Today it is Winter Solstice – our shortest day and according to tradition, this is the time to plant your garlic cloves so they can be harvested on the longest day, December 21, just in time for Christmas. A great Christmas present for our health read below for some of the therapeutic benefits from eating garlic.
There is definitely more to the humble garlic bulb than meets the eye. This herb has been valued across many cultures as a medicine, food, flavouring and preservative. It is one of the oldest cultivated plants with written records dating back to Ancient Egypt detailing its medicinal use. Hippocrates cited its numerous uses therapeutically, it was given to the original Olympic athletes, therefore we can possibly regard it as our first performance-enhancing drug. It has also been used in Chinese medicine for the last 3,000years.
Today we use garlic as a delicious ingredient that adds nutritional punch and wonderful flavour to many dishes, but we also recognise and use garlic therapeutically. This could be due to the sulphur containing compounds such as the pungent and volatile allicin. This has been shown to have antimicrobial actions so helping our bodies fight colds, flu along with yeast infections such as candida.
Did you know garlic and its constituents have strong antioxidant properties, they are capable of scavenging those harmful free radicals that can be so damaging to our bodies? Garlic has also been shown to indirectly help our own internal antioxidant systems. Definitely another plus for including garlic in your diet.
Studies have also indicated garlic to assist with cardiovascular health as it seems to have a protective effect against atherosclerosis, helps naturally to decrease cholesterol levels, and helps lower blood pressure.
In this toxic world we live in, garlic can also assist us. In vitro tests have shown “garlic to prevent cadmium and arsenic-induced oxidative stress” (Braun & Cohen, 2015)
And there’s more … nutritionally garlic is a good source of B6, vitamin C, manganese, selenium, phosphorous, calcium, potassium, iron and copper (Murray and Pizzorno, 2005)
Don’t miss out, get into your garden or just use some pots and plant some garlic, your body will love you for it.
Garlic Aioli Recipe Ingredients 1 large egg, 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 3/4 cup of virgin olive oil (divided), 1 garlic clove.
Method Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 minced garlic clove in a medium bowl. Whisk until properly blended and colour should be bright yellow.
Using 1/4 teaspoon measure add a 1/4 of a cup of olive oil to the yolk mixture, a couple of drops at a time, whisking constantly. Note this takes around 4 minutes.
Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil, ensuring it is added in a slow thin stream, whisking all the time until the mayonnaise is thick and lighter in colour. Cover and chill. It can be kept for two days. Use as a dip for your favourite vegetables or whenever you would use mayonnaise.
Note Raw egg is not recommended for infants, the elderly, immune compromised or pregnant woman.