Garlic’s Health Benefits: One Clove At a Time

There is a healthy ingredient that you should have on hand at all times in your kitchen.  It can be added to all sorts of things, stores well, and is inexpensive.  What is it?  Garlic.

Garlic has all sorts of health benefits and it is delicious in many things.  Since it stores so well you can buy the real garlic and eat it one clove at a time and it will stay at optimum freshness for weeks.

So what are the health benefits in a clove of garlic?

  • reduces risk of heart disease by expanding blood vessels and lowering blood pressure
  • high in antioxidants
  • excellent source of manganese which is good for your bones
  • good source of selenium which is used by your thyroid to function properly
  • may lower cholesterol or improve the ratio of good to bad cholesterol
  • a natural anti-inflammatory and a natural antiseptic
  • may lower risk of certain cancers

In fact, one of the only bad things about garlic is that it may give you bad breath, but cooking it in dishes for a period of time reduces or eliminates this affect.

Garlic is easy to add to your diet and goes well in all sorts of dishes.  To get more garlic into your diet, add it to soups, sauces, casseroles, potato dishes, vegetable dishes, on cooked meats or as a pre-grilling rub.  An interesting thing about garlic is that you should let it sit for 10-15 minutes after you chop it up.  This allows a chemical reaction to occur and enhances its health benefits.

When buying garlic you want to find it quite hard and dry in appearance, not soft.  It also should look plump and not as if it is shrinking. Bought this way it will last as is for several weeks.

The easiest way to prepare fresh garlic is to set the side of a wide knife, like a santoku knife, on top of a clove and lightly pound your fist lightly to crack open the clove.  Then, you can easily remove the outer shell and dice it up or use a garlic press.  If you want garlic on hand for those times when you’ve run out of fresh garlic, you can also find minced garlic in a jar.

Lessons Learned:

  • garlic can reduce chances of heart disease, improve cholesterol, and lower risk of certain cancers
  • garlic is a good source of antioxidants and is good for your bones
  • garlic stores well and can be added to all sorts of dishes

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