April 19 is the best day to speak about garlic when National Garlic Day is observed in the USA. Is garlic healthy and why? How much garlic do we eat? What country produces the most garlic in the world? Read on to learn it right now!
What Garlic Parts Can We Eat?
When we hear the word “garlic” the first things that comes to our mind is a garlic clove. However, it’s not the only part of garlic you can eat safely. Some garlic varieties produce “scapes” – green shoots that are very tasty when young. Add them to soups or pesto to make them even more delicious.
What Country Produces the Most Garlic?
Place your bets! Is it Brazil, India, or the USA? Nothing of the kind! Garlic was originally planted in central Asia but today it’s China that grows the biggest amounts of garlic in the world – 2/3 of all the garlic harvested and stunning 46 billion pounds per year!
How Much Garlic Do You Consume?
An average person eats about 2 pounds of garlic per year, which means each of us consumes 302 garlic cloves annually.
What Are Garlic Health Benefits?
You must have heard about “magic” healing and anti-cold features garlic possesses, but why does it work this way? First and foremost, we need to thank allicin – a compound that is produced when we cut garlic. Allicin is antibiotic and antifungal that reduces the levels of “bad” cholesterol and decreases blood pressure. Besides, garlic contains huge amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, Vitamin C, and lots of other vitamins and minerals.
When Did People Learn about Garlic Benefits?
Garlic has been known as a powerful healing means since ancient times. It’s said that Egyptian pharaohs gave garlic to the workers who were building pyramids to help them become stronger. The Ebers Papyrus – an ancient medical document – states that this plant could be used for 22 different medical purposes! Besides Ancients Egyptians, there were many writers who spoke about the benefits of garlic including Virgil, Chaucer, and Pliny the Elder. They all call garlic a “magic” plant able to cure many diseases.
What Does the Word “Garlic” Mean?
Despite the fact garlic is native to Asia, its named has been derived from two Anglo-Saxon words – “gar” meaning “spear” and “lac” meaning “plant”. In the end we get “spear plant” which can be definitely attributed to the shape of its leaves.
Why Are Vampires Repelled by Garlic?
In 1897, Bram Stoker first introduced vampires repelled by garlic in his novel Dracula. Van Helsing, the protagonist of the book, uses garlic to protect himself from the veil creatures. It’s believed that the author picked the idea because garlic possesses many healing properties and is even used as a mosquito repellent. Just draw parallels between these two factors!
What Else Can Garlic Do?
Garlic is tasty and healthy, but these are not the only benefits you can get from it. The juice found in garlic cloves can be used as an adhesive, especially if you need to stick together such fragile things as glass pieces. Try to crush some cloves and use the sticky substance you’ll get as a bonding agent!
Learn more about garlic here and cook something garlicky to celebrate National Garlic Day!