An Homage to Garlic

Simply put garlic is great. I don’t think it gets enough love so I’m putting it out there. The “allium sativum” as an ingredient for food preparation is inexpensive, easy to grow, easy to find, and adds a great flavor to nearly anything it’s added to. Allium_sativum_Woodwill_1793Sure it takes a beating for giving bad breath, but that’s actually a very rare complaint to hear.

When preparing some food and no ideas of the end result, without even thinking, I usually turn on a burner, get some onions sautéing in olive oil, and before long I am adding garlic. Anywhere from 2-4 cloves sliced, chopped, or even halved will add a great flavor, make your kitchen smell amazing, and the remaining pieces in the final food your serve have a huge punch packed to liven up that dish. It’s so simple, fresh garlic doesn’t rot if it’s sat around too long, and the word on the streets is it fends off vampires too, just saying.

Even if you’re kind of “meh” about the flavor of garlic or having it in your food, its health benefits are like a never ending sunset, the more time passes the more we see.

  • As an ingested food, fresh garlic offers a whole gambit of cancer prevention qualities, it decreases cholesterol and blood pressure, and should be considered as a method for preventing heart attacks.
  • I’ve never tried it, but apparently as a topical gel containing ajoene (a chemical found in garlic) can fight off ring worm, jock itch and athlete’s foot.

The former uses & effects are a result of the organic chemicals sulfur, cysteine, and selenium which are found in garlic. All worth reading up on, too.

Another very interesting quality of garlic is it’s relationship to Glutathione. You don’t need to know what that is right now, but make a note to look it up later, as it’s a very important antioxidant in your body of which you should be keeping replete quantities. Glutathione literally escorts toxins from the body (and out through urine & bile); it improves the immune system, fights off free radicals, and detoxifies the liver. It’s the mother of all antioxidants. If you’ve been experiencing some fatigue, muscle pain, brain fog, or just feeling vulnerable to next common cold that sweeps through town, chances are your body has a glutathione deficiency. Normally the body produces glutathione naturally, but somewhere in our 40’s we stop producing as much. Regardless of how old you are if your body has been cleaning out toxins, from junk food, air pollution, pesticides in your vegetables or fruit, alcohol, tobacco, etc. you have to help produce more or you’re going to start feeling the pain.

Back to Garlic, our bodies use the cysteine in garlic in combination with glutamic acid and glycine to produce Glutathione. I’m aware this got very scientific very fast, but just take a moment, think about how much you eat garlic, think about how interested you are in avoiding cancels, and common illnesses, think about how much better it is to start your day with a fresh head. Now, if you aren’t eating enough garlic, let this be your calling to start. We’ll talk about the other things that will help with Glutathione production another time.

Taking it back a notch, before I wrap up this personal homage. I’d just like to say that garlic doesn’t taste good raw, and there is strong evidence that taking garlic pills offer the same benefits (disclosure I have tried that the body odor alone isn’t worth it). To have some garlic, you have to cook some garlic, and cooking is great. It’s a way to destress, to prepare something healthy to eat, and save a few bucks (or not if you’re eating out). Garlic is at the heart of all that. So next time you’re grocery shopping, think to yourself – “Where’s the garlic?”.