Why is garlic good for your good gut?
Garlic is a bulb vegetable in the Allium family, along with onions. It has been used in most major civilizations for its medicinal properties due to its antioxidant properties. Garlic contains an unexpected plethora of nutrients, such as manganese, selenium, vitamin-C, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6. Garlic has a large amount of micronutrients, but it also has anti-carcinogenic effects most likely due to the different kinds of sulfur-containing compounds that it has.
The organosulfur compounds found in garlic are more notably known for their anti-inflammatory properties. More than that, the organosulfur compounds present in this wonderful food allows for the proliferation of beneficial gut bacteria, and help them to out-compete the “bad bacteria”! In one study that sought to investigate blood pressure in patients related to gut dysbiosis, garlic extract was associated with a significant decrease in both blood pressure and increased microbial richness and diversity in the gut. Gut dysbiosis has been related to a host of other problems, including high blood pressure; adding garlic into your diet can help with both these issues simultaneously!
Garlic is a prebiotic compound, which means that it has oligosaccharides (high in FODMAP) and contains fiber and some carbohydrates that our enzymes in our body cannot digest themselves and need the help of the bacteria in our small intestine to do so. Pre-biotics are the “food” for these “good bacteria”, and eating foods that contain prebiotics promotes the growth and proliferation of the #goodgut bacteria that live there! Garlic has a significant amount of fiber, five garlic cloves contain 1 gram; this may help to promote healthy gut motility and function. Garlic is a fantastic food for maintaining gut balance (Talk about bang for your buck)!
Ways to eat it
Garlic can be used at the start of any sautéing process along with onions and other aromatics.
Garlic can be cracked, chopped up, and then added to homemade hummus, or even some sauteed mushrooms!
Recipe: Garlic Pesto
1 cup basil
1 cup parsley
1/2 cup cashews, soaked
1/2 - 1 Tbsp himalayan salt
1/2 garlic clove
1 cup filtered water
Blend together and enjoy this microbe balancing, antioxidant-rich topping to almost any dinner!
*Those with a sensitive gut should make sure to cook garlic thoroughly to make it more digestible! Other great options are garlic powder or asafoetida powder!
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Milner, J. A. (1996). Garlic: Its anticarcinogenic and anti tumorigenic properties. Nutrition
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Lewin, J. (N.D.). 6 health benefits of garlic. BBC Good Food.
Hassing, S. (29 October 2019). 5-Ingredient easy garlic hummus. The Real Food
Sali et al. (11 December 2018). The effect of Kyolic aged garlic extract on gut
microbiota, inflammation, and cardiovascular markers in hypertensives: The
garGIC trial. Frontiers: Nutrition.
Ruhee, R. T., Roberts, L. A., Ma, S., & Suzuki, K. (2020). Organosulfur Compounds: A
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