Garlic is an excellent, nutritious ingredient used in a variety of large meals and small recipes for centuries throughout the world.
Civilizations across human history have used garlic for medicinal purposes and to add flavor to food. The plant is in the same family as onions, leeks and shallots, which share similar benefits.
Read below to understand the health benefits of moderate daily garlic consumption.
How much raw garlic should you eat a day?
Garlic offers numerous health benefits and adds flavor to a variety of meals that are easy to prepare for a family or individual.
However, If you consume garlic on a daily basis, you should do so in moderation and decrease your intake if you notice negative side effects.
In general, overconsumption of garlic will produce side effects, including garlic breath, digestive issues, bloating, stomach pains, gas and heartburn.
A healthy and moderate daily consumption of garlic is between one and two gloves or three and six grams. (iStock)
A safe amount of garlic for an individual to consume a day, generally speaking, is between one and two cloves or three to six grams. While there is no official recommendation on the exact daily garlic consumption, if you notice any of the negative side effects, reduce your consumption or stop eating it altogether if necessary.
It may be better to consume garlic by cooking or preparing it for your meals during lunch or dinner. This option will allow you to eat in a more safe and efficient manner (and may help to reduce garlic breath and acid refluxes).
How can you use garlic in food?
There are a variety of meals in which garlic can be incorporated that will reduce your chance of having bad breath while also being able to enjoy the garlic flavor.
If you enjoy red meat, you can pan-sear a New York strip steak for between 6 and 10 minutes, depending on your preference, alongside a few pieces of crushed garlic. You can cut open a garlic clove ahead of time and rub the clove across the meat before cooking for just a touch of garlic flavor.
If you choose to cook in butter, avoid cooking the garlic for more than 30 seconds, as it will brown and burn. Include herbs such as thyme or rosemary to add even more flavor.
Garlic can be enjoyed by cooking the plant alongside a juicy steak or as an ingredient in other side dishes such as mashed potatoes. (iStock)
Garlic can also be enjoyed in various side dishes, such as grilled asparagus, mixed into mashed potatoes or cooked carrots with roasted garlic. You can also add a healthy dose of garlic in different forms in sandwiches, bread, soups, pasta, chicken and homemade pizzas.
By cooking garlic as an ingredient within a wider meal, you can enjoy the taste and health benefits of the plant while avoiding the negative effects.
What are the health benefits of garlic?
Over the years, medical research has determined that garlic provides individuals with several health benefits in the raw and supplements form. As previously mentioned, garlic can be enjoyed in a number of ways, including in the liquid form of tea.
However, when it comes to the overall health benefits, moderate consumption of garlic can help individuals reduce the risk of infections due to the plant’s ability to fight viruses, fungi and parasites.
Additionally, garlic benefits cardiac health by helping the heart recover after a heart attack. A study from Emory University found that garlic oil helped reduce the damage to a heart attack to cardiac tissue by 61%. Other garlic supplements may also help individuals with hypertension reduce their blood pressure.
Garlic provides various health benefits, including helping cardiovascular tissue recover after a heart attack.
Finally, garlic can also act as a nutritious food supplement in an individual daily diet. For example, the plant is low in calories but is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and other nutrients. However, although garlic has a lot of health benefits, it is important to moderate your consumption, make changes when necessary, and consult with your doctor.
How do you roast garlic in the oven?
One of the most delicious ways to use garlic in recipes is roasting it ahead of time and either mashing it or keeping it whole for your meal.
To roast garlic, you’ll need foil and an oil of your choosing. Remove the garlic cloves from the root and peel all the skin. There will be two layers of skin you’ll want to avoid cooking. The first layer is a super frail skin that will fall off into pieces easily. The second layer is the stiff skin around the clove.
This will be more laborious to peel so if you need assistance, cut one of the clove ends off and peel the garlic from there.
Place your cloves on a piece of tinfoil and cover in oil, preferably extra virgin olive oil. If you’re hoping for a pungent scent and flavor, include strong herbs like rosemary and thyme and wrap with your garlic. Roast the garlic in the oven at 450 F for 40 minutes.
You’ll want the cloves to be soft and mash to a fork when removed.
Tips for growing garlic in garden
Like other vegetables including lettuce, onions, potatoes, celery, beets and more, you can grow garlic from scraps or store bought bulbs.
If you’re hoping to grow garlic at home, you can follow a fairly simple process. Here are tips for growing garlic.
- Separate your garlic from the outer layer of skin only. You’ll want to keep on the inner layer of skin to ensure its growth.
- Plant individual cloves of garlic in loose potting mix. You can use a planter pot or raised bed to grow garlic.
- Plant the cloves in one to two inches below the surface and space them three to four inches apart to allow them room to grow.
- Mulch with an organic mixture and water once every seven days. Garlic takes six to eight months to harvest so be patient and enjoy after a winter and spring of germination.
Garlic is a favored ingredient in numerous recipes for its pungent flavor. (OrWhateverYouDo.com)
Fun facts about garlic
- National Garlic Day is on April 19 every year.
- In 2020, 346 million pounds of garlic was produced in the U.S., which was valued at $246 million, according to the USDA.
- Garlic and onions come from the same plant family, Allium, which is actually a flower.
- Researchers have said that garlic can help prevent the most common type of arthritis, hip osteoarthritis.
- In Gilroy, California, there is an annual garlic festival with a garlic mascot, tons of food cooked with garlic and even garlic ice cream.
- Drinking lemon water will help with bad breath from garlic.
- Garlic is toxic for pets.