The lily family has a lot to brag about, since garlic, onions leeks and chives belong in the group.
These are some of the healthiest ingredients on the planet that keep our health optimal. Garlic, in particular, has been used as a natural remedy for centuries back and is great for dealing with inflammation, cold, infections and strengthening the immunity.
Garlic falls into the vegetable category, despite its herb or spice properties. Although it is most often used in the culinary world it finds a use in everyday medicine as well.
The Chinese customers were concerned whether Chinese garlic is healthy, so in 2008 Trader Joe’s ceased any selling of it.
This is the original Trader Joe’s announcement: “Garlic, frozen organic spinach and other “single ingredient” food items from mainland China will be phased out by April 1,  although products that include ingredients from both China and other sources will remain.”
Although fresh garlic can be found in stores in America, most of it comes from China. The country is the leading cultivator of garlic and deals with worldwide exports. Second on the list is South Korea and then follow India (3rd), the United States (4th), Egypt (5th), and Spain (6th).
According to statistics from 2012, China cultivated 59 million metric tons of garlic, or about 66 percent of total world production.
Before garlic reaches the U.S> markets it has been cooled, which is not the most positive aspect. Also, in order to protect it from outer influences, it has been enriched with chemicals and toxins and sprayed with methyl bromide.
This chemical is highly toxic and according to the EPA destroys the ozone layer by 45 times more in comparison with chlorine.
Step by step, methyl bromide is getting excluded from usage- America did this back in 2005 and while China and Mexico were given another 10 years (up until 2015) to do the same.
Imported foods, especially fruits and vegetables have been exposed to radiation. The Safe Food News, Fall 1994 released that, “China has been exporting irradiated garlic.
Irradiation is the process of exposing raw and/or processed food to ionizing radiation, which claims to kill disease and pathogens and extend the shelf-life by altering a plant’s (clove’s) ability to sprout. This would be a marketing advantage and one reason the big U.S. producers were trying to prohibit the garlic imports.”
This process of irradiation (exposure to radiation) has been, sadly, approved by the FDA. This automatically suggests that unless garlic is organic and home grown, you probably should not consume it.
Organic Garlic Health Benefits
Garlic is full of a sulfur compound known as allicin that provides the garlic’s smell. Incredibly, just one milligram of allicin is 15 times stronger than penicillin. This compound provides protection against bacteria, yeast infections, cancerous tissues, viruses, parasites and antibiotic resistant MRSA.
A total of 33 sulfurous compounds can be found in garlic. When we consume it, allicin converts to sulfenic acid, which destroys free radicals in the fastest way possible.
Furthermore, the University of Florida revealed that garlic consumption increases the fight against viruses by forming T-cells in the blood.
Supplements are a milder and less recommended form of actual garlic plant.
Fresh, raw and organic garlic is the ideal way to go. For best results, crush or chop a garlic clove, wait for 5 minutes and then consume it. This releases all the allicin you need to stay healthy. Garlic powder, on the other hand, does not provide this amount or quality.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola:
“It is important to note that the garlic must be fresh. The active ingredient is destroyed within one hour of smashing the garlic. Garlic pills are virtually worthless and should not be used.
When you use the garlic it will be important to compress the garlic with a spoon prior to swallowing it if you are not going to juice it. If you swallow the clove intact you will not convert the allicin to its active ingredient.”
Argentinean researchers also found that allicin is released when garlic is cooked, while others suggest the same happens when it is peeled and exposed for 15 minutes.
Food is the Best Medicine: 52 Clove Garlic Soup
Note: This soup recipe incorporates all the above recommended methods of maximizing garlic’s health benefits!
Ingredients: (4 servings)
- 26 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
- 2 tablespoons genuine olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) organic butter (grass fed)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 heaping teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 cup fresh ginger
- 2 1/4 cups sliced onions
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 26 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 cup raw, organic pastured milk or coconut milk (homemade is best) or your favorite substitute
- 3 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
- 4 lemon wedges
Start by preheating oven to 350F. Put 26 garlic cloves in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons genuine olive oil. Then, sprinkle with salt and mix well. Transfer to a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake until garlic gets a golden-brown color. This usually takes 45 minutes. Let garlic cool off then clean cloves by sliding them through your fingers. Transfer cloves to small bowl.
Take butter and melt it in a saucepan on medium heat. Throw in onions, thyme, ginger, turmeric, cayenne powder. Cook for 6 minutes until onions fade and get crystal clear shade.
Out of all 26, smash only 12 garlic cloves and put aside.
Right away, add the remaining 14 remaining peeled, smashed garlic cloves to the roasted garlic. Cook for another 3 minutes.
Pour in vegetable broth, cover pot and let soup simmer for 20 minutes. Make a puree from the soup until texture evens out. Add almond milk to the saucepan and return soup. Simmer for a little more.
Finally add the 12 smashed peeled garlic cloves to the soup and stir well. For a pop of flavor you can squeeze 1 lemon to each bowl. Remember to season well and use healthy spices.
Always serve hot!