Friday, January 14, 2011

Garlic Might Keep More than Just Vampires Away!

It's Day 10 of our 12 Days of Healthy Foods, and today we have chosen to feature garlic. Considered both a vegetable and an herb, garlic is related to onions, leeks, and shallots and is one of the handiest ingredients to keep around the kitchen. Its distinct flavor is often just what's needed to make a recipe complete.
You'll remember in the book and movie Dracula, garlic was used to keep the vampires away. Throughout the centuries, however, people have thought garlic would ward off more than just vampires. They thought it might keep away colds, flu, and even the plague! As it turns out, that may have been onto something. Researchers have only begun to tap into the health benefits of garlic, but studies have actually shown that the sulfur-containing compounds that give garlic its smell are also the source of several health-promoting effects. They have found that garlic stimulates T-cells that fight infection so there may be some truth to the antibacterial and antiviral qualities of garlic. Other studies have shown garlic might help manage cholesterol, improve iron metabolism, and even help control blood pressure. Most of these studies are preliminary, but we do know garlic contains manganese, Vitamins B6 and C, and selenium which are all needed for good health.
Garlic may be roasted whole or sliced, minced, crushed, or pressed before cooking. When crushed or minced, let the garlic sit for about 15 minutes before adding it to your dish. Studies have shown that during this brief waiting time, an enzyme reaction is triggered that helps to release the full health benefits.
Pick up some garlic FOR FREE today (1/14/11) with $15 purchase at Daisy Mae's Market at Findlay Market. We bet it will keep the vampires away (and taste good and be good for you at the same time).

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