Garlic is more than a culinary mainstay that can add flavor to meals; it is a natural, traditional medicine that has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Regular consumption of garlic has been linked with:
- Improving overall cholesterol levels
- Lowering blood pressure and decreasing clot formation, thus reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack
- Combating respiratory infections
- Minimizing symptoms of common colds, including sore throats
- Reducing fungal or yeast infections
Eating raw garlic (chopped or mashed) releases the herb's full potential as the active component, allicin, forms only on contact with air. Garlic loses its antibiotic properties when you cook or dry it, and commercial garlic capsules do not preserve the full activity of the fresh bulb.
You can make raw garlic more palatable by chopping it fine, mixing it with food, and eating it with a meal, or cut a clove into chunks and swallow them whole like pills.
Enjoy garlic's medicinal benefits in this dish that incorporates another one of my favorite foods: broccoli. Spicy Garlic Broccoli with Pine Nuts.