10 Benefits of Fresh Garlic and How to Store It
Frech garlic, how to use it and its benefits
Garlic is a popular ingredient used in several dishes. Garlic may be added raw, as garlic powder, or in the form of garlic oil to dishes. We’ll be sharing 10 benefits of fresh garlic and how to store it properly. You can easily find garlic in just about every savory dish. We’ll be sharing a few examples below.
Garlic is an herb that is grown around the world; found as a white bulb. The entire garlic is called a ‘head’ or ‘knob.’ Each small, individual segment of a garlic head is the garlic clove, which is also white. A single clove of garlic is equal to one teaspoon of chopped garlic or half a teaspoon of minced garlic.
When shopping for garlic, buy unblemished bulbs with dry skins and firm cloves. Store bulbs in a cool, dry place (not in the refrigerator). Unbroken bulbs should last several months; use individual cloves within 10 days.
10 benefits of fresh garlic
01. Better Blood Pressure
Garlic has anti-inflammatory benefits and helps blood flow more easily through the body. Keep in mind that supplement doses are fairly high—600 to 1,500 mg of aged garlic extract. That’s the equivalent of roughly four cloves of garlic a day, so start chopping.
02. Lower Cholesterol
Like many natural remedies, it takes a while for the benefits of garlic to kick in, because you have to let the vitamins and minerals build up in your body.
But adding garlic to your daily routine is a healthy way to develop a lifelong habit that can benefit your health year after year.
Garlic can also reduce cardiovascular disease risk by lowering your cholesterol. The key here is commitment.
03. Reduced risk of heart disease
Garlic is a natural ingredient at reducing heart disease risk because it lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. It’s also great at reducing your risk of heart disease by relaxing hardened blood vessels and preventing platelet aggregation.
How does it work? Garlic increases production of nitric oxide which keeps blood vessels relaxed. It also prevents platelets from binding to proteins, which reduces blood clots. When it comes to heart disease help, garlic’s got you covered.
04. Improved memory
Damage from free radicals contributes to aging, but garlic contains a powerful antioxidant to help battle that—S-allyl cysteine.
This antioxidant shows promise in protecting against brain damage and keeping your brain functioning better as you age. It works by increasing your brain’s blood flow thanks to garlic’s ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
05. Super skin
Garlic is a superfood because it has so many beneficial properties: antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal. Which adds up to big benefits for your skin.
06. Garlic helps with colds and flu
Digested garlic helps boost the immune system and reduces the severity and length of cold and flu symptoms. If you like garlic, try adding more to your meals when you feel a cold coming on.
07. Energy levels
The fact that garlic helps supply the body and brain with more oxygen and nutrients can benefit everyone including athletes. Helps with feeling more awake and alert first thing in the morning and as the day stretches on. Improving performance for athletes, especially when training.
08. Muscle strength
Bodybuilders will often take garlic as part of a ‘pre-workout’ in order to benefit from the enhanced athletic performance we looked at earlier.
This is especially beneficial for bodybuilders because the feeling of enlarged blood vessels is what creates the ‘pump’ – the sensation of having the muscles swollen with blood, which is considered very motivating and which can enhance strength.
The pump ultimately leads to better workouts and therefore enhanced muscle mass.
09. Lowers Stress
Garlic can lower stress in a number of ways. Firstly, by lowering blood pressure, garlic reduces how hard the heart has to work in order to pump blood around the body. This has obvious and immediate benefits as it means that the heart is less likely to suffer an attack.
Garlic is able to lower stress thanks to the content of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that relaxes the muscles and that has also been shown to reduce brain activity.
10. Provides B6
Another reason that garlic is so useful for energy levels, for athletes and for weight loss is that it provides the body with vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 has many important functions, helping with the production of some important neurotransmitters for example, but it is particularly useful for helping the body to make use of carbs for energy.
This means less energy stored as fat yet again and it means greater feelings of vitality and energy throughout the day.
Things to do with fresh garlic
To get the most benefits from garlic, you should try to cut it first and then let it sit at room temperature for around 10 minutes prior to cooking. This allows it to retain more of its nutritional benefits versus crushing.
Using raw garlic
- Rub an empty wooden salad bowl with a cut clove of garlic before tossing a salad in it.
- Salad Dressing. For a more assertive garlic presence, grate a clove into vinaigrette.
- Make a terrific green mayonnaise for spreading on sandwiches. Using a mortar, grind a clove of garlic, a pinch of salt, and some chopped green herbs (basil, cilantro, mint, or a mixture) to a paste. Stir in some good-quality prepared mayonnaise and add a grind of pepper and a dash of hot sauce.
- Rub a slice of warm toasted bread with a clove of garlic for a great base for savory appetizers. Topping ideas: a slice of tomato and a basil leaf, chopped roasted vegetables, sautéed greens, chopped sautéed chicken livers, or fresh mozzarella.
- For mashed potatoes with subtle garlic flavor, cook several peeled whole cloves of garlic along with the potatoes.
- Make the perfect Parmesan and Garlic Knots recipe. You can make this recipe in just about 15 minutes. The perfect side for any dish.
Using cooked garlic
- Spread on a piece of bread or toast and add some freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Making the perfect garlic bread.
- Mash into a vinaigrette.
- Mash into the pan juices after cooking meat or vegetables.
- Work into softened cheese for a spread or pasta topping.
- Use as a pizza topping, either mashed or whole.
- Add to purées—potato, salt cod, eggplant.
- Mash and add to chicken broth for a complex soup base or a quick pick-me-up.
- Make a side dish with garlic. Like this delicious Lime Cilantro-Habanero Grilled Green Beans recipe. Roasted garlic gives this dish such a great flavor. Another great 15 minutes side dish recipe.
How to store garlic
I prefer to use ziplock storage bags for garlic because I can lay them flat in the freezer. It is easy to peel off a chunk of what I need without having to thaw any part of it. Some may prefer not to use plastic storage bags.
Here are some container options
- Freezer safe Tupperware
- Freezer plastic bags
- Break-resistant plastic containers
- Glass containers
- Well folded aluminum foil
- Ice trays
Depending on your cooking needs and garlic usage, any of those methods for freezing garlic are great.
Overall, we have learned a few of the health benefits of garlic. And how to store garlic properly.
We learned that garlic could benefit the heart, brain, and other organs. It reduces risk factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and heavy metal toxicity, which can help people live longer. Garlic is also a rich source of antioxidants and nutrients, and it boosts the immune system as well.