Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Benefits of Garlic

Everyone has their basic food items that they love to cook with. For me, I love rice and vegetables, but an important entity when cooking is garlic, which can add flavor to so many delicious recipes. Plus, it's good for you. There are many health benefits to eating garlic:

Garlic may help improve iron metabolism.
Garlic is a good source of selenium, manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.
Garlic consumption may actually help to regulate the number of fat cells that form in the body.
Garlic can help dilate blood vessels and help keep blood pressure in a normal zone.
Garlic can moderately lower blood triglycerides.
Garlic may reduce total cholesterol.
Garlic contains sulfur, which protects against oxidative stress and inflammation.

There are many ways to incorporate garlic into one's diet. For starters, roasting garlic in the oven is a great way to enhance the flavor. Once roasted, spread garlic over breads or crackers for a healthy snack or side dish. Garlic bread compliments Italian fare like spaghetti, too.

Or, if you would like to spice up your vegetables, mince some garlic and add it to your pan with pea pods, onions, mushrooms, peppers, or other vegetables. The herb is a great way to give your vegetables a kick. You can also use garlic in all your chicken or steak marinades. If you don't eat meat, you can use it in a tofu marinade. It's a delicious way to gain some flavor when adding different spices to your protein. Garlic is great when making sauces, like homemade pasta sauce. It adds a healthy dose of vitamins but also gives a bit of spice and warmth to the sauce.

However you like to eat your garlic, don't be shy. It's a "good for you" food you can incorporate into many different recipes.

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