Definition

Garlic is the pungent bulb of the Allium sativum plant. Like its relative the onion, it is a common allergen.

Health considerations

Use of garlic in the diet has been associated with antimicrobial activity, including antibacterial effect on H. pylori, the bacteria involved in gastric ulcers. Other protective associations include: possible anti-cancer properties; antioxidant properties; improved immune function; and reduction of cardiovascular disease factors such as elevated cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides.

Keep in mind

Recommendations of the quantity and form of garlic required per day to see health benefits are inconsistent and often unsupported. Generally fresh garlic will contain the most active components, followed by freeze-dried; heating reduces functional activity.

May be found in

Sauces, dips, processed meats, spiced breads and crackers, soups, pasta

References

International Journal of Food Properties
The Journal of Nutrition

Alternative Spellings and Names

Allium sativum, ajo, ail, aglio

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