Why Garlic Should Be a Diet Staple - vegetarian recipes

Why Garlic Should Be a Diet Staple

April 5 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Why Garlic Should Be a Diet Staple
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Garlic is a favorite ingredient for cooks around the world--and provides a variety of health benefits. Heres how to get the most from this ancient superfood. Garlic may stink, literally, but when it comes to health benefits, this plant is a winner. Not only is it rich in phosphorus, calcium, and copper, but when incorporated into a regular diet, it may reduce risks of cancer and heart disease. Garlic Benefits Garlics benefits include lowering total cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing oxidative stress--which has been linked to numerous health conditions--controlling infections, helping keep iron in circulation, and possibly reducing the risk of cancer, says George Mateljan, Hawaii-based author of The Worlds Healthiest Foods (GMF Publishing, 2015) and founder of Health Valley Foods. Cooked vs. Raw Garlic As for its famous odor? Not until you cut into a garlic clove will its sulfur compounds release their smell. The compounds found in raw garlic confer the greatest health benefits, but cooked garlic is a superstar, too--lending a flavor kick to soups, stews, breads, meats, vegetables, sauces, and dressings. It can also be roasted on its own so that each clove becomes soft and spreadable. Meanwhile, letting crushed garlic stand for 10 minutes before cooking with it can prevent the loss of its cancer-fighting properties, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition. See also High and Low: Garlic Presses Know Your Garlic Supermarkets usually carry just one kind of garlic, but there are actually hundreds of different types--they can be found at farmers markets and garlic festivals (see left). They all fall into one of two general categories: Softneck Characteristics >> Most frequently found in grocery stores, this type produces stalks, but usually also has more individual cloves than the hardneck types. Flavor profile >> Generally milder than hardneck. Common types >> Silverskin and artichoke Hardneck Characteristics >> Garlics in this category feature hard, woody stalks that often send up a floral stalk, and are larger but provide fewer cloves per bulb than softneck varieties. Flavor profile >> This category includes a wider variety of flavors--including some that border on intense--than softneck garlics. Common types >> Rocambole, porcelain, purple stripe, marbled purple stripe, glazed purple stripe Garlic supplements to try Although garlic and its derivatives are included on the Food and Drug Administrations Generally Recognized As Safe list, check with your doctor before taking garlic supplements, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on blood-thinning medications. Here are a few options: Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract $21.99/­300 Formula 100 capsules; kyolic.com Metagenics SuperGarlic 6000 $31.95/­90 600 mg concentrate tablets; metagenics.com Natural Factors GarlicRich Super Strength Garlic Concentrate $13.97/­90 500 mg coated softgels; natralfactors.com Natures Way Garlic Bulb $5.49/­100 580 mg vegetarian capsules; naturesway.com The Vitamin Shoppe Aged Garlic Extract $15.99/­200 600 mg capsules; vitaminshoppe.com

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