Not only as a result of its distinctive flavor, garlic has been grown and used in human diet for years also as a result of its countless medicinal properties.
Garlic is also referred to as Allium sativum, which is a species in the onion genus. In addition, garlic’s close relatives are onion, leek, shallot, rakkyo, and chive.
Moreover, garlic is abundant in chromium, i.e., a mineral that allows the cells to respond suitably to insulin in the blood. So, it has an ability to regulate blood sugar levels in those suffering from diabetes.
It is also a rich source of C and manganese, which are effective at treating colds and flu, meaning it has incredible anti-inflammatory effects. Plus, it possesses vitamin B and pyridoxine that can fight neurotic conditions.
What’s more, young garlic abounds in vitamin C and K that are essential for normal development of bones. Vitamin C can also help in collagen synthesis, thus making bones strong and increasing the calcium utilization from food, whereas vitamin K has a greater effect in maintaining bone density.
Garlic is also an excellent source of vitamin A that is necessary for optimal eyesight.
Sulfur compounds are also found in garlic that can lower the risk of developing colon cancer.
If fresh garlic is crushed or chopped, its enzyme alliinase actually converts alliin into allicin, which is an organosulfur compound. It is an oily, slightly yellow liquid, giving the garlic its unique recognizable odor.
According to several studies done on animal, which were published between 1995 and 2005, allicin may decrease fat deposition and atherosclerosis, normalize the balance of lipoprotein, lower blood pressure, has anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic effects, and act as an antioxidant agent.
It was also found that allicin has a great number of antimicrobial properties. This compound has been also studied in relation to its biochemical interactions and its effects and it was found to has antiviral activity in vivo as well as in vitro.
These are some viruses that are prone to allicin:
- Human rhinovirus type
- Vesicular stomatitis virus
- Vaccinia virus
- Influenza B
- Human Cytomegalovirus
- Parainfluenza virus type 3 and
- Herpes simplex type 1 and 2
Allium cepa also referred to as the common onion or bulb onion is a vegetable that is the most commonly cultivated species of Allium genus.
In fact, most onion cultivars consist of 89% water, 4% sugar, 2% fiber, 1% protein, and 0.1% fat. Additionally, onion possesses low essential nutrient and fat amount.
It improves the blood system health, and also is crucial when it comes to preventing cancer. That’s not all, the extract of onion abounds in sulfides, thus preventing the growth of tumors.
Onion is a fantastic natural antibacterial agent. So, bear in mind, by regular onion consumption, you can naturally strengthen your immune system and prevent any viral and bacterial conditions.
Common onions can be found in 3 different colors:
– White onions are the traditionally used onion variety in the classic Mexican cuisine. When cooked this type has a golden color, whereas when sautéed, it has an extremely sweet flavor.
– Brown or yellow or onions also known as red in some countries in Europe, are the onions of choice for daily use and are full-flavored. Furthermore, if yellow onions are caramelized, they get a rich, dark brown color as well as give French onion soup the sweet taste.
– The red onion or it is known as purple in some countries in Europe, is a great choice for fresh use since its color livens up the dish. This onion type is usually used in grilling.
Note: By cutting it under running water or submerged in a basin of water, you can prevent eye irritation that occurs while chopping an onion.
It is an onion type, i.e., a botanical variety of the species Allium cepa.
Shallot most likely originates from Southeast or Central Asia, then brought in India and the eastern Mediterranean. In South India, this onion variety is known as small onions and are most commonly used in cooking.
In addition, they are used in fresh cooking. In Asian cuisine, finely sliced, deep-fried shallots are usually served with porridge and used as a condiment.
Bioflavonoids kaempferol are found in large amounts in leek that have been found to be able to prevent damage of blood vessels.
Also, it possesses a great amount of polyphenol that can protect the blood vessels from dangerous oxidation.
Even though the concentration of folic acid present in the leek is usually overlooked, it is crucial for maintaining good health. The key vitamin in the folic acid is actually B-complex, which is capable of protecting the cardiovascular system and maintaining the homocysteine level in the body.
Chive is also called Allium schoenoprasum, which is a herb that resembles hollow blades of grass. This herb is actually the smallest member of the onion family.
It has a mild onion flavor and is used raw as a garnish over dishes, for instance deviled eggs. In the European cuisine, chive is widely used in many dishes due to its delicate flavor.
This herb provides the body with vitality and is effective against fatigue as a result of the perfect combination of vitamin C and iron.
Chinese onion or Rakkyo
Japanese scallion, is also called Allium chinense, Chinese scallion, or Chinese onion, is an edible onion, originating from China. However, this type of onion has also been cultivated in many other countries all over the world.
In case you’ve ever tried Japanese curry, then you know this pickled shallot. In fact, Chinese onion looks like a small garlic or shallot piece, but its taste is different.