Health and Wellness Fridays – Raw Garlic

Hello and welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays!  I know for me  Fridays are extra special.  Are they for you too? 🙂

Today we’re going to be talking about the possible benefits of raw garlic.    Garlic is good for so much more than just adding flavour to our dishes. Stick around to learn more. 🙂

Background

Garlic is a member of the Allium Sativum family of vegetables which includes onion, chive, leek, and shallot.  Garlic is a herb that has been around for many years.

It is made up of many small separate cloves arranged in a head, called a “bulb”.  The cloves as well as the entire bulb are encased in paper-like sheathes that vary in colour ranging from white, off-white to  a purple hue.

There are many varieties of garlic. Garlic can differ in size, colour, shape, taste, number of cloves per bulb, pungency and storability. Some garlic can be stored for as little as 6 months to as much as 1 year.

Most of the garlic varieties can be classified under hard-necked or soft-necked.   Soft-necked being the most common.  They are usually the ones  you will find braided in the supermarket. Soft-necked garlic typically has several layers of cloves surrounding the central portion of the garlic bulb. Its papery skin, or sheath, is creamy white in colour.  Silverskin and artichoke are two popular varieties.

Hard-necked garlic unlike soft-neck garlic do not have a flexible stalk.  This type of garlic, will typically have an extremely firm stalk protruding an inch or two from the top of the bulb.  Three popular varieties include: Rocambole, Porcelain and Purple stripe.

Nutritional Profile of Raw Garlic

Some of the nutrients that can be found in raw garlic include: manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C,  copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B1, and calcium as well as sulfur compounds.

Did you know?

  • Garlic is a laxative plant.
  • The fresher the garlic, the higher the concentration of its active ingredients.  Green shoots are a sign of age.
  • Wide range of health and beauty benefits.

Some Possible Health and Beauty Benefits include:

Possible Side Effects

Although garlic is likely safe for most people when taken appropriately.  Some people have reported the following side effects after consuming garlic such as bad breath, a burning sensation in the mouth or stomach, heartburn, gas, nausea, vomiting, body odour, and diarrhea.

Additionally, anyone with any of the under mentioned conditions should be cautious when or if using garlic especially in its raw form.  Let’s take a look.

Bleeding disorder: Garlic, especially fresh garlic, might increase the risk of bleeding.

Stomach or digestion problems: Garlic can irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Use with caution if you have stomach or digestion problems.

Low blood pressure: Garlic can lower blood pressure. In theory, taking garlic might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.

Surgery: Garlic might prolong bleeding and interfere with blood pressure. Stop taking garlic at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Don’t take garlic if you take isoniazid (Nydrazid, INH). Garlic might reduce how much isoniazid (Nydrazid, INH) the body absorbs. This might decrease how well isoniazid (Nydrazid, INH) works.

All in all, garlic is a herb full of promise. I know eating raw garlic is not for everyone.  I’ve eaten it and I can tell you it does create a burning sensation in the mouth as you chew it but it does not last too long thankfully.

Garlic is added to the majority of the meals I prepare because I love the smell and the flavour of it gives my meals.

     

Talk to your doctor and do some research of your own.

Living healthier is a lifestyle decision and it does not happen overnight.  Take it one day at a time. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great weekend.