The aromatic garlic is not only popular in dishes, but has also been valued for centuries for its healing properties. How healthy is garlic, what effects it has and delicious recipes.
In the meantime, garlic (Allium sativum) has become an indispensable part of Mediterranean cuisine. Good thing, because with every toe, a little more health comes onto the plate.
Alliin is a sulfur-containing amino acid in garlic that is converted to allicin by cutting the tuber and the enzyme alliinase. Since allicin is not stable, it converts to ajoene, di- and trisulfide, among other things – the reasons for the typical smell of garlic.
In nature, allicin protects the plant from predators and fungi. In the human body, the compound has a positive effect on the heart and circulation. Garlic also contains these ingredients:
Healthy effects of garlic
Garlic and garlic extract are said to have some positive effects. Various studies examined the effects on the body. These effects of garlic are well known.
Dilates the blood vessels: So-called sulfides in garlic lower the fat levels in the blood and reduce hardening of the arteries. As a result, the vessels are wide and elastic, the blood flows faster, the blood pressure is lowered and cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks are prevented.
Lowers blood lipids: Alliicin and other sulfur compounds are likely responsible for the positive effect on blood lipid levels. So, eating garlic can be healthy for cholesterol levels. In countries where garlic is eaten a lot, people, on average, have lower blood lipid levels and healthier hearts.
Helps with infections: Garlic is antibacterial. It works against bacteria, but can also be effective against viruses and thus support flu or other viral infections. Garlic is used, for example, for respiratory infections. As a syrup, it can relieve coughs, and garlic in the form of warm sachets directly on the ear helps with earache.
Protects against blood clots: The tubers also contain the natural blood thinner adenosine. This can counteract the formation of blood clots.
Supports the defense: When chopping garlic, the alliin turns into allicin. Allicin is considered a natural antibiotic, works against bacteria and is said to even protect against cancer in the long term.
Provides warmth: In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), garlic is a warming food that stimulates the flow of energy. Therefore, the tuber can help anyone who quickly shivers or catches a cold.
Protects the intestines: The natural antibiotic alliicin also kills harmful germs in the intestine without harming the microbiome (intestinal flora).
Strong liver: In addition, substances containing sulfur in garlic support the liver in its detoxification work. At the same time, the trace element selenium protects the important organ itself from damage by the toxins.
Home remedies with garlic
Due to its ingredients, garlic can provide relief from colds and flu. Here’s how you can use the garlic:
Chop up the garlic cloves, add the honey and let it steep for about two hours. If you have a cough, the syrup can relieve the symptoms. Swallow a teaspoon of garlic syrup every three hours.
A warm garlic sachet or a sachet of onion can help with infection-related earache. To do this, cut the garlic, heat it up briefly and place it in a cloth. Put it on the ear and secure it with a headband or a cap, for example. The home remedy can be used several times a day for about 20 minutes.
A tea made from garlic, lemon and ginger can also help with infections. To do this, crush a clove of garlic, grate an equal piece of ginger, squeeze the juice of a lemon. Add a teaspoon of honey and pour hot water over it.
Garlic: tips against the odor
Garlic is healthy and delicious. But it also has its typical smell, which can sometimes be unpleasant on the hands or in the breath. Not everyone perceives the smell of garlic in the same way, some find it not bad while others perceive it as very disgusting. In addition, it also depends on the individual whether and how strong you smell after consuming garlic.
If you want to get rid of the garlic smell on your hands, it helps to rub them with salt and a little lemon juice. Leave on for a short time and wash off with lukewarm water. Rubbing in vinegar can also help neutralize the odor.
Chewing parsley, sage, ginger or mint can help against the smell of garlic in your breath. In India, cardamom is considered an odor remover after consuming a dish with garlic.
Garlic Shrimp Recipe
ingredients for 4 people:
- 800 g frozen prawns
- 1 red chilli pepper
- 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 TL Senf
- Salt pepper
- 2 tbsp wine vinegar
- 1/4 l olive oil
- 2 tbsp oil for frying
preparation: Thaw the prawns. Finely crushed chilli pods without seeds in a mortar. Lightly pound in the sea salt. Peel the garlic. Cut one clove into slices, press the rest of the garlic. Mix the egg yolks, mustard and vinegar together. Season with squeezed garlic, salt and pepper. Stir in 1/4 liter of oil drop by drop. Heat the oil for frying. Fry the prawns and garlic slices, turning, for about 4 minutes. Season with the chilli salt and serve with the garlic cream. Rice, for example, goes very well as a side dish.
Pro Portion: 770 kcal
Recipe for garlic pesto (also possible as a dip)
ingredients for 6 people:
- 200 g basil
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 50 g Parmesan
- 50 g Pecorino
- 100 ml of olive oil
Preparation: Cut the basil into small pieces. Roast pine nuts in a pan without fat. Chop the garlic. Dice cheese. Crush everything in a bowl with a mortar. Stir in olive oil until a paste is formed. Goes well with prawns, pasta and bread.
Pro Portion: 205 kcal
Recipe for pea and herb risotto
ingredients for four persons:
- 1 tbsp poultry bouillon
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 EL Öl
- 300 g risotto rice
- 250 g peas (fresh or frozen)
- 200 ml of dry white wine
- 150 g cream cheese with herbs
- freshly ground pepper
preparation: Bring 1.5 l of water with the poultry stock to a boil in a saucepan. Peel and finely dice the garlic clove. Melt the oil in a second saucepan, add the garlic, rice and peas and stir until the rice is translucent. Add white wine and stir until absorbed. Pour in a ladle of broth and keep stirring. Repeatedly add a ladle of broth as soon as the liquid is absorbed. When the rice is soft but still has a slightly firm core, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the cream cheese with herbs and season with salt and pepper. Let rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
Pro Portion: 478 kcal
Source: Lifeline | Das Gesundheitsportal by www.lifeline.de.
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