Garlic Description & Health Benefits

  • Garlic is a member of the Amaryllidaceae botanical family which also includes onion, shallot, leek, and chives.
  • It is a perennial that is typically planted in the fall and harvested in the summer.
  • Garlic’s health promoting properties come from its sulfur containing compounds.
  • Garlic contains antioxidant properties that scavenge free radicals and protect our bodies from cell damage. Cell damage can lead to cancer, heart disease, and inflammation.
  • Research suggests garlic is beneficial to the cardiovascular system and may reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure in those with elevated numbers.
  • Garlic also contains antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-fungal benefits.

Purchasing, Selecting, Storing, and Preparing

  • Garlic can be purchased fresh, dried, in powder form and as infused garlic oil.
  • Garlic is used like a seasoning to flavor your favorite dishes.
  • Purchase garlic bulbs that are firm and heavy for their size. Avoid those that are sprouting or have soft spots.
  • Store garlic in a cool, dry place.. No need to refrigerate! Try storing on the counter top or in a small brown paper bag away from heat and sunlight.
  • One bulb of garlic may contain anywhere from 10-20 individual garlic cloves.
  • To prepare, separate cloves from the bulb, place the clove on a cutting board and crush with the handle of your knife. Remove the peel and thinly slice off the end which was attached to the bulb. Mince garlic with a knife or use a garlic press.
  • Use garlic raw, dried or roasted.
  • Garlic scapes are the immature flower stalks which can be removed from the plant and used fresh in salads or cooked in stir fry.

Nutrition Facts

1 clove, raw
Calories: 4 | Protein: 0.19 g | Fat: 0.01 g | Carbohydrate: 0.99 g | Fiber: 0.1 g | Calcium: 5 mg | Magnesium: 1 mg | Potassium: 12 mg | Vitamin C: 0.9 mg | Folate: 0 μg | Vitamin A: 0 IU

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