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The Nutrition of Garlic

May 26, 2010

When it comes to foods that are good for you, there’s nothing quite like garlic. This plant represents the point where nutritional fact meets traditional fiction. Past societies and even many of today’s experts consider garlic to be a veritable wonder-food, something that can cure all ills and even protect you from vampires…okay, that’s an example of the myth that has built up around the humble garlic bulb. But through many centuries, the hype around garlic has persisted, and now scientists are starting to find out why so many past societies made so much use of this valuable plant.

The Nutrition of Garlic: More Traditional Uses

Aside from protecting hapless citizens from the undead, garlic was traditionally used to ward off various illnesses, including the Plague. Today, it is still thought of as a cure for various illnesses like the common cold, infections, indigestion… and the list goes on. As a natural curative, garlic enjoys a lot of attention in many parts of the world. It’s also extremely popular as an easy way to add flavor to many dishes, and has helped to build up the cuisine of the most notable food cultures.

The Nutrition of Garlic: Some Basic Science

Modern science has largely supported some of the traditional claims that have been made about garlic. For instance, the plant has a high antioxidant value that upholds its reputation as something of a natural antibiotic and virus fighter. There are also vitamins and nutritional elements in garlic that make it a likely aid in warding off some forms of cancer.

Nutrition Facts

Garlic is also good for the body in terms of what it doesn’t include. Unlike some other tastier foods on the American plate, there’s very little saturated fat, cholesterol or sodium. What garlic does have is an impressive variety of vitamins, including a lot of vitamin C, which does everything from warding off scurvy to helping to fight the common cold. Garlic also has a good amount of calcium, which is absolutely necessary for the body, especially for helping to support the bone structure as the body gets older. Brittleness of the bone and osteoporosis are becoming huge issues for aging men and women. Getting enough calcium is key, and that’s just another area where garlic contains some of the best nutritional elements for a long quality of life.

All of the above makes garlic a popular candidate for a daily natural supplement. Others like to simply include it in meals, where garlic makes a great addition to various combinations of green vegetables and vegetarian entrées. Some nutritionists point out one of the most common drawbacks of using too much garlic: the strength of the garlic bulb’s flavor and aroma can be too much for some sensitive stomachs, and in addition, there are individuals who are allergic to this plant. However, the vast majority of people can get some great health benefits and nutritional support through including garlic in their regular diet.

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