Garlic

Garlic

Introduction

Garlic is a culinary ingredient used for flavoring across many cuisines. However, it contains several nutrients in abundance. The bulb of the garlic plant is the most commonly consumed part. The bulb is further composed of cloves.

Wonder food Garlic

Garlic (Image Courtesey: FreeDigitalPhotos)

Similar to onion, tender, young garlic plants can be used as a whole in the form of scallions. The roots and skin of the garlic are inedible. Raw garlic has a pungent and spicy taste and it sweetens on cooking.

Nutrient Content

Garlic is rich in the following key nutrients:

  • Sulfur based compounds such as dithiins, sulfoxides and thiosulfinates.
  • Vitamin – Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and folic acid.
  • Minerals – Zinc, Iron, Potassium, Selenium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Magnesium and Sodium.
  • Protein
  • Traces of betacarotene

Health Benefits

The following are the health benefits offered by garlic:

  • Garlic prevents the occurrence of scurvy owing to its Vitamin C content.
  • Garlic prevents deficiency of Vitamin B1 which thereby prevents occurrence of beriberi.
  • Cholesterol in blood can be greatly reduced by daily consumption of garlic.
  • Garlic possesses anti bacterial and anti fungal properties.
  • Garlic helps in controlling blood pressure and subsequently reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Garlic is known to prevent cancer of the stomach and colon.
  • Reduction in hyperlipidemia and platelet aggregation is feasible by consuming garlic.
  • Garlic is believed to aid in regulating blood sugar levels.

Caution

  • Diabetic patients on insulin should not consume garlic in large amounts without consultation with a doctor.
  • Consumption of garlic that is not stored properly can cause health problems.

Disclaimer: Any advice or information provided in this page should not be seen as a substitute for medical consultation, diagnosis or treatment. Your family physician knows better about your medical history and only they can provide you with personalized advice keeping in mind your unique needs.