Last September the local junior school children were busily planting garlic bulbs in the community garden. Which should be ready for harvesting in the summer. (July/August)
Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated plants on earth and has been used for more than 7000 years. It is part of the Allium family, together with onions, shallots and leeks. Garlic, like it’s other family members tends to be one of those vegetables that we throw into dishes for flavour (and then apologise profusely to everyone we speak to afterwards) without really thinking of it as a vegetable or about it’s health benefits. But garlic is high in potassium, manganese, phosphorus, calcium, B6 and vitamin C, however due to the small quantities it is eaten in the contribution to overall intake is low. Garlic also contains phytonutrients which have a protective action against oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. Whatsmore like rest of the Allium family, garlic contains insoluble fibre (prebiotic fibres) that help create the right environment for good gut bacteria to thrive. The power of gut bacteria is something that we have discussed in previous blogs and will revisit in the near future as we discover more and more just how important it is to health.
So next time you add a little garlic to the pan remember that it is actually contributing to your wellbeing in its own small way. Or if you’re feeling brave and want the full nutritional whammy of garlic check out your nearest Sri Lankan restaurant and give the garlic curry a try.