Posted by Eric Hofmann on Monday, October 7, 2013 Under: Health and Fitness blog
Garlic - your one stop knowledge fest of this robust, complex flavor and healthful qualities, garlic can add zest to any meal and ward of disease!

Garlic is sometimes referred to as the "stinking rose. In folklore, its pungent aroma has been credited with warding off evil spirits and vampires. Today, scientific studies tell us that this small, aromatic herb can help heal all sorts of ailments: garlic can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer, and it's a strong antibacterial and antiviral agent. And, of course, it's a delicious addition to all kinds of meals.

Garlic belongs to the same plant genus as onions, leeks and chives. There are three major types of garlic available in the United States: white-skinned, strong-flavored American garlic; mauve-colored, milder-flavored Mexican and Italian garlic; and the even milder elephant garlic (not a true garlic, but aptly named for its extremely large clover). You can purchase garlic in dehydrated and powdered forms, freeze dried, or in a paste, but whenever possible, reach for fresh garlic (preferably plump, compact and free of soft spots) to experience its crisp and vibrant flavor - and its best nutritional benefits.

Eating garlic regularly has been shown to lower blood pressure, help prevent atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, decrease free radicals in the blood stream, and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. That's because garlic is rich in vitamins C and B6, selenium, manganese, and a variety of sulfur compounds. the compounds allicin, one of the sources of garlic's strong odor, is a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent. To stimulate the enzymatic process that converts phytonutrient alliin into allicin, chop or crush the garlic, then wait several minutes before eating or cooking it. Avoid cooking garlic quickly: it inhibits the enzymatic process and doesn't dissipate the odor.

Many pepole avoid eating garlic because of the strong odor. Raw garlic can be pretty powerful, but when cooked, garlic is milder and sweeter on the palate - and less lingering on your breath. When cooking garlic in stir-fry or saute dishes, add as late in the recipe as possible and cook no longer than one minute over medium heat to prevent burning. When cooking separately, first heat some olive oil in a large pan, then add the garlic. Stir repeatedly to prevent sticking.

When preparing soups or stews, first saute denser vegetables like carrots, onions and celery. Then add garlic to prevent it from overcooking.

Store garlic in a cool, dry, dark place - such as loosely lidded ceramic dish, terra-cotta pot or glass jar. Avoid freezing uncooked garlic.  To remove garlic odor from your fingers, rub them against stainless steel - such as a kitchen sink or the inside of a spoon - under running water for about a minute. Or wash them with a tablespoon of table salt or baking soda and some warm water. 

Enjoy! As always for more information on health and fitness please visit our webpage! Have a great week.

In : Health and Fitness blog 

Tags: garlic  cancer  vitamin c  vitamin b6  diabetic 
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