When a garlic clove is cut, the exposure to air releases 200 compounds with myriad medicinal abilities. One compound, allicin, is responsible for garlic’s legendary antibacterial properties. Allicin also keeps fungus and yeast infections in check and significantly increases immunity to the common cold. More important, the stinking rose reduces risk for atherosclerosis, the cause of most heart attacks and strokes, and evidence suggests that it may impede hypertension and cancer. Garlic contains high levels of selenium, which has anticancer efficacy, and components that form glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant the body manufactures, which thwarts cancer and diabetes.
Choose It & Use It
Use garlic liberally, aiming to consume several cloves a day. Excessive heat destroys allicin, but letting freshly chopped garlic sit for 10 minutes before cooking helps retain allicin’s healing powers. To eat a lot at once, slice the top off of a head of garlic and set it aside for 20 minutes. Then roast it for 30 minutes in a 350°F oven, and spread the softened cloves on whole-wheat bread.
get the recipes
Penne Pasta Salad with Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
A high-quality, aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is essential to this recipe’s success: the bold, salty flavor curbs the need for extra fat or seasoning. The salad also makes a quick weeknight meal when served hot.more
In tapas bars, champiñones al ajillo (garlicky mushrooms) are usually served in small, shallow bowls along with toothpicks.more
Roasted Garlic Hummus
This creamy-zesty dip has more than 40 cloves of garlic in it. Yet, roasting the garlic softens the cloves to a creamy, slightly sweet pulp that doesn’t overwhelm other flavors or give off that typical garlicky aroma.more
Garlicky Mashed Sweet Potatoes
The mellow flavor of roasted garlic is such a nice complement to naturally sweet tubers that there’s no need for butter.more
Garlicky Collard Greens
This technique of blanching the collard greens in boiling water, then sautéing them takes away any bitterness.more
Garlic and Kale Soup
This brothy soup provides heart-healthful nutrition on many levels: kale and garlic are good for the cardiovascular system; wheat berries are high in fiber; and shiitake mushrooms contain eritadenine, an amino acid that speeds up processing of cholesterol in the liver. Once the wheatmore