The underground bulb of the garlic plant is the most commonly used portion of the plant. It is an essential component of most dishes prepared in Asia, Middle East, North Africa, Southern Europe and parts of South America. The bulb is divided into many sections known as cloves, which may be consumed raw, used in cooking or as medicine. Other parts of the plant like the leaves and flowers may also be consumed. They have a milder flavor than the bulbs.
The pungent, spicy taste of the bulbs softens and sweetens as cooked. Many people find raw garlic to be a bit aggressive for their tastes. However, combined with some mild and sweet tasting green vegetables in juices, its sting can be minimized and the taste pleasing.
Garlic Veggie Juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ an avocado
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 small green apple
- few mint leaves
Avocado's won't juice, so I recommend you juice all of the ingredients together, and then pour the juice into a blender and blitz it with the avocado to make a nice, creamy, smoothie. Alternatively, you could add all of the ingredients to the blender at the start and skip the juicing step.
Garlic is a good source of calcium, selenium, vitamin B1 and phosphorus and a very good source of vitamin C, B6, copper and manganese. It is very low in calories, saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol. It also contains some thiamin, riboflavin pantothenic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.
Allicin is one of garlic’s most valuable sulfur compounds. It works best for your health if you chop or crush fresh garlic clove and allow it to sit for a few minutes at room temperature, before cooking it or using it in a juice. If the garlic clove is cooked whole or even a mild acid like lemon juice is added to it, it will lose some of its anti-cancer properties.
Health Benefits of Garlic
According to an old folk remedy, eating a clove of garlic dipped in honey at the first sign of a cold will ward off colds and flu. Modern medical studies indicate that garlic boosts the immune system and fights chest infections, congestion and coughs. US and European studies have shown that garlic reduces the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood and aids babies in the womb to gain weight. Garlic is also known to be a potent antioxidant that protects the body against free radical damage as well as the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, a leading stomach ulcer causing bacteria. One San Francisco area study found that garlic reduced risks of pancreatic cancer while a study in France linked greater consumption of garlic with lower risks of breast cancer.