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Garlic is a popular condiment in cooking. Its strong flavor is unrivaled in enhancing the flavor of our favorite foods, and for good reason. It's grown in white, red, and purple varieties all across the world, much to the joy of foodies. Garlic is not to be surpassed when it comes to nutrition, since it has an unusual profile that has won it the title of real health ally.
Garlic's characteristics
Antioxidant-rich; source of sulfur compounds; promotes cardiovascular health; anti-cancer capabilities; delicious and low in calories.

The term “garlic” comes from the Latin allium. It could be derived from a Greek word meaning “to spring from”, alluding to the very rapid way that the bulb divides into several cloves, which literally seem to spring from it. Others think it comes from Celtic all, which means “spicy”.

The center of origin of garlic is said to be a large crescent (the “garlic crescent”) that stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Tian Shan Mountains on the border with China. and Kazakhstan to the east. In this vast region, there are about 150 wild species belonging to the genus Allium. On the other hand, we have not found the wild ancestor of cultivated garlic (Allium sativum).

The oldest writings on its culture date from the Sumerians (2500 BC), but it was consumed long before as a spice or remedy. Known to the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, it will spread across southern and eastern Europe. It will not know the same glory in the countries of the north and in the British Isles, except sometimes as a medicinal plant in the gardens of the monasteries. 

Transported by the sailors who always keep it to protect themselves from epidemics and the evil eye, it will reach the Dominican Republic with Christopher Columbus and will then be disseminated throughout South America and Central America. However, it was not until the 19th century that it arrived in North America, under the influence of Mexican cuisine, which was very fond of it. It will find fertile ground in California, particularly in the Gilroy Valley, where it will be cultivated on a large scale and where people will not hesitate to grant themselves the status of “international garlic capital”.

Did you know ? Shakespeare considered that garlic was not made for the nobles and Cervantes recommended not to eat either onion or garlic at the risk that their smell would betray a deplorable peasant origin. “Stinking rose”, “imprint of Satan's left foot”, the most vehement qualifiers have never failed to describe it.

Where does garlic come from?


What is the origin of garlic?
Garlic is the common name for this plant.
Allium sativum is its scientific name.
Liliaceae is its family of plants.
Garlic is said to have originated in a wide region ranging from the Caspian Sea to the Chinese-Kazakh border, where over 150 wild species of the allium genus have been discovered.
The oldest documented records of its cultivation come from 2500 BC in Sumer, but it would have been used as a spice or medicine far earlier.
It was prized by Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans for both its flavor and medical virtues. These individuals will help it succeed throughout the rest of Europe.
It was first used in France by the Gauls. And that has been in our cuisine for ever.
Garlic will arrive on the American continent in the 15th century, but not until the 19th century will it reach North America.
Garlic is currently grown all over the globe. China is the world's largest producer. It is mostly grown in the south of France.
Currently, there are approximately 700 varieties.
The legend that it may be used to fight vampires dates back to the Middle Ages.

Nutritional and caloric values ​​of garlic


Garlic has a lot of B vitamins, minerals, and trace elements in it. The bulb of this vegetable plant has high concentrations of health-promoting chemicals when ingested in tiny amounts. It includes sulfur compounds that have cancer-preventive properties, similar to garlic and onion.
Garlic has just approximately 60% water, compared to 90% for most other fresh veggies.
It gets most of its energy from its carbohydrate, which is mostly made up of fructans, which are complex carbohydrates made from fructose.
It has a high concentration of sulfur-containing amino acids in its rather abundant proteins ( cysteine , methionine ).
Garlic is high in vitamin B6. It also contains additional B vitamins (excluding vitamin B12, which is not found in plants) and vitamin C. It also has trace levels of beta-carotene (provitamin A), vitamin K, and vitamin E antioxidants (tocopherols).
It includes antioxidant components such as flavonoids and polyphenols.
It includes sulfur compounds (containing one or more sulfur atoms) that occur when garlic is sliced, just as other members of the liliaceae family (onion, shallot, leek). They are responsible for its scent and flavor, and they are also considered to have health-protective properties.

Nutritional values ​​per 100 g

For additional information about Nutritional and caloric values ​​of garlic


Garlic delivers little nutrients when consumed in tiny amounts. Garlic, on the other hand, appears to be a source of nutrients when ingested in higher quantities over the course of a day. For example, a bulb of garlic (approximately 40 ml or 24 g of garlic) is high in manganese and vitamin B6, as well as phosphorus, iron, copper, selenium, and vitamin C (see our Factsheet on Phosphorus).
Garlic includes a variety of active chemicals that have a variety of health advantages. Some of these chemicals have multiple functions. This is true, for example, of sulfur compounds, which have been linked to both cancer prevention and cardiovascular disease prevention. It's worth noting that not all of the phytochemicals found in garlic are active in the body, and others are still unknown. It's worth noting that the active compounds in fresh garlic work together to generate a variety of health benefits. We can name a few of these active ingredients:

. Sulphide compounds

Compounds containing sulfur. Sulfur atoms (s) are present in the chemical structure of these compounds, therefore their name. When garlic is sliced, crushed, or crushed, sulfur compounds are emitted. When alliin (an inactive, odorless molecule in garlic) comes into touch with an enzyme, it transforms into allicin, the molecule that gives garlic its distinctive scent. Allicin is then converted into diallyl sulfide, diallyl disulfide, and ajoene, among other sulfur compounds. These substances are primarily responsible for preventing certain cancer cells from growing and thereby protecting the body from possible carcinogens.
It should be mentioned that allicin is destroyed during the manufacturing of garlic pills, which means that eating garlic tablets will not allow you to consume the active chemicals that are helpful to your health.

. Allicin

Allicin has been postulated as the key active ingredient linked to garlic's cardioprotective effects, based on its capacity to diminish atherosclerotic plaques in mice, among other things.
However, because allicin is not taken into the bloodstream after garlic eating, it is doubtful that it adds to the effect on cardiovascular health. Allicin is a transitory molecule that is quickly converted into other sulfur compounds that are then active in the body. Finally, ajoene would be a molecule capable of inhibiting cholesterol synthesis (formation) in vitro, and so might play a part in garlic's hypocholesterolemic impact.

. Saponins

Saponins are garlic components that have been shown to lower blood cholesterol in animals and blood clotting in vitro, two actions that have been linked to the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, isolated garlic protein has been proven in animals to have a lipid-lowering impact. These interesting chemicals might perhaps be linked to garlic's cardioprotective properties, but further research is needed to fully understand their roles.

How much should you eat?


The National Health Nutrition Program suggests eating at least 5 servings (of at least 80 g) of fruits and vegetables each day, and taking advantage of seasonal variability. Garlic is available all year; young garlic is available in June and July.
Garlic efficiently enhances our nutritional intake, aids in illness prevention, and has no calorie influence on meals. It is advisable to consume it on a regular basis if it is used in little amounts.

What are its benefits?


In general, the vitamins, antioxidant chemicals, and fibre found in fruits and vegetables provide significant health benefits. A high intake of vegetables and fruits has been demonstrated in several studies to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other disorders.
Garlic includes a number of antioxidant components, including flavonoids, vitamin E (tocopherols), and sulfur compounds, all of which contribute to garlic's health advantages.
It also has a high proportion of selenium, a trace element with well-documented antioxidant benefits.
Regular use of garlic, as part of a diverse and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, would therefore effectively help to the prevention of illnesses, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
It is considered to offer specific preventive properties against stomach and intestinal malignancies, as do all members of the liliaceae family (garlic, onion, shallot, chives, leek).
Garlic has been used for several hundred years to treat various health problems.
A large number of studies have been carried out in order to better understand the active ingredients of garlic and their physiological effects.
In these studies, garlic is used in different forms: fresh, dehydrated, as well as as an extract, oil or tincture.
It should be noted that this sheet is only devoted to the effects of consuming fresh garlic (raw or cooked) as used in various food preparations.
The antioxidant properties of raw garlic are said to be superior to those of cooked garlic
Heat deactivates the enzyme present in garlic that causes allicin and other sulfur compounds to be formed. The sulfur compounds created by cooking garlic vary depending on how and how long it is cooked, and the amount of antioxidants may decrease. As a result, raw garlic's characteristics would be superior than those of cooked garlic. To retain the quality of the active components in the garlic, add it 20 minutes or less before the conclusion of the cooking time.

Garlic, a protective ingredient against certain chronic pathologies 

A high diet of vegetables and fruits has been demonstrated in several prospective and epidemiological studies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, some malignancies, and other chronic illnesses. Consumption of alliaceae vegetables (garlic, onion, shallot, chives, scallions, leek) has been demonstrated to protect against stomach and intestinal cancers in studies.

Garlic and cancers


Garlic has the potential to halt the progression of some malignancies by protecting cells from harm caused by carcinogens and by preventing cancer cells from proliferating. Garlic's sulfur compounds may have a significant function to play. As a result, garlic, when consumed at the rate of two cloves per day (about 6 g of garlic), is included in a list of foods containing molecules with anticarcinogenic potential that should be prioritized in a cancer-prevention diet.
A meta-analysis of 18 epidemiological studies published between 1966 and 1999 found a 30 percent reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer and a 50 percent reduction in the risk of stomach cancer in those who eat a lot of garlic. According to all of the research, such intake equated to around 18 g of raw and cooked garlic per week (or approximately six cloves).
Because the amounts consumed varied so much from one research to the next, it's impossible to pinpoint the exact quantity of garlic to take in order to reap the benefits of its anti-colorectal and anti-stomach cancer actions. Furthermore, it is critical to realize that a diet cannot guard against cancer on its own. A diversified and consistent intake of a variety of foods with potential for prevention, as well as the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, are critical components.
Other research has found a link between garlic intake and the development of laryngeal, prostate, and breast cancers. However, because there are so few research on the issue, no general conclusions can be formed at this time. There is currently inadequate data to demonstrate a relationship with other forms of cancer, such as esophageal and lung cancers.

A true ally in the fight against cardiovascular disease

To isolate the active elements, the majority of research investigating the effect of garlic on cardiovascular disease risk factors (such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose) have used garlic supplements or extracts. Overall, the findings suggest a small reduction in blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. As a result, only a few studies have looked at the true influence of eating fresh garlic (raw or cooked) on these risk factors, and they are only a few years old. Consuming 3 g and 10 g of fresh garlic daily for 16 and 8 weeks, respectively, resulted with a reduction in total cholesterol in two of these investigations.
More research is needed to determine the effect of fresh garlic consumption on the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. According to the findings of research utilizing garlic extracts, a daily intake of 2 to 5 grams of raw garlic or 10 to 15 grams of cooked garlic is required to reap the benefits of specific variables. Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (“bad”), and excessive triglycerides in the blood all increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
To benefit from effects on specific risk factors of cardiovascular illnesses such as total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (“Bad”), or excessive triglycerides in the blood, a daily diet comparable to 2 g to 5 g of raw garlic or 10 g to 15 g of cooked garlic would be required. To benefit from effects on specific risk factors of cardiovascular illnesses such as total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (“Bad” cholesterol), or excessive triglycerides in the blood, a daily diet comparable to 2 g to 5 g of raw garlic or 10 g to 15 g of cooked garlic would be required.

Garlic What about antimicrobial and anti-infectious properties?

Garlic has long been used for its antibacterial qualities and to cure certain ailments. The majority of research on the topic has been done with garlic extracts, at dosages that are typically impossible to obtain with regular garlic consumption. A high consumption of garlic (more than 5 kg per year per individual, or the equivalent of four to five garlic cloves per day) was marginally related with a decrease in infections with Helicobacter pylori bacteria in a research conducted in a population of a Chinese region.
A clinical investigation in which patients took ten fresh garlic cloves per day found no significant impact against H. pylori infection refuted this claim. Garlic has been shown in certain trials to help prevent colds. Indeed, during the cold season, two groups were compared: one took a garlic supplement and the other took a placebo for 12 weeks (November to February). The results suggest that individuals in the garlic supplement group had fewer cold episodes than those in the placebo group.
Furthermore, when the participants developed a cold, those in the garlic supplement group had their symptoms fade faster than those in the placebo group. For the time being, there isn't enough evidence to prove that eating fresh garlic has an anti-infectious impact on the body.
The results suggest that individuals in the garlic supplement group had fewer cold episodes than those in the placebo group. Furthermore, when the participants developed a cold, those in the garlic supplement group had their symptoms fade faster than those in the placebo group. For the time being, there isn't enough evidence to say if eating raw garlic has an anti-infectious impact on the body. The results suggest that individuals in the garlic supplement group had fewer cold episodes than those in the placebo group.
Furthermore, when the participants developed a cold, those in the garlic supplement group had their symptoms fade faster than those in the placebo group. For the time being, there isn't enough evidence to say if eating raw garlic has an anti-infectious impact on the body. For the time being, there isn't enough evidence to say if eating raw garlic has an anti-infectious impact on the body. For the time being, there isn't enough evidence to say if eating raw garlic has an anti-infectious impact on the body.

An interesting antioxidant content

Antioxidants are substances that protect cells in the body from free radical damage. The latter are highly reactive molecules that are thought to have a role in the development of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other age-related disorders. Garlic includes a variety of antioxidant components, including flavonoids and tocopherols, as well as sulfur compounds that contribute to its antioxidant action.
Fresh garlic (raw or cooked) is thought to boost antioxidant activity in plasma in rats, although daily ingestion of 3 to 6 g raw garlic for seven to eight days in humans has not been validated. We do know, however, that garlic has a higher antioxidant potential than a variety of veggies when compared by weight.
When the frequency and amount of the portion typically ingested are taken into consideration, however, the influence of garlic consumption on overall antioxidant capacity is modest, especially when compared to other vegetables consumed in higher quantities.

How to choose the right garlic?


Garlic is a perennial vegetable plant with a bulb with a strong smell and flavor.
This characteristic taste has earned it to be considered one of the major condiments of French cuisine.
The head of garlic is made up of several cloves that are very popular in cooking.
There are several varieties of garlic, the most common being white garlic and purple garlic. 

. Soft-stemmed garlic or hard-stemmed garlic?

Garlic marketed in the United States is of the subspecies Allium sativum var. sativum, which is distinguished botanically by the absence of a flower stalk (thus the term “tender-stemmed garlic”) and numerous tiny pods.
From a culinary standpoint, the subspecies Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon is clearly preferable, as it has a flowering stalk (hence the names “hard-stemmed garlic” or “stick garlic”) and fewer and larger pods. This subspecies is thought to be the oldest of the two and has kept some of the features of wild garlic, such as its flavor and, sadly, its short shelf life. Stick garlic has been preserved over the years owing to the care of skilled amateurs, and it is currently available through networks of artisan growers as well as a few specialist retailers.
It is not rare for it to be regarded a local product in Europe, where it is more well-known. This is the case with pink garlic from Lautrec, which has a regulated label of origin in France.

. Garlic rocambole

This hard-stemmed kind is really excellent, but it's not always easy to come by.
Gourmet chefs all around the globe use this garlic. Rocamboles aren't the simplest plants to cultivate, but they're worth giving a shot. Characteristics are rich and complex, with scents and aftertastes that raise heads everywhere they go.
Over the years, the name Rocambole has caused some misunderstanding. Under allium sativum ophioscordon, we're utilizing it to refer to a distinct horticultural group, or sub-species. In certain regions of the world, the phrase Rocambole is interchangeably used with the term garlic, leaving individuals who use the term in this way perplexed as to what the difference is. Rocambole is known by botanists and most farmers to refer to this magnificent family of superb garlics, and while it isn't synonymous with garlic, it is virtually associated with great garlic.

. False garlic 

Garlic that isn't real
What is known as “elephant garlic” in Quebec and “oriental garlic” in France it is really a kind of leek that is cooked in the same way as garlic, however it lacks the strong flavor and health benefits of garlic.

. Storage of garlic 

Can Garlic may be kept indefinitely ?.
Fresh garlic may be stored for three to nine months, depending on the type. Keep it dry and at normal temperature to avoid the germination process being triggered by cold and humidity.
We can give you a rough estimate of how long garlic will last. A complete head of garlic can survive up to six months if kept unpeeled. (That is, assuming you correctly preserve it.) (I'll get to that later.) A single clove of garlic, unpeeled, will survive around three weeks. Garlic, on the other hand, begins to decay more quickly after the peel is removed. Individual peeled garlic cloves can keep for up to a week in the fridge, but chopped garlic will only keep for a day unless wrapped in olive oil, in which case it will keep for two to three days. This is all providing, of course, that your garlic is stored properly.

Garlic preparation


The skin of the garlic is removed by crushing it with the flat of a knife. The germ is subsequently eliminated, rendering the garlic indigestible and contributing significantly to foul breath. The garlic is now ready to be cooked and used in a variety of dishes. the garlic shoot that emerges from the ground in the spring but hasn't yet begun to develop a bulb As with leek, it's eaten in a croque-au-sel or softly cooked and drizzled with vinaigrette. It may also be minced and used in salads, soups, and other dishes. This product may be found at Asian grocery shops.

. Preparing the blossom stem

The flower stem of the garlic, together with its flower bud, must be clipped quickly after its creation in order to encourage bulb production.
It's finely chopped and used in a variety of dishes, including garlic butter.
It comes in a jar and is sold in delicatessens.

. Garlic in shirt

When garlic is roasted or grilled in its skin in the oven, it has a unique flavor that complements mayonnaise, dressings, and spicy sauces. First, the entire bulb will be topped and rubbed with oil. Individual pods can also be added to a broth or sauce and removed when ready to serve, or stuffed inside roasted fowl. We may harvest the garlic at the conclusion of the cooking process and use it to prepare a sauce.

. As an aioli, garlic is delicious.

The aioli is made in the same way as mayonnaise, but you start with crushed garlic before adding the rest of the components. It goes well with seafood, cold meat, and fondue. A rouille, commonly served with bouillabaisse in Provence, is made with bread crumbs steeped in fish stock and Spanish red peppers.

. The discovery of aigo bouido

One of the simplest garlic soup recipes established across the world is ago-boudo, which has semi-culinary and semi-medicinal functions. Cook six smashed garlic cloves in a liter of boiling water for around ten minutes to prepare it. Remove from heat and infuse for a few minutes with sage, thyme, and bay leaf. Remove the herbs and make an omelet with an egg, which you should add to the soup without stopping to beat. Season with salt and pepper. This soup is served with a slice of oil-drizzled bread.

. Garlic may be used to add flavor to even the most basic foods.

Fry entire garlic cloves in oil, then remove the garlic and drizzle the aromatic oil over the spaghetti. Others prefer to toss smashed garlic with melted butter or olive oil into extremely hot noodles.

. In the kitchen, garlic is a bitter balancer.

When served with croutons dipped in olive oil and rubbed with garlic, dandelion, chicory, escarole, raddichio, and Treviso lose part of their sharpness and are improved. To soften the greens, drizzle with hot dressing and top with bacon, if preferred.

. A French delicacy is homemade garlic butter.

Serve butter-topped frog legs, shrimp, and snails kneaded with finely minced garlic, shallots, and parsley. Preheat the oven to high and bake for a few minutes. Mussels can be covered and cooked in butter with garlic, herbs, and white wine until they open. Reduce the liquid to a high heat and use it to coat the mussels.

. For a simple delight, go with garlic bread.

Cut a somewhat stale bread into slices without entirely removing the pieces to do this. Insert the butter, which has been treated with chopped garlic and salt, between the slices. Wrap the baguette in aluminum foil, place it in the oven, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes over medium heat.

Garlic allergies and contraindications


The very high concentration of active molecules in garlic is a valuable asset, but with a double edge.
Indeed, garlic contains substances that can interfere with certain medications or damage the gastrointestinal barrier in sensitive people, especially if consumed in large quantities. 
Interactions with certain drugs
Garlic extracts or supplements interact with certain drugs that thin the blood or have an anticoagulant effect.
Likewise, consuming excessive amounts of fresh garlic while taking certain blood thinning medications could have an additive effect, thus increasing the risk of bleeding.
In addition, it is advisable to avoid consuming garlic before surgery to decrease the risk of prolonged bleeding.
Finally, in people taking hypoglycemic drugs, consuming large amounts of fresh garlic may increase the effect of these drugs.
In general, the consumption of less than 4 g of garlic (the equivalent of a clove) per day seems prudent in order to avoid any harmful interactions.
Garlic preserved in oil and risk of botulism 
Garlic can be stored in oil, which helps extend its shelf life.
On the other hand, it is possible that garlic contains a bacteria responsible for botulism.
Thus stored in oil (without oxygen), the conditions are optimal for the development of toxins.
Consumption of a spoiled product can lead to severe food poisoning which manifests itself in symptoms such as dizziness, blurred or double vision, difficulty breathing, swallowing and speaking.
The appearance, smell and taste of deteriorated oil will not necessarily change, hence the importance of observing the following guidelines:
Always keep garlic stored in oil in the refrigerator;
Consume immediately or within a week of homemade garlic oil.
Commercial garlic oils should contain preservatives (acids, such as vinegar, or salt): check the product label.
Other side effects of consuming too much garlic
Garlic can affect the taste of breast milk.
Breastfeeding women should therefore watch their garlic consumption during this time;
Consuming a high and regular amount of garlic could affect blood glucose;
people with diabetes should pay special attention to this;
Excessive consumption of raw garlic, especially when the stomach is empty, can cause gastrointestinal disorders: ingesting one to two cloves of garlic per day is a safe dose for an adult.