No matter where nutrition experts differ in their theories, almost everyone agrees that the health benefits of garlic make it one of the greatest superfoods of all. And while not everybody can agree on the optimum strength of garlic flavor, most everyone appreciates the savory bitterness to some extent, however slight.
Nutrition in garlic
Garlic has three main nutrients.
- Manganese. This mineral is a powerful antioxidant; it also activates the enzymes needed for the body to use several nutrients, including vitamins C and B; and it helps the body to metabolize fat, carbohydrates and protein.
- Vitamin B6. This vitamin supports the nervous system and helps to break down sugars and starches.
- Vitamin C. An antioxidant nutrient that improves iron absorption and regenerates vitamin E supplies in the body.
Health benefits of garlic
- It contains allicin, which is at once antibacterial and antiviral, and can help prevent weight gain.
- Regular consumption can lower high blood pressure and decrease LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Therefore, it protects against heart disease and strokes.
- Reduces inflammation.
How to grow garlic
This herb is a no-brainer for any beginning gardener. Plant bulbs in the fall, about four inches apart. Keep watered (if the soil is dry three inches down, it needs water), and watch them grow. Around July, the leaves will begin turning yellow and droop. At that point, you have two choices.Either pull them out of the ground and separate and clean off the bulbs.
Or, you can leave the garlic in the ground another year. If you do, then you may never have to plant garlic again. Simply dig down and pull the cloves out from where they are underground, and the garlic plant will continue to grow new bulbs year after year.
You can also harvest the green leaves to use fresh in salads any time.
How to prepare garlic
The nutrition and healing power in garlic is lost to a significant extent when cooked. The healthiest way to eat it is raw, chopped up or put through a garlic press and served over a salad or cooked food that has already been removed from the pan.
The health benefits of garlic make it an easy addition to anyone’s superfood menu! To find out how to add this and many more everyday superfoods to your diet, check out the e-book The Simple Superfoods.