Garlic For Nourishment

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Garlic: Thousands of Years Old

Garlic has been used as both a medicine and a spice for thousands of years. Egyptian tombs may have the oldest visible records of garlic's existence in burial chambers in El Mahasna. Archeologists discovered clay sculptures of garlic bulbs dating about 3700 BCE in one tomb, while paintings of garlic were found in another tomb dating about 3200 BCE.

Garlic Clove

Nutritional Benefits of Garlic

Garlic is a mini-storehouse of minerals. Manganese, copper, iron, zinc, sulfur, calcium, aluminum, chlorine, and selenium are all part of the minerals contained in garlic. One hundred grams, or 3 1/2 ounces, of fresh garlic will supply the following:

Cluster of Garlic Cloves

  • Copper 0.30 mg
  • Iron 1.7 mg
  • Manganese 1.12 mg
  • Phosphorous 153 mg
  • Selenium 14.2 mg
  • Zinc 1.16 mg

Three medium cloves of fresh raw garlic contain 13 calories, 1 gram of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrate and 2 grams of sodium. Garlic does not contain fiber or fat.

Those three garlic cloves comprise a surprising nutritional profile. For instance, they register trace levels of most B vitamins with the exception of vitamin B12. They have a vitamin C content of 2.8 mg and 16.3 mg of calcium. The magnesium and potassium content weighs in at 2.3 mg and 36.1 mg respectively.

Though garlic is a nutritionally endowed food, it is only consumed in small amounts. One shouldn't expect to gain large doses of vitamins from a clove or two of garlic.

Garlic can fight arterial plaque, improve the elasticity of arteries, and reduce blood clotting and slightly lower cholesterol, triglycerides and high blood pressure.

Side effects include allergic reaction, upset stomach and increased blood-clotting time. Taking with aspirin or coumadin might increase chances of prolonged bleeding.

Avoid garlic for at least one week pre-surgery.

Recommended doses: Garlic powder (standardized): 200mg to 300mg, three times daily. AGE (Aged Garlic Extract#): 300mg to 800mg, three times a day.

Garlic and Cancer

Several studies suggest a link between garlic intake and a reduced risk of cancer. To find out if garlic really has cancer-protective powers deserving of a labeling health claim, researchers from Korea evaluated 19 of the most well-controlled human studies. They found some limited evidence that garlic intake may play a role in reducing the risk of colon, prostate, esophageal, larynx, oral, ovary and kidney cancers. However, they found no credible evidence to support a link between garlic intake and a reduced risk of stomach, breast, lung or endometrial cancers.

Most of the studies were conducted with supplements. Garlic eaten as a food is difficult to measure in the small amounts generally consumed and several factors affect garlic's beneficial compounds - such as how the garlic is prepared - making it difficult to know just how relevant even this careful evaluation is. Researchers will continue to study the garlic-cancer connection potential.

Garlic Supplementation

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Nature's Bounty Odorless Garlic 1000mg# - Garlic has been the studied extensively over the past decade, and is one of the most popular supplements. Garlic's most common uses as a dietary supplement are for high cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Garlic is believed to provide numerous benefits to the body including supporting the circulatory system, protecting the body against disease, and fighting microbial and fungal infections.

The Goodness Of Garlic

Garlic, the cousin of the onion, enhances the taste of many foods. When cooking, break apart the head of garlic and remove the skin from individual cloves before chopping.

Note: The smaller you chop garlic, the stronger the flavor.

Garlic Quick Tip: To peel garlic quickly, snip the pointed end off individual cloves and microwave them for 10 to 15 seconds.

Recipe Box

Garlic Mustard Recipe

If you're a garlic fan, try this delicious recipe - great on just about anything but exceptionally good on sandwiches!

8 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 jar (8 ounce) Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon oregano leaves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place garlic in a small baking dish and drizzle with oil. Roast 20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently until garlic is soft. Mash garlic, removing any tough pieces. Combine with other ingredients and refrigerate overnight to blend flavors. Recipe makes 1 cup.

See also: Garlic as an Herb

Garlic Day is April 19th.

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Food for Thought

Supplement Safety: The American Association of Poison Control Centers, published in the journal "Clinical Toxicology," no deaths have ever been found from vitamin or mineral supplements.

Another study discovered there were about 100,000 deaths per year from pharmaceutical drugs and none for natural supplements. Over a 10 year period, pharmaceuticals killed 1 million people.

Putting this into perspective: That is more than all the Americans killed in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War - combined.

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Disclaimer: The herbal and health information provided in this Web Site is intended as information only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You should consult your health care professional for individual guidance. Persons with serious medical conditions should always seek professional care. If there is a link to a product in an article, a small commission of about 4 percent may be paid if a visitor to the site purchases the product.

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