Did you know California produces 90% of the United States garlic? The two most popular types grown in the US are “California Early” and “California Late.” Although California’s garlic market share is rising, the US imports half of the garlic from China.
What Is Garlic?
The bulbous flowering plant species known as garlic (scientifically termed Allium sativum) is related to the genus Allium. It relates to the leek, onion, shallot, and chive. Although having origins in Central Asia, South Asia, and northeastern Iran, it has been widely used worldwide.
Garlic has a pungent, spicy flavor that adds depth to many dishes, especially Italian and Asian cuisine.
What Are The Uses Of Garlic?
Garlic is an incredibly versatile ingredient with many uses in the kitchen and beyond. It is often an important ingredient in foods because it has a strong smell and tastes good. Garlic was, however, primarily used in ancient times for its medicinal and health properties.
Several major civilizations, such as the Babylonians, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and Chinese, documented its use.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Garlic?
Scientists believe that when chopped, chewed, and crushed, garlic release sulfur compounds which are responsible for most of its health benefits.
Allicin is the most well-known compound, while some other garlic’s health benefits may also come from s-allyl cysteine and diallyl disulfide. Garlic’s sulfur compounds enter the body via the digestive tract, spread throughout the body, and have significant biological effects.
Garlic can help to lower cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, prevent the common cold, improve blood glucose control, lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease, and strengthen bones. Its antioxidants can help defend against cell damage and aging and may lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
It is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, manganese, copper, selenium, phosphorus, and B6. Eating garlic regularly may be beneficial for overall health and well-being.
What Makes Garlic An Anti-Cancer Food?
Each garlic clove is rich in phytochemicals like flavonoids, allicin, tannins, saponins, and others, many of which have cancer-fighting properties.
The strongest evidence suggests that garlic lowers the risk of colorectal cancer, but this pungent vegetable may also potential to reduce the risk of other cancers, however, it requires further investigation.
According to a small study published in PubMed Central®, increased endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is at least partially responsible for the decreased proliferation of the cancer cells treated with garlic extract.
A 2014 meta-analysis of observational epidemiology studies by Korean researchers revealed that garlic consumption may lower the incidence of stomach cancer in Koreans.
Furthermore, diallyl trisulfide is one of the several sulfide compounds found in garlic and has anticarcinogenic qualities. Lastly, another meta-analysis reported that garlic consumption may also lower the incidence of gastric cancer.