We are all familiar with the pungent smell of garlic cooking in a stainless steel pan over a little olive oil. It brings me back to my childhood days with my ever so Italian family cooking with garlic nightly. Garlic is in the same family as onions, shallots, leeks, and chives. While it is a staple in most flavorful dishes, there are also a lot of health benefits that come along with consuming even the smallest amount of garlic. Even though it might make you smell bad literally from the inside out, it is working its magic inside of your body. Check out these amazing facts about garlic that you might not know already!
Fun Facts About Garlic
Did you know that garlic is one of the oldest harvested crops known to man? Way back when the Egyptian Pyramids were being built, garlic was being fed to the builders! Garlic was supposed to give strength and endurance, which is why the men working wanted to eat it straight! Talk about strong (1).
In the United States, a mind boggling 90% of the garlic grown and sold comes from the state of California. China on the other hand is responsible for producing 66% of the world’s garlic supply. There are over 300 different variations of garlic grown worldwide, which is more than I ever thought possible!
If aphids are overtaking your garden, you can crush up some garlic and add it to a spray bottle and spray the solution over the plants to get rid of the problem.
Raw freshly minced garlic has the most health benefits, and it has been said to help reduce risks of cancer, flu, and other common colds in the body. Garlic naturally lowers blood cholesterol levels, which in turn reduces plaque on your arteries.
Health Benefits Of Garlic
Garlic belongs to the Allium family, which also contains onions, leeks, shallots, and chives. The compound Allicin is responsible for garlics pungent smell, and it is said to harbor health benefits as well. Allicin contains a high sulfur content, and it enters through the digestive tract to reach every cell in the body (2).
Garlic contains Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Selenium, Fiber, and Manganese. Other nutritious vitamins and minerals found in garlic are: calcium, iron, copper, potassium, vitamin B1, and phosphorus. That is quite a lot of goodness in one small garlic clove.
If you are susceptible to common colds, it might be a smart idea to add in garlic to your diet as it has been said to cut down the length of a cold by 70%. Garlic naturally boosts the function of your immune system, so it is worth a shot!
Garlic is known to be a blood purifier, so if you struggle from acne or even larger issues such as cancer it can help your body fight off infection and strengthen your immune system (3).
Garlic works wonders internally whether it is battle high blood pressure, colds, cancers, cholesterol levels, or acne. But what about the outside factors that garlic can assist you in? If you have a splinter on your hand, simply put a piece of garlic over the splinter and cover with a bandage. In no time your splinter will be gone!
How Is Garlic Grown?
My garden already has garlic growing in it, because you can plant it during the fall to grow throughout the winter and spring. I love growing garlic because it is one of the only things you can grow in the dead of winter when your planter boxes are covered in snow. It depends on what region of the country you are in, so if you are interested in growing garlic check locally when you should start to plant and when to harvest.
Typically you will want to plant garlic about one month before the ground freezes over (late fall) depending on where you live. Typically fall planted garlic produces larger, fatter bulbs which means more garlic cloves to enjoy! To plant it, you will poke the cloves 4 inches deep about 6-8 inches apart. The pointed end should be up and the root has to be down so that the garlic does not grow upside down. If you plant in the fall you can harvest around the middle of the summer (4).
To Wrap Up
Garlic not only tastes good, it is easy to grown and harvest yourself! If you are not into gardening, it is readily available at the grocery store 12 months out of the year. The health benefits of garlic go way beyond this article alone, and it is a crucial staple to add into your daily diet. You do not have to eat it straight, so do not fret! In our latest recipe, Turkey Taco Salad you will be adding in garlic for flavor and can reap the benefits from this dish alone! No matter how you consume it, think about all of the health benefits you are gaining when you do, especially on a daily basis. Health never tasted so good!