Garlic is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion. It is native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran, and has long been a common seasoning worldwide, with a history of several thousand years of human consumption and use
There is something irresistible about the aroma of roasted garlic. It is so captivating with its powerful notes, that it has long been used as a flavour booster in curries, stir-fries, pizza topping, pastas, meat preparations, dips – you name it! It has the power to instantly liven up any dish and treat some of the most common ailments. While garlic is a common ingredient in every kitchen, in the ancient times, it was highly valued for its numerous health benefiting properties, which are still followed in many cultures today. Our ancestors have used it as a bug-repellant, Medieval Europe against plague and the Egyptians would even bury it along with their dead! Some benefits of garlic are credited to the presence of the sulphur-containing compound, Allicin, found in fresh, crushed or chewed garlic, due to which it has anti-bacteria and anti-fungal properties.
Some startling claims mention that it may help prevent some forms of cancer too. The health benefits of garlic are aplenty. Garlic is a part of the onion family and the ‘bulb’ of this herb typically consists of 10-20 smaller sections called the ‘cloves’. Each small clove is a powerhouse of flavour as well as medicinal properties.
Every 100 grams of garlic will serve you with close to 150 calories, 33 grams of carbs, 6.36 grams of protein. Garlic is also enriched with Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc.
Dr. Simran Saini, Delhi-based Nutritionist and weight loss consultant is a fan of the medicinal benefits of garlic. She says, “The high sulphur content in garlic gives it antibiotic properties, helping keep the digestive system clean by flushing out toxins. It also builds the immunity against common cold and prevents heart ailments by clearing up blocked arteries. It is great for rejuvenation and healing of and gives a glow to the skin as it keeps digestion in top-shape.” She advises to consume garlic in a specific manner- place a clove between two teeth, bite a little to release its extracts and then swallow whole with water. She says, “the medicinal value of garlic is best unlocked when it is consumed raw.”