In some cultures, garlic plays a vital role in their food. Meanwhile, there are other individuals who hate the smell and can’t stand to see it in their food. In folklore, garlic is popular as a repellant for vampires. Whether real or not, there is a reason why vampires hate them—the smell. This is why it is more popularly referred to as the stinking rose. Find out more about garlic here.
What is Garlic?
Garlic is a small vegetable that is widely used in a number of dishes to improve its taste. It is considered as part of the Lily family and is even a distant relative of onions, chives and leeks. The garlic is composed of a head, referred to as a bulb, and comes with small separate cloves. Usually it reaches 2 inches of height and diameter. The bulb itself, along with each clove, is carefully enclosed in a paper-like skin that can either be white, off-white, pink or purple. Despite its firm texture, garlic can easily be cut or crushed with a knife.
History of Garlic
Throughout the world, garlic is native to central Asia. As a matter of fact, it is among the oldest cultivated plants. It has been growing for more than 5000 years. In history, it was ancient Egyptians who were believed to have cultivated the plant first and gave it an important role in their culture. Believed to contain sacred qualities, garlic was once placed in the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs. Additionally, the vegetable was served to slaves that built Pyramids so that their strength and endurance could be improved. Lastly, athletes from both ancient Greek and Roman civilizations used to eat garlic before a sporting event, while soldiers ate it before a war.
Thanks to migrants, garlic was introduced to different parts of the world. By the 6th century BC, both India and China have already discovered the wonderful taste of the vegetable. India, more importantly, have started using it for its therapeutic purpose. This has led to the popularity of the vegetable in countries such as China, India, South Korea, Spain, and the US.
Health Benefits of Consuming Garlic
Garlic has a distinct taste of its own. With just a small amount, it can already turn a simple meal into an aromatic and tasteful experience. Despite adding taste to a dish, garlic can also be good for the health. Here are some of the health benefits individuals can expect when they consume garlic regularly:
Acts as a mosquito repellant
Based on studies carefully done, it was discovered that mosquitos hate garlic. If you are the type of person who hates annoying mosquitos bothering you while you enjoy your meal, you can opt to apply garlic to your skin directly. Or you can keep some raw garlic nearby so that mosquitos will not come near you.
Having splinters, especially deep ones, can be pretty annoying. While it isn’t really a serious medical condition to be worried about, splinters can still be very difficult. Among traditional cultures, garlic is used to help remove splinters. If you have one, you can place a slice of garlic over the affected area and secure it with a bandage and tape. The splinter will be gone in no time.
Fights against allergies
Garlic contains diallyl sulphide and thiacremonone, which have anti-arthritic properties. Because of this, it was discovered that the vegetable is able to improve allergic rhinitis.
Source for antioxidants
Because of the nutrients found in garlic, it is recognized as a great source of antioxidants. While there are plenty of evidence to support this, research can help support the potential benefits that garlic can provide.
Helps against inflammation
Garlic has also been discovered to have anti-inflammatory properties. Individuals who suffer from an auto-immune disease can get the help they need by including the vegetable into their daily diet. Additionally, rubbing garlic oil on affected area by psoriasis can help alleviate the inflammation.
Acts as anti-fungal
Other than its anti-inflammatory property, garlic is also anti-fungal. This means that it can help those who have athlete’s foot by simply soaking itchy feet in garlic water. Another option is to rub raw garlic directly on the foot.
While its antibacterial and analgesic properties can help in reliving toothaches, it can be irritating to the gum. This is why it is important to be careful consuming garlic when you have a toothache.
Helps prevent food poisoning
Based on research, garlic contains anti-bacterial properties that help prevent food poisoning. This is because these properties kill bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella enteritidis, and Staphylococcus aureus. This, however, should not be used as a substitute for proper food handling, sanitation, and cooking.
Boosts immune system
Historically, garlic was once used to fight off gangrene. With this same idea, it is no longer a surprise to see that garlic could also help avoid flu and colds. Thanks to the antioxidants found in garlic, your immune system can be improved greatly. Apart from eating, you can drink a garlic tea made from chopped garlic and hot water. To help improve the intense garlic taste, you can add some natural honey to it.
Helps make the heart healthy
Several years of study have discovered that with the regular consumption of garlic, the circulatory and respiratory system in the body can be improved greatly. Among the things that garlic can do include the following:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers cholesterol level
- Avoids coronary heart disease
- Avoids artery hardening
Beats anemia and iron deficiency
The diallyl sulphides found in garlic are able to increase the production of ferroportin in the body. As a result, it helps improve iron metabolism and prevents iron deficiency and other associated diseases.
Good for maintaining blood sugar level
When garlic is consumed, it increases the insulin release in the body. As a result, the blood sugar level in the body is regulated. This is particularly helpful for diabetics.
Helps avoid cancer
The vegetable has been known to contain allyl sulphides, which have anti-cancer properties. With this, the transformation of PhIP into carcinogens is inhibited.
Boosts sex life
Garlic contains aphrodisiac properties that help in increasing circulation and making orgasms more intense.
With these health benefits, it is no longer a surprise why garlic is recognized as a vital ingredient in many dishes throughout the world. Do you enjoy consuming dishes with garlic in it? Or do you prefer something else?