A garlic a day keeps the doctor away….

I can already see you wincing at the thought of eating a clove of garlic a day… but I love love love this ‘superfood‘. It is my go to when battling a cold (in fact, when I feel like I’m about to go down with a cold, I have one…or two cloves raw, and it kind of stops it developing into full blown cold), it is a natural antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal, can lower blood pressure and protect your heart as well as being an excellent anti-oxidant.

How do I eat it? Well, heat destroys the active compound allicin, so I try to eat it raw or near enough raw. Raw doesn’t mean popping a clove straight into your mouth though! It just means you incorporate it into your dishes cleverly without cooking it. It’s quite easy to pop into a salad dressing. And when I have soup, I crush it and mix into soup just before serving (so it is not heated). I like throwing a clove into any dips I’m making, blend into my mayo (then it becomes alio which is delicious!), and when it’s blended with other ingredients you barely notice. Sliced pieces of raw garlic goes really well with meat actually – I often sandwich thin slices of garlic in between pieces of meat/sausages and eat it that way.

For the kids, I often mix into hot foods off the stove (e.g. if I am making spaghetti bolognese, I will take the sauce off the stove and mix a spoonful of crushed garlic into the sauce just before serving. The heat from the sauce takes away the pungent taste and they actually eat it! You can also cut a clove length wide and rub it onto bread to make ‘garlic bread’! I expose my kids to all the herbs so they get used to the taste early on.

If you really cannot handle the taste of garlic (and yes bad breath can be a bit of a problem) then supplement is probably the next best thing, and there are some studies showing garlic supplementation on a regular basis can reduce the common cold although these tend to be small studies (1).

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