flour, salt, oil, water makes this into soft dough, keep it aside.
Take a bowl add ghee, salt, rice flour and mix well.
Then add cumin powder, crushed pepper powder, amchur powder, crushed garlic and mix it properly.
Divide the dough into equal portions, Roll out each portion into thin round roti. Then expand it lengthwise.
Spread the mixture over the roti and fold it like a fan.
Then press with hand, using rolling pin roll the paratha thin round.
On the hot tawa cook the paratha, by applying ghee till brown spots appears on both the sides .

Season Of availability

It is available all year-round.

 How to make garlic rice

Ingredients needed



   Rice (basmati or regular white rice)- 1 cup
   Garlic – 12 cloves (50 grams)
   Pearl onions/ shallots- 8-10
   Ginger -1/2 inch piece
   Curry leaves -few
   Tamarind – a small pea sized ball or 1/2 tsp flat tamarind paste

   Urad dal – 1 tbsp
   Bengal gram/chana dal -1 tsp
   Red chillies -4-5
   Hing/ asafoetida – a pinch
   Sesame seed oil – 2 tbsp
   Salt as needed



   For the seasoning


   Oil – 1 tsp
   Mustard seeds -1/2 tsp
   Curry leaves – few


Preparation



Soak basmati rice for 20 minutes. Drain the water completely and cook rice in 2 cups of water. See to it that each grain is separate. Spread it on a plate to cool.

Peel garlic and onion.


Method


Heat oil in a pan, add urad dal, chana dal and saute until it turns golden brown. Remove from pan. In the same pan, saute red chillies for a few seconds and remove it.

In the same pan, saute onion and garlic until onion turns translucent. Add ginger, curry leaves, hing, tamarind, salt needed and saute for a few more minutes. Leave it to cool.

Grind dal along with red chillies first to a smooth paste. Then add the mixture and grind it slightly coarse.

Heat oil in a pan/kadai, add mustard seeds, when it splutters, add curry leaves, cooked rice, ground paste and mix it well gently. Remove from heat.

Delicious and healthy Garlic rice is ready. Serve it with papads, chips or potato fry.

Safety profile



1. Asthma patients should not consume it as it may have side-effects.

2. It should be avoided before surgeries or medical operations.

3. Do not consume more than 2-3 garlic cloves in a day without consulting a doctor.

4.Excess intake of this herb may cause irritation in the digestive system.

5. Excess of it can cause redness, swelling, or blistering.

6. This might also cause a condition called pemphigus, an autoimmune disease.

7. It’s overdose could also cause kidney hematomas (swelling of clotted blood within the tissues of kidneys), chemical burns in the mouth and life-threatening allergic reactions.

8. Garlic breath and body odor were two of the most common adverse effects associated with it.

9. Consuming it on an empty stomach can also cause diarrhea.

10. It can lead to a condition called hyphema, which refers to bleeding inside the eye chamber – the space between the iris and the cornea.

Garlic  Fun Facts

  1. It has germanium in it. Germanium is an anti-cancer agent, and garlic has more of it than any other herb. In lab tests, mice fed garlic showed no cancer development, whereas mice that weren’t fed garlic showed at least some.

2. It has been shown to retard tumor growth in human subjects in some parts of the world.
3. Garlic and onions are toxic to cats and dogs.
4. It can thin the blood similar to the effect of aspirin.
5. Drinking lemon juice or eating a few slices of lemon will stop bad garlic breath.
6. It is traditional to plant garlic on the shortest day of the year. Whether this is for symbolic or practical reasons is unclear.

7. The smell of this can be removed by running your hands under cold water while rubbing a stainless steel object.

8. It is a member of the onion family which also includes leeks and shallots.
9. Its pungent flavor is due to a chemical reaction that occurs when the garlic cells are broken. The flavor is most intense just after mincing.
10. The majority of it (90%) grown in the United States comes from California.

Did You Know?

11. It has been used to infuse vodka and as an ingredient to make cocktails.

12.  China grows a staggering two-thirds of the world’s garlic, believed to be around 46 billion pounds per year.

13. There are some people who are really afraid of garlic. This is basically a phobia and there is a technical term for it. It is called ‘Alliumphobia’.

14. Chicagoua’ is a Native American word for a variant of wild garlic. It is this word from where the name Chicago has been derived!
15. Keep you dogs and cats away from it. It is toxic for them!

16. In USA, there is something called National Garlic Day. It is celebrated on April 19 every year.

17. It is believed that in ancient Egypt, the builders of the Great Pyramid of Giza were given garlic to eat so that they can get endurance and strength.

Some more facts

18. There are some Buddhist traditions in which garlic (plus another 5 pungent spices) is thought to be stimulants of aggressive behavior and sexual desires and hence, eating it is forbidden. Consumption of the other 5 pungent spices is also forbidden.
19. Muslims are not allowed to go to mosques right after eating this. This law is based on several hadith.
20. In Hinduism, it is considered to warm up one’s body and also stimulate it. It is because of this, many devout Hindus avoid using garlic and even onion in preparation of food.

21. In those countries where Nowruz is celebrated, garlic is one of the Seven-Seen table items. Nowruz is New Year in Persian calendar and Seven-Seen is a traditional display during New Year.

22. Cultivation of this started some 4,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest and first herbs to be cultivated by human.

24. During Tutankhamun’s reign, 15 pounds of garlic could be used for purchasing a healthy slave!

25.  Did you know that Hippocrates of Greece used to treat cervical cancer with garlic vapors?

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