Allium sativum also known as garlic could possibly be the king of the superfoods. The use of garlic for medicinal purposes dates as far back as when the Giza pyramids construction began. The pungent odour of garlic is due to the sulphide content and of course these smelly properties exert the most health benefits!
Garlic has been extensively researched and the findings are very positive. They have found that garlic has the ability to:
- Reduce raised cholesterol levels
- Reduce/inhibit plaque deposits in the arteries
- Reduce raised blood pressure
- Has antioxidant properties
- Reduce inflammation
- Has potent antibiotic effects
- Regulate unstable blood sugar levels
- Ward off vampires (still waiting on confirmation for this one!)
Garlic is also rich in manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and selenium.
Unfortunately, it is not as simple as having a garlic pizza daily to get the health benefits. The main problem is that once you cook garlic it begins to lose the good stuff. Raw is better and garlic must be chopped or crushed to release the health promoting sulphides.
This can of course be a challenge to some, so here a few ways to up your daily garlic intake. Add raw chopped/crushed garlic to:
- Homemade dips i.e. hummus, eggplant, beetroot
- Add once a meal is cooked and stir through
- Rub over toast with fresh tomato
- Sprinkle over homemade pizzas once out of the oven
- Add to salad or steamed vegetables