Garlic is native to the Mediterranean and Syria, although it is Central Asia where it is grows most abundantly today. Writings from Babylonia, China and India have indicated that garlic was well-known as a superfood in ancient times.
It has always been known as a medicinal plant. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that it conferred protection and strength, and throughout the Middle Ages it was widely used as a medicine in Europe and Asia.
Throughout history, garlic has also been surrounded by many superstitions, most likely due to its odiferous nature. It is best known for the protection against vampires, and many years prior to that belief, midwives in ancient Greece would string garlic around the necks of newborns for protection against evil spirits.
Why it’s a superfood?
- High in manganese;
- Good source of vitamins B6 and C;
- Contains numerous phytochemicals.
Garlic contains several important phytochemicals, including thiosulfinate allicin, and S-allycysteine, which act as antioxidants and have other functions that help fight disease.
This 2001 study found that daily garlic supplementation reduced the number of colds by approximately 65% when compared to placebo. The average length of the cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from five days in the placebo group to just one and a half in the garlic group.
Several studies have also found that garlic supplementation can have a significant impact in reducing blood pressure in people suffering from high blood pressure.
This study found that between 600 mg and 1,500 mg of aged garlic extract was just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a six month period.
The amount required to achieve the desired benefits are equivalent to about four or five cloves of garlic per day.
Making the most of Garlic
The key to making the most of garlic is consistently and variety. Use it often, in a variety of dishes to receive all of the benefits. When roasting, cut cloves into slices to release the phytochemicals.