Garlic, what does it make you think of?
Perhaps you picture lovely flavours running through a dish, or you might think stinky breath. It’s one of those flavours that adds great depth to a dish and then you don’t really realise that you absolutely reek of it the next day! For me it’s nearly always the starting point for a dish, grate some garlic, maybe some ginger and chop some onions, it’s a pretty standard place to begin.
According to a study published in 2001 in the Journal of Nutrition1, high heating of garlic was shown to reduce its anticancer properties by blocking the anti carcinogenic activity.
I sometimes use organic garlic powder with my mince when making meatballs, and as it is much more concentrated you have to be careful with the amount you use! I have heard a couple of chefs on television mention that the little stalk part that runs through the middle of a clove is what makes your breath smell, so I sometimes remove that – here’s hoping that isn’t the most nutrient dense part!
I would hazard a guess that not many of you enjoy chowing down on raw garlic, but what if cooking it removed some of it’s beneficial properties? Would you re-think your decision? Raw garlic and onions are probably one of the first items that you put into your hot pan, and garlic is pretty quick to burn which may damage some of the potential health benefiting properties.
According to a study published in 2001 in the Journal of Nutrition1, high heating of garlic was shown to reduce its anticancer properties by blocking the anti carcinogenic activity. Perhaps adding in the crushed garlic at a later stage of cooking would be a better idea, letting it dissolve nicely into the dish. Or if you are making a salad dressing you could blend up some raw garlic along with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper – nice and simple.
Lets break down some of the amazing properties of garlic:
7 Health Benefits of Raw Garlic
- Organosulfur compounds have protective effects against certain cancers.2
- Allicin compounds are most active when freshly crushed and they have antimicrobial properties.3
- Raw garlic contains fibre and the vitamins and minerals; manganese, B2 and B6, C, selenium, calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.4
- Raw garlic boosts the immune system when consumed and may help with the prevention of the common cold.5
- Reduction in blood pressure can be found when consuming raw garlic. This is caused by preventing oxidative damage in people with hypertension.6
- Packed full of antioxidants – sprouted garlic has shown to have higher levels of antioxidants than regular garlic.7
- Improved bone health due to having promoted calcium transference in osteoporosis cases.8
There are many more amazing benefits documented on garlic so please do continue to do your own research. It really is an eye opener that something so small, and let’s face it smelly, appears to be a little clove of vitality.
I’m definitely going to make up some more salad dressings after writing this. Will you include more raw garlic in your daily diet?
- Song, K., Milner, J. A.. (2001). The influence of heating on the anticancer properties of garlic. In The Journal of Nutrition, 2001 Mar;131(3s):1054S-7S. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11238815?dopt=Abstract
- Omar, S. H., Al-Wabel, N. A.. (2010). Organosulfur compounds and possible mechanism of garlic in cancer. In Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, 18(1), pp. 51–58. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1319016409000528
- Ankri, S., Mirelman, D.. (1999). Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic. In Microbes and Infection/Institut Pasteur., 1999 Feb;1(2):125-9. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10594976
- (Anonymous). (n.d.). Nutrition facts and analysis for garlic, raw. In SELF Nutrition Data. Retrieved from http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2446/2
- Nahas, R., & Balla, A. (2011). Complementary and alternative medicine for prevention and treatment of the common cold. In Canadian Family Physician, 57(1), 31–36. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3024156/
- Dhawan, V., Jain, S.. (2005). ‘Garlic supplementation prevents oxidative DNA damage in essential hypertension. In Molecular and cellular biochemistry, 2005 Jul;275(1-2):85-94. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16335787
- Zakarova, A., Seo, J., Kim, H., Kim, J., Shin, J., Cho, K., and Lee, C. (2014). Garlic sprouting is associated with increased antioxidant activity and concomitant changes in the metabolite profile. In Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 2014 Feb 26;62(8):1875-80. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24512482
- Mukherjee, M., Das, A., Das, D. and Mitra, S. (2006). Role of oil extract of garlic (Allium sativum Linn.) on intestinal transference of calcium and its possible correlation with preservation of skeletal health in an ovariectomized rat model of osteoporosis. In Phytotherapy research : PTR, 2006 May;20(5):408-15. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16619371