You’ve Been Eating Garlic Wrong Your ENTIRE Life (and missing out on INCREDIBLE benefits)
Garlic is a usual suspect in the kitchen, meaning it is normally included in a wide variety of recipes for its unique and pungent flavor. While we often consider garlic to be a spice, it is indeed a vegetable and is a part of the allium family, and is close related to the onion, shallot, leek and chive. While garlic is first known for it’s flavour purposes in the kitchen, it is also a well known powerful tonic that can be used to boost health.
The powers of garlic begin in the taste and aroma sensations, which trigger and activate our salivary glands and digestive “juices”. Without tasting and smelling, our stomachs would not be ‘ready’ for food, and we’d have trouble digesting food and making use of the nutrients found within. This is partly why supplementation is never as effective as eating a whole food diet. If you just swallow a capsule, like say a garlic capsule, you have completely bypassed the first stage of digestion – plus I don’t think your mouth is going to begin salivating for a vegetable capsule! For those who have a diminished sense of taste, garlic can be a flavour enhancer and a very useful addition to a meal to again trigger the first phase of digestion.
Some Big Health Benefits of Garlic
This pungent bulb benefits us in more ways than just digestion. However, in Ayurvedic medicine, pungent tastes such as that from garlic benefits both the lungs and large intestine, those who have the Dosha types of Kapha and Vata are best suited for garlic consumption. Garlic is a rich source of organosulfur compounds, which are not only responsible for the pungent flavour and aroma, but also for many of the potential health benefits.
There is high potential for the organosulfur compounds that are derived from garlic to prevent and treat chronic diseases; such as cancer, inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases. There are two classes of organosulfur compounds which are found in whole garlic cloves, γ-glutamylcysteines, and cysteine sulfoxides, not that you need to memorize these names.
What you really need understand about garlic is how these beneficial compounds are activated. When whole raw garlic cloves are crushed, minced, pressed or chopped, an enzyme known as alliinase is released. When alliinase is released or “damaged” from the pressing or mincing the garlic it begins convert a compound called alliin into ‘sulfenic acids’.
Interestingly enough, a similar reaction happens as well in onions, when you chop an onion you are breaking open cells and creating sulfenic acids, which in the onions case produce a gas that reacts with the water in your eyes, making them water!
When the sulfenic acids react with each other in garlic, they form allicin and that is when the pungent smell fills your kitchen and the benefits become available!
So in short, when fresh garlic is chopped or crushed, the enzyme alliinase converts alliin into allicin, which is responsible for the aroma of fresh garlic and the benefits associated with consuming it.
You can find entire books written about this stinking rose, studies have demonstrated the positive effects of garlic on more than 150 different diseases.
Top categories for garlic’s benefits are:
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