The Real Deal on Garlic

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Garlic truly is one of nature’s brightest bulbs, and by now, you have probably caught wind of some of its amazing health benefits that have circulated the media. That said, as with many other foods, there are a lot of exaggerated claims about garlic,

so I have decided it is time to set the record straight and share what the real deal is about this food.

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Health Benefits

Garlic is an allium vegetable and is part of the same family as onions, chives, leeks and scallions. All of these vegetables contain sulphuric compounds that have been found to protect against stomach cancers by limiting the growth of bacteria and malignant cells in the digestive tract. The sulphuric compound in garlic, known as allicin, is what gives garlic its distinctive flavour and aroma. When consumed, allicin causes blood vessels to relax. This helps to reduce blood pressure and enables blood to more easily flow to the heart.

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In addition to decreased cancer risk and improved blood circulation, current research on garlic also supports its potential beneficial effects on improved cholesterol levels and immunity. Nevertheless, it is important to note is that research on the health properties of garlic is ongoing and more is needed in order to generate conclusive results on its effectiveness in improving overall health.

How to Buy Garlic

When buying garlic, it is recommended to opt for fresh garlic bulbs as opposed to the puréed or minced, jarred varieties. This is because after a garlic clove is crushed, its allicin properties tremendously decrease after about two days of having a broken cell structure and being exposed to oxygen in the surrounding environment.

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All the Flavour

Garlic is a very powerful flavour enhancer and can compliment many recipes. If you are not a fan of garlic however, try wrapping it in tin foil and roasting it before you add it to your cooking. This will help to decrease its pungent flavour and make it have a more subtly sweeter taste.

Both for medicinal and for cooking purposes, garlic has been used for thousands of years and continues to be one of the most commonly used ingredients in kitchens around the world. How do you incorporate garlic into your cooking?

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Mirieta Selimovska
Mirieta is a Toronto born and raised foodie and aspiring Registered Dietitian. Her motto? All foods fit! It’s no secret that keeping fuelled with food that is both nutritious and delicious can be challenging at times. Lucky for you, Mirieta is here to help inspire your own (realistic!) journey towards improved health. You can find her on Instagram (@thesweetenedpea) or grabbing a coffee wherever the photo-worthy latte art is.