Garlic: The Original Superfood


Did you know that garlic was one of the earliest plants used for medicinal purposes?  The use of garlic can be traced back to the Egyptians, Ancient Romans, and Greek Gods.  Hippocrates prescribed garlic for a variety of conditions, the Romans fed it to Olympic athletes to reduce fatigue and improve athletic performance and the Egyptians gave it to laborers to boost work capacity.  Garlic is highly nutritious and has very few calories.  It is one of the easiest and most flavorful ingredients you can add to your cooking, and it pairs well with savory recipes such as soups, sauces, and salsas.  When cooking with garlic, be sure to cleave or cut prior to cooking to enjoy the health benefits.  You don’t need to be Chef Gordon Ramsey, it is as easy as making a simple and nutritious salad dressing – pressed garlic, extra virgin olive oil and salt – voila! Below are the top 5 reasons to add some garlic into your life.

  1. Sick often?  Add garlic to boost immune function.  Garlic has been shown to not only shorten the length of a cold, but reduce the number of colds as well.
  2. High blood pressure?  Regular garlic in your diet may reduce it.
  3. High cholesterol?  Eat garlic to lower cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy.
  4. Want to stay young? Garlic has antioxidants that protect against cell damage, a major factor of visible ageing.
  5. Want to improve your athletic performance?  Garlic has shown to boost athletic performance in people with heart disease.

Garlic is also well known for its infamous side effect, garlic breath.  Want to enjoy personal conversations or public crowds?  Here are some tips to clean up your palate post garlic feast: 

  1. Eat apples after your meal
  2. Drink lemon juice
  3. Drink green tea
  4. Use parsley in your recipes or chew on some after eating garlic
  5. Chew mint gum

LeeAnn Kindness is a graduate student at Drexel University majoring in human nutrition. She plans to become a registered dietitian.

Photo Cred: Reina Nicole Hayashi

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