Garlic Pungent Sulfurous Sweet

The sulfur containing compounds give garlic its distinctive taste. Allicin, the main compound is only produced when the garlic clove is crushed or chopped. Garlic unites other flavors and can be combined with spices that contain the same terpenes that are present in smaller amounts in garlic. Pyrazines are created when garlic is fried or toasted and give a nutty flavor.

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GarlicGarlic is a very healthy vegetable that belongs to the same botanical family as the onion, which has been utilized by mankind for thousands of years. Not only as a food source but also as a medicine. The medicinal properties of garlic where already described in the Codex Ebers, a medical handbook dating from the time of the Pharaohs (1500 BC.). Nowadays, garlic has a prominent place in the kitchen worldwide.

To assure yourself of the most benefits of the healthy properties of garlic, you should after cutting or pressing the garlic leave it for a few minutes before you use it for cooking. Garlic contains the chemical compound alliine which after cutting or pressing the garlic gets converted into allicin by an enzym released from the garlic, the component that is mainly responsible for the smell of garlic. The enzym that is responsible for this conversion is deactivated during cooking or frying of garlic and that's why the pungent odor decreases during cooking or frying. Therefore it's best to also add some garlic at the end of the cooking time to add maximum flavor and health benefits to your dish.

The chemical compounds alliin and allicin in garlic both have a cholesterol lowering effect. Especially with people who have high cholesterol levels, garlic decreases the bad LDL cholesterol levels significantly. Elevated cholesterol levels are a risk factor for atherosclerosis, the clogging of blood vessels. Garlic ensures that the undesirable clumping of blood platelets occurs less quickly. Garlic also has anti-inflammatory properties, which also helps to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.

Another reason why garlic is so healthy for your heart and blood vessels is because garlic causes blood cells to release hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide controls the blood pressure and ensures that the blood pressure drops in people with elevated blood pressure. In addition, garlic has a vasodilatory effect which improves the blood flow. This effect is also beneficial for men who suffer form erectile dysfunction. A research trial in the BBC program 'The truth about food' found that eating four cloves of raw garlic a day for three months enabled six out of seven men with erectile dysfunction could once again get an erection.
Some health benefits of garlic summed up,

  • Garlic is a source of the vitamins B1, B6 & C.
  • Garlic contains the minerals manganese, copper, selenium, phosphorus and calcium.
  • Garlic is very healthy for your heart and blood vessels.
  • Garlic improves the iron metabolism in the body.
  • Garlic had antiviral activity and can help with the treatment of warts, by eating garlic and through applying it directly on the warts.
  • Garlic helps fighting off diseases like colds and the flu (also both virus infections).
  • Garlic also works well in combating fungal infections.
  • Garlic contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage, and thus reduces the risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.
  • Garlic helps the body to remove heavy metals like lead.
  • Garlic is very effective in fighting pathogenic bacteria that are the cause of foodborne diseases.
  • Garlic has a strong antiseptic effect when applied externally.
  • Garlic has anti-inflammatory activity in the whole body.

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