Home Healthy Food Facts Garlic, A Very Healthy Condiment

Garlic, A Very Healthy Condiment


Garlic is a very nutrient-dense little food. It is used mainly as a condiment because it has one of the most intense flavors that we can find in gastronomy.

Garlic is a vegetable that belongs to the genus Allium, like onion, chives, chives, and leeks. However, it stands out from its peers due to the high caloric intake it provides due to its high protein and carbohydrate content, due to the fact that it has less water than other similar foods. In any case, this should not alarm us since the amount of garlic that we usually consume is very small so its use does not suppose a relevant contribution of calories.

In addition, garlic also stands out compared to other bulbs due to its higher mineral content: it contains, above all, potassium but also phosphorus, magnesium, zinc … As for vitamins, it provides vitamins of group B and vitamin C, like other similar vegetables.

How to take it?

Garlic is used mainly as a condiment because it has one of the most intense flavors that we can find in gastronomy. This strong flavor is due to its most characteristic and active component, allicin, which, in addition to providing it with its smell and flavor, gives it a good part of its beneficial properties.

Garlic is generally part of dressings such as:

  • Provençal: breadcrumbs, parsley and garlic. It is used to breach meat or fish fillets, to bind meat masses in hamburgers,
  • meatballs or meat pies …
  • All-i-oli: used to flavor dishes such as fideuà, black rice, appetizers or fish dishes.
  • Garlic and parsley, all finely chopped in the mortar: it can be used to sauté mushrooms or other vegetables and also to season meats.
  • Pesto: Italian sauce for pasta that is made up of basil, olive oil, pine nuts, cheese (Parmesan or Grana padano and Pecorino), garlic and salt.

Other preparations with garlic can be: avocado and garlic cream, toasted bread with garlic, cheese with garlic and fine herbs, gazpacho, salmorejo, ajoarriero, garlic soup, ajoblanco …


Garlic is a strong tasting food rejected by many people. Despite the medicinal attributions that are given to it and as with any other food, it should not be abused.

Who is it good for and who is not?

It is recommended for:

  • Cardiovascular prevention : over the years the walls of the blood vessels lose their elasticity and, sometimes, this hardening ends up causing arteriosclerosis. It seems that the consumption of garlic would reduce this problem.
  • High blood pressure: there is research that states that garlic causes a decrease in blood pressure, so its consumption is recommended to all those who suffer from high blood pressure.
  • Prevention of cancer of the stomach, colon and rectum: there are studies that state that garlic prevents the formation of cancerous products in the stomach, colon and rectum.
  • Skin infections : Ajoene, a chemical in garlic, is effective in treating skin conditions such as athlete’s foot, for example. In this case it is not a question of consuming garlic but of applying a gel with this component.
  • Low sodium diets: garlic, thanks to its strong flavor, spreads the dishes of those who should eat without salt, as well as being beneficial for high blood pressure.
  • Low calorie diets : although it is a more energetic vegetable than others, it can be used to flavor dishes with lower caloric intake than many sauces and oils.

They are not suitable in case of:

  • Hypochlorhydria or stomach sensitivity: the consumption of garlic stimulates the gastrointestinal mucosa and digestive secretions, which is harmful for people with a shortage of gastric acid since they can suffer from heavy digestion, suffer burning and cause irritation.
  • High blood pressure: garlic has the property of lowering blood pressure. In people with low blood pressure, heavy consumption is not recommended as it can cause an excessive drop in blood pressure.
  • In pregnant women, infants and children: its use in medicinal amounts is not recommended. There is no problem to consume it as part of a dish as it is usually done.
  • Blood clotting problems and before surgery: Garlic, especially fresh garlic, can increase bleeding. It is advisable to avoid its consumption a couple of weeks before undergoing a surgical operation.

Buying and conservation advice

When buying garlic we must choose firm bulbs without sprouts, or areas with greenish, yellowish or brownish colorations that can be signs of aging. They must be compact and heavy heads because, as time passes, the garlic loses water and will weigh less or we can even feel hollow teeth. The oldest garlic will have begun to germinate, developing the stem inside.

Garlics are long-lasting products. They can generally be kept for up to a year and whites are usually the most perishable. Ideally, store them in a cool, dry, ventilated place, protected from the sun. We can deposit them in an earthenware container with holes or we can hang them on the braid or string. Another option is to peel them and keep them in a glass jar full of oil that, preferably, we will keep in the fridge. In the latter case, in addition to preserving the garlic, we will be able to flavor the oil.


Garlic contains alliin, a volatile compound that, although responsible for its smell, is itself an odorless and inactive product that will be transformed into allicin when garlic is cut or crushed.

The recipe



  • A rabbit
  • Garlic.
  • Salt.
  • Olive oil.
  • Optional: parsley.


  • Cut the rabbit into small pieces and chop the garlic into small pieces. If we also want to add parsley, we must chop it and mix it with the garlic.
  • Heat oil in a skillet or low saucepan. When the oil is very hot, add the rabbit, salt it and brown it well on all sides.
  • Once browned, add the garlic (and parsley if desired) and simmer, stirring occasionally.

Note: We must use a lid for the pan or saucepan to avoid splashing and achieve a more uniform cooking without burning.

What you should know…

  • Benefits: prevents cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers.
  • Ideal for: low-salt and slimming diets.
  • In the kitchen: it allows many preparations and, above all, it is part of well-known dressings.


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