The scourge of vampires and a tasty addition to many dishes, garlic is a strong-smelling bulb which is loved by many and disliked by others! Regardless of your own feelings on the smell and taste of garlic, it has a literally strong place in cooking all over the world. But there’s more to this common kitchen staple than its many layers and its unavoidable smell!”
How much do you actually know about garlic? Here’s a fact file breaking down some interesting facts about garlic which might just surprise you.
Garlic is technically what many people refer to as a superfood! That’s because it is highly rich in antioxidants. This means that it is likely to help your body’s cells fight against free radicals and can help to boost your immune system. A diet rich in garlic – while smelly – is going to protect you against all kinds of illnesses and damage.
Garlic is thought to have astounding anti-fungal properties, too. In fact, some people make garlic water to help get rid of athlete’s foot. Don’t worry – you won’t have to drink it! People soak their feet in these solutions to help relieve fungus.
Garlic is also thought to be a fantastic support for healthy blood pressure. This is largely thanks to its high levels of polysulfides, and the fact that its unique makeup can help you to manage a healthy level of cholesterol.
People have been flavouring their dishes and recipes with garlic for many years – in fact, it’s thought that the Ancient Egyptians were readily consuming garlic as far back as 3,000 BC. This wasn’t just as a result of its tastiness, but also thanks to its place in medicine. As you can already see, it’s clear that people have been growing the bulb for many years to help cure all kinds of ailments.
Garlic can grow really tall – taller than you might imagine! If left to persist on its own, its likely that a garlic will shoot up to four feet in height.
You must be careful when it comes to preparing garlic around pets. This is because it is naturally toxic to both cats and dogs. The same applies to onions, too!
Garlic might be tasty, and beneficial to your health, but it can lead to some pretty bad breath! Weirdly enough, lemon is thought to combat this – you don’t have to suck a lemon wholesale or eat any slices outright – as drinking natural lemon juice is often enough to combat the smell. Give it a go!
Garlic might be seen as something of a European staple, but like many, many things, it has firm roots in China – to the extent that the country remains the most common grower and exporter of the bulb. Believe it or not, China offers a maximum of 66% of the garlic the world consumes – meaning there’s a good chance the produce you’re eating has eastern origins.
While garlic is seen to have eastern roots, its popular name worldwide actually derives from Anglo-Saxon. It’s said to be a composite word made of the terms gar, meaning spear, and lac, meaning plant. Therefore, ‘garlic’ literally translates into ‘spear plant’, largely thanks to its unique leaves.
Bizarrely enough, garlic is also thought to provide huge skin relief. That’s because their antioxidant and antibacterial properties can help to clear up sores and even acne. You merely need to hold cloves against your skin for a little while to help clear things up – providing you can bear the smell!
Garlic has a habit of spreading its unique smell to other food – and it’s one of a few reasons why you should hide it away somewhere dark and stored separately from your other fruit and veg. That is, unless you like the taste of garlic-infused strawberries.
Many people put garlic to great use beyond consumption – it’s said to help in the removal of splinters, to help fight off mosquitoes, and even to help strengthen your nails! Many people even use garlic as a natural pesticide in their gardens. It’s safe to say it has many, many uses beyond a tasty addition to a strong dish or two!
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about garlic that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!