Garlic – The wonder drug

Description
Garlic which also is called by many other names, like garlick, ajo, knoblauch, ail, thum and aglio, to name some, is also referred to as the wonder drug due to its huge number of medicinal properties.
It is widely used in curing many types of disorders, most common of which are throat infections. Garlic (Allium sativum) comes from the Alliaceae or onion family. Usually, the bulb of this plant is used, though sometimes the leaves, flowers and stems are also eaten, as they are edible. This bulb is segmented into a large number of healthy cloves. The only parts of the plant which are not consumed by humans are the roots which are attached at the bottom or bulb of the plant, and also the coverings of the plant for protection.

Buying tips When you go to the market to buy the garlic, make sure that it is not wilted or water soaked. Also, there should not be any mildew or mould on it. In this way, you can make sure that your garlic is perfectly fresh and healthy.

Culinary usage Garlic can be used in various recipes in different ways. The garlic can be used as such, or the cloves may be used. Some of the common culinary usages are:

  1. The cloves are separated from the garlic bunch. It is then properly peeled and then crushed. This is used in a large number of recipes. Garlic cloves are widely used to flavor oil. These oils can then be used to season many types of meats, vegetables and also pasta.
  2. Garlic is used all over the world mainly due to its unique flavor. It also has high demands for its seasoning characteristics.
  3. Garlic or garlick as it is called in English, is used to make a large number of different classic cuisines by its addition to bread, like for example garlic bread or canapé or garlic toast.
  4. Garlic, which in English is called garlick is very often added to onion, ginger and tomato. It makes excellent cuisines. Generally the outer skin of the onion is removed before being cooked.
  5. In many parts of Europe, the stem of the garlic is consumed in the beginning of a meal or appetizer.
  6. Garlic can also be chopped, grated, sliced or made into a paste according to the needs of the user. Garlic paste is widely used along with green chilies and other spices to suit your palate.

Storage
After you have bought the garlic from the market, if you do not want to immediately consume it, then you can store it in the refrigerator for quite some time for future use. It should be kept in a sealed container preferably. The garlic cloves are usually stored in vinegar or wine. Medicinal values Garlic has innumerable medicinal properties, and is often called as the wonder drug. Some of its unique medicinal attributes are:

  1. Garlic helps a real lot to lower your cholesterol levels to a large extent. It also helps in the prevention and cure of strokes and other heart diseases, high blood pressure. Garlic is especially very useful for treating cardiovascular disorders.
  2. Garlic is an excellent anti-carcinogen. It helps in a large way to get rid of cancer cells, and thus stop the spreading of cancer cells all over the body. Garlic is an excellent preventive measure for colon and stomach cancers.
  3. Garlic also helps in regulating your level of blood sugar. It helps in reducing the levels of homocysteine. It should be consumed on a regular basis in therapeutic amounts.
  4. Garlic helps in curing worm diseases like intestinal worms or other intestinal parasitic invasions. It is an excellent naturopathy cure.
  5. The cloves of the garlic help in curing digestive and infection problems. It helps in curing chest inflammations and disorders. It also alleviates almost all types of fungal infections. Generally, raw garlic is best used as an anti-fungal. However, you should take care that you are not getting any side effects, as it results in the formation of blisters in many individuals.
  6. Raw garlic when crushed into fine pieces is an excellent antibiotic.
  7. Even though most of the time garlic is had raw, cooked garlic is very good for curing cardiovascular disorders.
  8. The medicinal properties of garlic can be further enhanced by giving it time after it is chopped, before cooking it or adding it to some other recipe. This waiting time allows the allinase enzyme present in garlic to function effectively, and works in the favor of your health. A very good example is that research has conclusively shown that if garlic is put into the microwave within 60 seconds after it is chopped, then it loses its anti-carcinogenic properties. Thus, you should give it some time before adding lemon juice to it or otherwise cooking it.
  9. Garlic also helps in increasing the iron metabolism in the human body, due to the presence of certain compounds in it. Iron is required for production of hemoglobin, which is vital for blood.

Where to buy garlic in US
Garlic is produced all over the US, but it is mostly cultivated in California. This state is responsible for about 80% of the total garlic production in USA. Garlic is also produced in lesser quantities in other states of the USA in Louisiana, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin.

Nutritional and dietary information
Garlic/garlick/ ajo/ knoblauch/ ail/ thum contains a large number of vital nutrients, both vitamins and minerals, which are essential for our body. It is summarized below: High percentage of water About 847KJ of Energy in 136 g of garlic. Minerals like Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorous, Iron, Manganese, Selenium and Magnesium. Vitamins like beta carotene (rich source of Vitamin A), Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin E. Vital Amino Acids needed by our body. Proteins Folate Omega 3 fatty acids. Caffeic acid. Thus, from all the above accumulated facts that you read, it is very easy to see why garlic is known as a wonder drug. It has innumerable medicinal properties as well as adds flavor to your cuisines.

Nutrition Facts
Servings Size 1 cup 136gm
Calories from Fat 6
Calories 203
Total Fat 1%
Saturated Fat 1%
Sodium 1%
Potassium 16%
Total Carbohydrate 15%
Dietary Fiber 11%
Vitamin C 71%
Calcium 25%
Iron 13%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because it has not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

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