By Imani West
Garlic, a popular ingredient in many favorite dishes, is more than just a flavor-enhancer. Eating garlic has the potential to benefit your health. According to scientific studies, it can help stimulate the immune system, regulate total cholesterol, and lower blood pressure in people who have hypertension.
Nutrition expert Chris D'Adamo, PhD, says that in order to get the most out of garlic’s immunity-boosting properties one should chop and crush freshly-peeled garlic cloves, and expose them to air for several minutes prior to cooking. Doing this enhances the beneficial allinase enzymes that are found in garlic.
What are allinase enzymes?
Allinase enzymes aid your immune system’s fight against common threats, such as bacteria and viruses. In garlic, these enzymes convert the sulfur compound allin to another compound, called allicin, which has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-viral properties. Allicin is also what gives garlic its distinct odor.
To learn more nutrition and health tips, join us for Immune Health Boosters and Busters on Wednesday, March 23rd. A panel of health and wellness experts will share ways you can optimize your immune system.
Searching for a delicious and simple meal to make for dinner? Check out this kale salad recipe, and do your immune system a favor by using fresh garlic only.
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
- Wash and dry kale. Devein the kale by pulling the leaf off of the stem. Chop the leaves into wide ribbons.
- Add the sea salt and half the lemon juice. Gently massage for 1 - 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat skillet over medium. Add olive oil & garlic. Cook, stirring until fragrant and softened but not browned.
- Add the cranberries to the skillet. Cook, stirring until they have plumped and softened. Add the remaining lemon juice, and stir to combine.
- Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle the warm dressing over the kale. Add slivered almonds, grated cheese, and anything else you’d like.