5 Insights: Garlic and The Heart
January 31, 2024
Garlic (Allium Sativum) is part of the onion family and has been used since the beginning of recorded history for both culinary and medicinal use. It was so important it was depicted in Egyptian pyramids and mentioned in the Bible. In many cultures, garlic was given to laborers to increase strength and productivity. In fact, it was even used by the original Olympic athletes as the first “performance enhancing” agent.
In This Healthy Insight:
- What is Garlic
- Garlic Supports Heart Health and Other Benefits
- A Versatile Ingredient and Easy to Incorporate into Your Diet
- (Other than Stopping Vampires) Garlic Tips
What is Garlic?
Today most garlic comes from California, but some varieties have adjusted to cooler climates yielding a slightly different flavor. Although garlic is available all year, it’s freshest between March and August. In addition to a garlic head (or bulb) you can also find garlic powders, salts, flakes and oils.
Over the last few years garlic has also become popular as a supplement for heart, immune support and more.
Garlic Supports Heart Health and Other Benefits
- Supports heart health
- Maintains cholesterol levels already in the normal range
- Promotes a healthy immune system function
- Delivers antioxidants to fight free radicals
- Fosters healthy circulation
A Versatile Ingredient and Easy to Incorporate into Your Diet
This tasty herb can be added to just about any dish. Some of the most popular ways to incorporate into your diet include:
- Garlic bread
- Homemade salsa
- Sauces and soups
- Garlic mashed potatoes
- Garlic butter
- Sprinkled on pizza
- Garlic-honey-lemon tea
- Add thinly-sliced cloves to a sandwich
(Other than Stopping Vampires) Garlic Tips:
How to buy garlic
Look for bulbs that are heavy with dry papery skin. There should be no garlicy aroma as that indicates the inside may be wet, rotting or damaged. Squeeze the bulb and if it’s firm, it’s good. Or buy garlic supplements from a reputable vendor.
How to tell if garlic is bad
Stored properly an unpeeled head of garlic can last up to six months; an unpeeled clove can last three weeks. Once the clove is peeled, it will only last a week in the fridge. If you see dark spots on the cloves, if they’re yellowish instead of white, or soft when you squeeze them, they’re starting to go bad. Another sign? Green sprouts in the center. These won’t hurt you. They’ll just taste different from what’s expected.
How many cloves in a head of garlic?
While some varieties have 20 or more, the average garlic bulb at your local grocery store contains 10-12 cloves.
How much minced garlic is in a clove?
Cloves can vary in size, but typically a small clove of garlic will usually yield about ½ teaspoon of minced garlic. A medium-sized about ¾ teaspoon.
What’s the best way to prepare garlic?
The more you crush garlic’s cell walls, the more enzymes and flavor you release. This means crushed cloves taste stronger while chopped, sliced or whole cloves taste milder.
How to eliminate garlic breath and garlic smell from your hands.
If practical brush, floss, and use mouthwash to reduce garlic breath. If that’s not possible, chew on some parsley to help deodorize. To rid your hands of lingering garlic aroma, rub them with lemon or baking soda and rinse thoroughly.
There’s a reason garlic’s been popular for thousands of years – it adds flavor to your food and wellness to your day. Make it a part of your daily routine and enjoy its many benefits. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary.