Garlic: Love It or Hate It?
Nature's Medicine? Take full advantage.
As long as I can remember my grandfather swore by garlic. He always had a clove of garlic wedged between his bottom teeth and his gum, placing pressure on it throughout the day to release the allicin. The faint smell always seemed to follow him everywhere throughout the house. He lived for 99 years so could this have been his secret to longevity?
Fresh, organic food is now considered by dietitians and doctors to be the way forward. By eliminating the consumption of toxic, manufactured foods, specifically those full of sugar, often listed in hidden formats, we can dramatically reduce the effort our bodies have to put into breaking down, digesting and looking for he nutrition and goodness in such foods.
Even worse, we have microwave meals, filled with colors and preservatives, ready to be thrown into the machine which uses radiation to defrost, cook, and heat it. Not to mention the chemicals infused into the "food" from the plastic container it has been stored in and then used as a cooking vessel.
While out and about, have you ever walked along the riverside and recognized the smell the wild garlic, especially after a recent rainfall? That's nature at its finest letting us know there is goodness out there, tempting us to consume it!
Thankfully in today's supermarkets, garlic is cheap to buy, and adds beautiful flavor to all dishes either subtly or more prominently, dependent on the quantity you use.
The way you eat it can also be varied from raw, chopped, stirred into dishes, roasted in the oven after drizzling with olive oil and eaten itself, whichever way, it boosts the immune system.
When it comes to the common cold or more serious flu, I have noticed my sinuses remain clear when consuming regular cloves of garlic, therefore reducing the inflammation and mucus associated with these common illnesses, lessens the opportunity for these germs to take hold and cause infection.
In fact, I think the only bad side effect seems to be the smell on the breath of those who have consumed garlic in some format but I know that, when I smell this on someone else, I always think they must have had a tasty meal.
In today's society, there are lots of tablets, supplements, and other health products available, often at quite extortionate prices, but surely, if it's in tablet format, compressed compounds and shaped, probably with some form of filler or chemical ingredients, additives, coloring and so on, it is still manufactured and not natural. So how safe can it be let alone be marketed as a health benefit? Surely naturally grown and freshly harvested garlic is better, especially if it's organic!
Celebrity chefs, cookery programs, and competitions to create the tastiest and most delicious dishes always look to use the freshest, healthiest ingredients and promote their own recipes online, in books and on television. Garlic is nearly almost used in savory dishes and is often crushed, sliced or grated to extract as much flavor as possible.
The smell is unique and it can be detected easily while preparing and cooking meals. My stomach always looks forward to dishes with garlic added.
As well as buying fresh, full bulbs and cloves in supermarkets, you can by it ready to use in jars or even in ground or powdered format to sprinkle into foods.
It is even possible to by “Grow Your Own” kits so you know where and when it has been produced, giving a sense of fulfillment when using it. When growing garlic yourself, it prefers a cooler climate so often warmer climates are not good environments to gain a successful crop. It doesn’t take much to look after but it is best not to use shop bought cloves as they may be infected with some for of insect or disease. The advice from gardeners and those in the know is to buy bulbs from a garden center and plant them individually, where they will get direct sunlight. Planting time is just before Christmas and they don’t take much watering.
Since using garlic regularly in cooking and eating it raw, I have never had a day missed from work due to illness and I swear it has played a major contribution in boosting my immune system. Containing manganese, copper, iron, phosphorus, calcium, selenium and potassium as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D and E it is easily the best garnish, ingredient and medicine available today!