Are you getting enough of the “stinking rose” to stay healthy?

Jars of GarlicGarlic is a commonly used ingredient in various cooking recipes, and besides the great taste, the health benefits of garlic may not be known to many when using it. People sometimes focus on the fact that garlic gives you bad breath, or that it keeps vampires away due to its intense aroma. Known as the “stinking rose,” garlic gets its aroma from its sulfur-containing compounds, which is one reason why it is so good for you. There is more to garlic than bad breath and scaring off vampires.

  1. Vitamins, minerals, & antioxidants: Garlic contains manganese, calcium, vitamin B1, B6 and C, copper, phosphorous, potassium, selenium and tryptophan. Packed with these antioxidants, garlic can boost your immune system.
  2. Natural antibiotic: Garlic has become a known natural antibiotic, though it cannot act as a substitute when they are necessary to fight serious infections. It fights bacteria and viruses associated with colds and the flu. There are many home remedies to treat certain ailments that consist of garlic, such as earaches, congestion, coughs, toothaches, and skin infections.
  3. Detoxification: Garlic is great for clearing out and maintaining healthy lungs and stomach. It also triggers the liver to release toxins from the body, while protecting the liver from harm at the same time.
  4. Cardiovascular Health: Garlic can help improve heart health in many ways. It thins the blood to protect against clots and allows iron to flow better through the body as it opens up vessels. Studies have shown that garlic may help lower blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and LDL cholesterol.
  5. Reduces inflammation: Internal inflammation is the root of many aliments and diseases.  A chemical compound found in garlic assists in reducing inflammation commonly associated with arthritis, cold sores, and skin rashes.

To get the full advantages of garlic, it should be eaten fresh or raw. While it may hard to consume raw garlic, many of the benefits can still be reaped by cooking it lightly and using it in various recipes.  One of my favorite ways to can garlic is to pickle them!  My Pickled Garlic Cloves incorporate dry white wine in addition to vinegar and spices.  The many uses for this pickled delicacy make it a worthy time investment.

Photo credit: The Canning Diva

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