Everyone knows garlic can ward off anything from vampires to potential suitors (if you eat enough). But as it turns out, garlic is incredibly healthy — think of it as the stinkiest superfood.
1. It’s delicious.
Adding garlic to nearly any dish guarantees it will be about a gajillion times more delicious. Be it pasta, pizza, chicken, or even just bread, adding some awesome roasted garlic can really take a meal to the next level.
2. Garlic is antibacterial.
The presence of a disulfide called ajoene can help prevent infections, and fresh garlic can even help to kill harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. Check out this recipe for easy garlicky shrimp.
3. Garlic is antiviral.
Garlic is full of allicin, which has been shown to have numerous health benefits. In fact, raw garlic can help fight the virus in cold sores. Considering how easily sickness spreads at college, maybe flu season wouldn’t be quite so bad if everyone started eating a lot more garlic.
4. Garlic is anti-fungal.
Because you probably live in a dorm, or at least share a shower with a roommate… so anti-fungal is really for the best. Studies have shown that raw garlic applied directly to the skin can also help with athlete’s foot.
5. Garlic is anti-inflammatory.
Not only does ajoene fight bacteria, but it also fights inflammation. The four derivatives of ajoene (only a few of the several sulfuric compounds found in garlic) can significantly reduce inflammation in the body.
6. Its detoxifying properties help prevent cancer.
Garlic contains allyl sulfides, which can reduce the growth rate of cancer cells according to a study by the American Society for Nutrition. In addition, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that eating garlic and onions can increase enzymes that help to remove toxins, preventing damage to DNA that could cause cancer.
#SpoonTip: If you really love garlic, try this intense Italian garlic dip by the name of bagna cauda.
7. It’s great for when you have a cold.
Cold season in college lasts from about October to March, so a go-to treatment is necessary. If you’ve ever had raw garlic, you know it has quite a kick and can really clear out your sinuses. Its antioxidant properties also boost your immune system, so it can help ward off future colds. Raw garlic is common in dishes like bruschetta, and it makes a great addition to vinaigrette salad dressings.
8. It is full of necessary minerals.
As college students, sometimes it can be tricky to get in all of the daily recommended nutrients we need. Lucky for us, garlic is full of zinc and manganese, which help to strengthen our bones. Garlic also contains significant amounts of vitamins B6 and C, so get your minerals from fries by making your own gourmet parmesan garlic truffle fries.
Garlic is antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory, so basically it’s the ultimate superfood. So don’t be afraid of garlic breath. Embrace it — some say it can even be a major turn on.