I will say it straight off and be done with it – I cannot imagine cooking without garlic!
It is my favorite addition to almost every dish I make (except the desserts, of course). My hubby and my boys also enjoy the flavor, so there is no need for me to hold back.
Moreover, garlic is amazing for your health and offers numerous benefits that you cannot start to imagine.
In fact, garlic has only one major fault – it will ruin your fresh breath! But, look at it from the bright side – no vampires will come anywhere near you!
Joking aside, garlic deserves to be a key ingredient in your daily diet.
I am sure most of you already know when and where to use it, the only thing that is a bit tricky is how to tell if garlic is bad!
This is where I come in; I will help you answer this question and offer other useful information I have found and prepared for you so do continue reading!
Why Is Garlic Good for You?
A finely chopped garlic will take your dish to a whole other dimension. However, garlic offers much more than mere flavor (although even that can be enough for some).
I have tried to make an easy to follow table that will be inspirational for all of you who enjoy the garlic as much as I do. Moreover, I hope it might even inspire some of you who have been avoiding using garlic in your kitchen.
Health Benefits Of Garlic
1. Flavor and Nutrition
- When it comes to nutrients, garlic is packed with numerous beneficial ones that will help you feel energized and stay healthy. As it has almost no calories (40 calories per one ounce), you do not have to worry about it disturbing your low-calorie diet either.
- Garlic contains a lot of fiber, copper, potassium, calcium, and selenium. When it comes to essential vitamins, one ounce of garlic can offer you as much as fifteen percent of recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, seventeen percent of vitamin B6, and a quarter of RDA of manganese. Great accomplishment for such a small thing, is it not?
2. Immune System Boost
- The array of vitamins and minerals positioned garlic to a number one place when it comes to fighting off the common cold. In fact, the risk of coming down with a cold is reduced by 63% when you eat garlic every day. Likewise, it can also help you avoid numerous other illnesses, or at least assist your body in getting through them more quickly. If you must avoid the bad breath, you can also rely on garlic supplements to boost your immunity and keep you safe from viruses.
3. Optimal Blood Pressure
- A great number of people nowadays suffers from high blood pressure due to the poor diet. In order to keep your blood pressure in check, you have to include all the essential nutrients in your daily diet and garlic will take you one step closer to that goal.
- Garlic can have the same effect as some blood-pressure reducing drugs, which has already been proven by numerous studies. On the other hand, garlic will not have any side-effects that such drugs usually have.
4. Optimal Cholesterol Levels
- Garlic will lower the levels of bad cholesterol which is quite infamous due to the damage it causes. Cholesterol can ruin your blood vessels and put a lot of strain on your heart which can ultimately lead to the heart attack. Garlic is thus a great prevention as well as eating it can secure optimal cholesterol levels and help you avoid any problems.
5. Dementia Prevention
- Alzheimer’s disease is becoming a common thing and can be quite devastating not only for the individual who suffers from it but also the entire family, and even community that individual belongs to. Garlic protects the brain from oxidative damage and significantly reduces the risk of mental diseases including the most severe ones such as the Alzheimer’s. If eating garlic can help us stay mentally healthy and enjoy our living longer, why not take it? After all, it is such low price to pay.
6. Enhancing the Performance In Sport
- If you are a professional sportsman or just an enthusiast who likes to be active and sometimes takes his body over its limits, you will surely be glad to hear that garlic can help enhance your performance. Even the old Greeks knew this and used garlic during the Olympics. Garlic will improve your exercise capacity and provide more energy and better endurance.
7. Detoxify our Body
- Many everyday foods we eat are packed with undesired substances such as heavy metals that our body cannot eliminate in a timely manner. Garlic helps by speeding up the process of detoxification and reduces the toxicity of some of them such as lead.
8. Strengthen our Bones
- Garlic can help women keep their bones strong and rigid longer by increasing the levels of estrogen. Strong bones allow for you to stay active and preserve your muscle strength as well which will ultimately secure a better quality of life in the old age.
9. Prolongs Life
- It would be silly for me to ask if you want to live long, of course, you do, we all do! Well, hold on to your seats as what I am about to tell you might exhilarate you too much… Garlic can extend your life expectancy! I bet that you are already on your way to the grocery store! I will have to warn you though, eating garlic will not be enough, you need to eat healthily and be active as well.
- By the way, this information should not surprise us at all, given all the health benefits we have already listed.
As you can see, you should definitely incorporate garlic into your daily diet.
If you do not like its flavor, or cannot eat it raw there are numerous alternatives such as garlic powder and oil or garlic supplements that offer the same health benefits.
This means that you can simply take a pill and enjoy more energy and strength, boost your immunity and prolong your life expectancy! Isn’t that swell?!
How to Tell if Garlic Is Bad
I like to hang my garlic braids and display them in my kitchen as they are very decorative and remind me of traditional Italian restaurants I enjoy going to.
I believe that every house has some garlic stored in the kitchen as it is so popular and widely used. Indeed, garlic is not demanding and can be stored in a number of ways; it can really last long in minimal conditions provided.
However, it does eventually go bad, and this is when the problem occurs.
Most people cannot tell when garlic is no longer fresh and good to be used.
Most people notice that garlic is rancid only when they try it, but by then their culinary specialty will be wasted and all the time and effort invested in preparing it will be in vain.
I have gathered the best advice that will help you avoid this horrid scenario:
1. Are there any brown spots?
- Look at the exterior of a garlic bulb and try to identify brown spots. If you find them, your garlic is probably bad or will turn bad soon. In a perfect world, the garlic should be all white, but usually, a few dark spots are a normal occurrence.
2. Does it smell funny?
- Smell the garlic bulb to see if you can feel a more sharp smell. If you find that garlic has changed its usual smell, the chances are that it is no longer good to eat either. If you have doubts that you will be able to feel the difference as the garlic is already smelly – believe me you will! Rotten garlic smells real bad! (I am beginning to sound like my boys!)
3. Are the cloves mushy?
- Separate one clove and pinch it between your fingers. It should feel firm. If it is soft, mushy or brittle, you can be sure that it has gone bad and throw it away immediately!
4. Has your garlic begun sprouting?
- Although I do not adhere to this rule always, garlic that has begun sprouting is usually considered bad. If you notice the green sprouts coming out, chances are you have not stored the garlic properly, or have simply stored it for too long! It is highly recommended that you discard this kind of garlic right away.
5. Has the garlic cover changed its color?
- As we have already mentioned the garlic cover should be all white and have no unusual spots. Moreover, if it seems gray, brown or red in color it also means that you should not use that garlic anymore but rather toss it away.
6. Are there dark spots on the interior flesh?
- Maybe your garlic looks good on the outside and smells perfectly normal, but you still need to take a close look at it once you peel it and slice it. This is the final frontier when it comes to deciding whether it has gone bad or not! If the interior is covered with dark spots, your garlic is a definite NO-NO! Even a few spots on the interior are alarming enough and indicate that the garlic is starting to rot. This garlic is no longer safe for consumption and will definitely ruin any dish you use it for.
My Final Thoughts
Every time I write down this phrase, some gloomy thoughts pass my mind.
But, I do not worry anymore – my beloved garlic will keep me safe and secure a long and happy life for me. 🙂
Quite a task for such a small food, but if you carefully read all that I have written so far you too will know that it is possible!
Therefore, enjoy your garlic-packed recipes and stay healthy!