Garlic has an intense, pungent flavour and is rich in a variety of sulphur containing substances which give garlic its strong odour. These substances are responsible for many of garlic’s wonderful health benefits.
A huge number of studies have explored garlic’s antimicrobial properties. It is thought that the substance allicin, found in garlic, is responsible for its antibacterial activity (against a wide range of bacteria including strains of E. coli), antifungal activity (especially against Candida albicans), anti parasitic activity (against some intestinal parasites) and anti-viral properties. Garlic is therefore extremely useful at this time of year to help keep those nasty bugs at bay!
Furthermore, garlic may be able to improve our utilisation of the mineral iron. It is thought that garlic increases the production of a substance that helps the iron leave the cells where it is stored, and become available to circulate within the body for when it is required. Iron is essential for our growth and development, contributes to the production of our haemoglobin and red blood cells and supports our immune system.
Be sure to crush or chop garlic and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before cooking or eating it. During this time the special enzymes in garlic are released, which promote the formation of health promoting substances.
Keep a look out for more ‘Nutritional Nuggets’ in the future to discover more about the many health benefits of garlic!
My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics
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