Why You Should Be Eating More Garlic
By Dr Raphael Kellman
Garlic is one of the most amazing health foods I know. It’s rich in inulin, a plant fibre that both nourishes the microbiome and helps heal the gut. (It also has terrific weight loss properties.) It’s also loaded with allicin and diallyl sulphides, which support your heart and cardiovascular system in remarkable ways.
Among other benefits, garlic is good for:
- reducing blood pressure
- lowering cholesterol, both total and LDL (the “bad” cholesterol)
- lowering oxidative stress
- reducing the risk of coronary artery disease
- decreasing the “stickiness” of blood platelets, which helps prevent stroke and other cardiovascular dangers
- reducing atherosclerotic plaque, also protective against stroke and cardiovascular disease
Garlic responds to our cardiovascular problems so completely that I actually think of it as a wise vegetable that co-evolved with us humans almost in lockstep: What we need, it has!
Garlic also increases our body’s supply of glutathione, a natural detoxifier, and aid in colon health. Garlic is also good for combating an overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria. With all of these protective effects, no wonder legend has it that garlic also repels vampires!
Tips for Buying and Preparing Garlic
To me, garlic is the king of vegetables: It makes almost every recipe better, and I can’t imagine cooking without it. If you’re used to using garlic powder, I can’t wait for you to switch to the real thing, which has so many more health and flavour benefits that it really is worth the tiny amount of extra trouble involved.
When shopping for fresh garlic, look for a moderate-sized white bulb covered in a natural white papery skin. The skin covers many little cloves of garlic, which you will pull away, peel, and chop up.
Look for firm bulbs, neither mushy nor dried out.
Please avoid the jars of pre-chopped garlic — it just doesn’t taste the same.
To cook garlic, my one overall note: You never want to brown the garlic, only to warm it up enough to flavour the oil. Cook garlic carefully on low heat, and you will be rewarded with a delicious, subtle taste that wakes up all the other ingredients’ flavours.