Roman soldiers were fed garlic for strength. Greek athletes ate garlic for stamina. The Egyptians took garlic with them to the afterlife. Ancient Chinese used garlic to aid digestion and Ancient Indian healers used garlic to treat leprosy.
The most recent studies of garlic's healing powers have reported antibacterial properties, blood-sugar lowering, cholesterol lowering, antiplatelet-aggregation and anti-tumor effects. Importantly, garlic's health benefits are best when garlic is eaten regularly and as fresh as possible.
In addition to its high selenium content, garlic also contains health-giving vitamins
such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid
and vitamin E. But there is more to this story. What makes garlic really unique is
the high level of specific sulphur compounds in the form of non-protein amino
acids including alliin, which is largely responsible for the specific flavor of garlic.
When garlic is crushed, chopped or disrupted in any way, this alliin sulphur
compound is hydrolyzed by the enzyme alliinase to create complex organosulphur
compounds. These are unstable and reactive compounds whose aroma is typically
associated with freshly crushed garlic. The main compound, allicin, is found in
crushed garlic juice and in the air above chopped garlic. Allicin has been the
substance proposed to have the unique health giving properties when studied
biochemically. Due to its unstable nature however, it has a very limited shelf life
and cannot be held constant. For this reason, to benefit from the health giving
properties of garlic, consuming it freshly crushed or chopped is best.
For garlic lovers, eating raw garlic presents no particular challenge. If you're less
keen on the raw stuff, there are plenty of recipes to which you can add garlic
towards the end of the cooking process or incorporate raw garlic and make it more
palatable. Salad dressings, crushed garlic stirred through soups or stews,
bruschetta, garlic freshly crushed into olive oil as a dipping oil or simply a few
slices added to your favorite sandwiches all help to increase your daily garlic
So, get your garlic for 2019 and reap the benefits of this wonderful little gift of
You can shop for some health giving fresh organically grown garlic at our Country
Market at Forest Cove Farm.