Oct 15, 2010

Garlic

When I was at the Chesterton Farmers market last weekend I was delighted to meet a man there selling 12 different types of garlic. I had no idea there were so many different types and flavours! I love garlic and add it to almost everything I cook. I ended up trying 4 different varieties and loved them all! I think my favorite was a Creole garlic. Creoles are downright gorgeous to look at and most are amongst the easiest eating raw garlics. Their taste is rich and full but have only very moderate pungency (heat). They have eight to twelve cloves per bulb arranged in a circular configuration. Both the bulb wrappers and the clove covers have a beautiful vivid rose color.  
 Here are some reasons to eat garlic:
1. Garlic may help improve your iron metabolism. That's because the diallyl sulfides in garlic can help increase production of a protein called ferroportin. (Ferroportin is a protein that runs across the cell membrane, and it forms a passageway that allows stored iron to leave the cells and become available where it is needed.)
2. The cardioprotective benefits of garlic may partly rest on the production of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. Our red blood cells can take sulfur-containing molecules in garlic (called polysulfides) and use them to produce H2S. This H2S in turn can help our blood vessels expand and keep our blood pressure in check.
3. Garlic is known to have antiviral properties, which helps the body fight against allergies. Simply take one tablet of garlic supplement each day 2 or 3 weeks before the usual allergy season begins.
4. Studies have shown that taking 600-900mg of garlic everyday lowers cholesterol levels and reduces arterial plaque formation by 5–18%. Therefore, an effective natural remedy is to take one garlic tablet or capsule (600-900mg) once per day.
5. Garlic's antibacterial, analgesic, and anesthetizing properties can help cure toothaches. Simply put some garlic oil or a piece of crushed garlic clove directly onto the affected tooth and the gum for instant relief.
You can increase the health benefits you receive from garlic by letting it sit after you've chopped it or crushed it. If you give your chopped/crushed garlic time to sit before changing its temperature (through cooking) or its pH (through the addition of low-acid foods like lemon juice), it will give the alliinase enzymes in garlic an opportunity to work on behalf of your health. For example, in the absence of chopping or crushing, research has shown that just 60 seconds of immediate microwaving will cause garlic to lose some of its cancer-protective properties. Immediate boiling of whole, intact garlic will also lower these properties, as will immediate addition of a very low-acid ingredient like lemon juice.

1 comment:

  1. You should try planting cloves in your garden this fall Hayley! It is the most beautiful plant EVER!! I think you would love it :)

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