We all know that garlic is good for us, but in an abstract way, like going for a walk or ‘cooking from fresh’. Hate that saying – it seems to fit into the same compartment as irritating words like ‘jim jams’. 

It’s been scientifically proven that garlic is super-good for us humanoids, so we don’t have to rely on old wives’ tales or use it because it wards off vampires. It may make you smell – I know a lot of people who say they love garlic breath. I have it a lot; I eat tons of garlic, but I don’t like garlic breath on other people. So, I stand firmly with the Greek philosopher Hippocrates (father of Western medicine and author of the eponymous Hippocratic oath) who was a firm supporter of garlic and its health benefits. At the same time, I’m a ‘hypocrite’, take your smelly breath away from my smelly breath! – I’m that childish.

Garlic has very few calories but comes with a strong nutritional punch. One ounce of garlic gives you:

• Manganese: 23% of the RDA
• Vitamin B6: 17% of the RDA
• Vitamin C: 15% of the RDA
• Selenium: 6% of the RDA
• Fibre: 0.6 grams
• Decent amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1

It also has the following benefits:
• Garlic is known to boost the function of the immune system.
• One large, 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared to a placebo.
• The average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from 5 days in the placebo group to just 1.5 days in the garlic group.
• Another study found that a high dose of aged garlic extract (2.56 grams per day) reduced the number of days sick with cold or flu by 61% 

Roasted Garlic
This is a recipe or technique that I have always used with garlic and it’s particularly good for adding to soups and stews. The garlic is roasted and ready, no need to peel. This is a very good accompaniment with a roast dinner, or fish soup.
1. Take one whole bulb of garlic and slice it across the top, so that you can see the tops of all the cloves.
2. Place the garlic on a square of foil and drizzle with olive oil.
3. Gather the corners of the foil so that the garlic is sitting in a triangular pocket.
4. Place the garlic in a hot oven (180) and roast for 30 mins.
5. Take the garlic bulb out of the foil and leave to cool. When you need to use the roasted garlic, squeeze it out at the uncut end and the cloves will pop out or come out like toothpaste.

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