Immunity Boosters: Gorgeous Garlic

garlic
Maseera Fatima, food blogger

Garlic is a great flavoring for many dishes. Use garlic-infused oil to prepare dishes. “Brewing a tea of garlic can comfort you and helps boost your immune system. Mix chopped/minced garlic with fresh tomatoes and basil. Use this delightful mixture on top of pasta, bread, or a salad. Adding it to salsa or guacamole, making pesto, slicing garlic onto a salad and using it as a garnish for hot soups are other ways to use it,” says Maseera Fatima, food blogger.

Power Pack

Garlic (Allium sativum) contains alliin, which is metabolized by the enzyme alliinase to allicin, which is responsible for most of its medicinal properties through ancient and modern history and for flavoring in cooking. Crushed or chopped, it releases the compound allicin which forms oil soluble allyl sulfur compounds. Most of the health benefits of its raw form come from allicin. Allicin has anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.

Historically, garlic has been used to treat many medical issues including cholera, the plague and even war wounds. It contains allicin, which acts as an immunity booster and an antioxidant that helps reduce infections. It is beneficial to your digestive health. A healthy gut enhances our immune system and reduces the risk of any infection. It supports your liver to effectively carry out detoxification and contains vitamin B and C, that fights off cold and cough too.

garlic
Pavithra N Raj, Chief dietician – Columbia Asia referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur

Pavithra N Raj, Chief dietician, Columbia Asia referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur, Bengaluru says, “garlic has powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Allicin content in the garlic helps boost the immune system. It can be incorporated in rasam, in the preparation of curry or simply roasted in a pinch of ghee.” 

Power Pearls

As winter is said to affect the proper functioning of the heart (the reason behind maximum heart attacks and CVA happens in this season), garlic becomes an essential item to be included in food as it not only controls blood pressure and ensures proper flow of blood, but also keeps the body warm and energetic.

“Garlic is believed to be a galactagogue. It contains a chemical ‘alliin’, which is enzymatically converted to ‘allicin’, which is believed to be the main component to stimulate breast milk production and increase the supply of breast milk. Garlic also helps prevent cancers of the stomach, colon, oesophagus, pancreas, breast, and prostate. The high sulphur content in garlic gives it antibiotic properties, helps to keep the digestive system clean by flushing out toxins. Selenium content in the garlic can cleanse the liver. It can trigger liver enzymes, and naturally flush out the toxins from your body,” adds Raj. The minimum effective dose for raw garlic is four to five segments (clove) per day. 

Here is a recipe for you to try.

Double Decker Cheesy Garlic Sandwich with Garlic Dip (courtesy Maseera Fatima)

garlic
Garlic sandwich with a garlic dip

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 4 bread slices
  • 12-15 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ lemon juice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 Cheese slices
  • 3 tbsp Mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tsp Fresh coriander

Method

  • In a bowl take two tbsp of butter (room temp) and add ½ tsp pepper, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp garlic powder, one tsp chili flakes, 2- 3 chopped garlic cloves, fresh coriander. Mix it all well.
  • Now take one bread slice and spread the butter mixture, flip it upside down and add mozzarella cheese.
  • Place another bread slice on top of it and spread mayonnaise.
  • Now place one fried egg on top and add some more mozzarella cheese. Take a third slice of bread, spread some mayonnaise and make the second decker.
  • Place a cheese slice on top, close the sandwich with the last slice of bread and spread the butter mixture on top.
  • Lastly, fry the whole sandwich on both the sides and place one more cheese slice on top of one side and sprinkle chili flakes and pepper.

Serve with a Garlic Dip

  • In a grinder add 12-13 garlic cloves, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, one tsp sugar (optional), ½ lemon juice, 4-5 ice cubes. Grind well.
  • While blending add three tbsp oil.
  • Blend it all well. The dip is ready to serve with hot sandwiches. 

Check out the last story in our immunity booster series, Turmeric Tales