What Is Garlic Good For?
Botanical name: Allium sativum
Revered in Egypt for its medicinal qualities, and prized in Italian, Asian, and Indian cooking, garlic has been called “the stinking rose” for good reason. Closely related to the onion, it’s a bulbous root with an undeniably fragrant pungency. It was mentioned in historical documents that date back 5,000 years ago, before its fame permeated the rest of the known world.
Today, China, South Korea, India, Spain, and the U.S. are foremost in garlic production. Not only does it lend a delicious complexity to foods, it claims legitimate beneficence for dozens of different maladies.
Fresh garlic has nutritional benefits superior to that of any kind of processing, such as minced and refrigerated, or dried in flakes. Whole garlic bulbs will keep fresh for about a month if stored properly, preferably away from sunlight in an uncovered container.
Health Benefits of Garlic
With garlic, you get an excellent supply of manganese – 23% of the daily value – containing essential enzymes and antioxidants that perform all kinds of amazing feats in the body, including the healthy formation of bones and connective tissues, bone metabolism, calcium absorption, and proper thyroid function, just to name a few. Garlic also contains 17% of the daily value in vitamin B6, and 15% in vitamin C, while allocating good amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and selenium.
Numerous studies show garlic’s amazing health potential in nearly every area of the body, from removing heavy metals to the prevention of numerous ailments, such as the common cold, hardening of the arteries, and gangrene, and even in slowing the aging process.
Garlic Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: One ounce of garlic (28 grams)
Amt. Per Serving
Studies Done on Garlic
While garlic has long been acknowledged as a healthy food by proponents of both natural and conventional medicine, one study noted its cancer-fighting and cancer preventive qualities against several kinds, including colon, stomach, lung, and colorectal cancers, and possibly breast cancer1.
Another study documented the use of fresh garlic, garlic powder, and garlic oil used worldwide for centuries for protection against bacterial, viral, parasitic infection, to bolster the immune system, discourage tumor growth, and rid the cells of free radicals with its antioxidant capabilities2.
Studies have shown a relation between garlic and the removal of heavy metals in the body, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic. One study showed a significant decrease in lead content due to garlic extract doses concentrated in liver, kidneys, brain, and bone, suggesting that garlic might be used to chelate or remove dangerous lead concentrations from the body3.
For the day-to-day health benefits of garlic, one study reported that it’s better as a heart protector when it’s raw and freshly crushed, as opposed to heat-treated or otherwise processed garlic4.
For more information on garlic, see: Why Was This Ancient Spice Given to People Building the Pyramids? and Raw Garlic For Parasites and Viral Infections
Garlic Healthy Recipes: Slow Roasted Garlic Tomatoes
- 8 ripe Roma tomatoes
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 teaspoons thyme Salt and pepper
- Heat oven to 300°F.
- Core out each tomato and cut a 3/4 inch deep X in the end of each tomato.
- Sprinkle inside of tomatoes with salt and pepper.
- Stuff each tomato with 1 clove of garlic and 1 teaspoon of thyme.
- Coat olive oil in the bottom of a shallow baking dish, place tomatoes in a row, and bake 1.5 to 2 hours. This recipe makes 6 servings.
(From Dr. Mercola’s book Healthy Recipes for your Nutritional Type )
Garlic Fun Facts
"A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat." - Old New York Yiddish proverb
Who doesn’t love the tantalizing fragrance of garlic? Those who appreciate this savory bulb have tasted it in seasonings, spreads, dips, rubs, oils, cheeses, soups, roasts, and salad dressings … Listing the culinary credits could take a while.
But conventional wisdom regarding garlic goes far beyond its use in the kitchen. Researchers have tested it and have not been disappointed with its proven power as a natural preventive for numerous diseases and illnesses including cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, bacterial and fungal infections and the common cold.