What would you call a plant-based food that:
costs pennies per serving
makes countless recipes taste better
battles heart disease
and prevents or reduces the length of the common cold?
How about “a superfood?”
Yes, perhaps because the humble garlic clove provides those benefits, it’s become an international culinary staple. So much so, that nearly 50 billion pounds of it (about 7 pounds for every man, woman and child on Earth) are now being consumed every year.
That demand makes growing garlic a very big business. Garlic Breath, the third episode of Netflix’ Rotten docuseries — takes an in-depth look at its less savory side.
For example, 90 percent of the world’s garlic comes from China, and most of that from the eastern coastal province of Shandong. China exports most of its garlic crop to the United States. The strongest U.S. demand is for peeled Chinese garlic.
If we knew all the details of how the garlic comes to us, however, we might think twice about where we buy it from.
The most shocking part of Garlic Breath was undercover video footage of Chinese prisoners forced to peel garlic for up to 16 hours a day. After losing their fingernails to the work, some of them resort to chewing off the roots!
Learning about the garlic industry’s immoral commercial side piqued my curiosity about the health benefits of this Onion family plant. So I visited NutritionFacts.org and searched for videos about garlic.
“Those randomized to the garlic suffered 60 percent fewer colds, 70 percent fewer days affected, so not only fewer colds but faster recovery, suffering only one and a half days instead of five.”
In the next video, Dr. Greger presented the results of a study of cardiac patients. Every day, half of them took 800 mg (¼ teaspoon) of garlic powder along with their medications. The other half took a placebo.
At the end of three months, the garlic group showed a 50 percent higher improvement in their artery function than the placebo group.
Another study showed garlic powder taken daily with medication lowered cholesterol in cardiovascular patients. More importantly, it slowed the progression of their atherosclerosis — America’s Number 1 killer.
Finally, I investigated how garlic performs against America’s second-most lethal disease, cancer. In the video #1 Anticancer Vegetable, Dr. Greger describes a trip to an imaginary salad bar to assemble a salad of the most powerful cancer-fighting ingredients.
Spoiler alert: Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots don’t make the cut.
No, if you’re serious about avoiding or beating cancer, only one plant-based food is known to block the laboratory growth of the most common types of cancer cells.
Garlic blocked all eight:
Brain (and pediatric brain) cancer
Yes, the humble garlic clove is a true superfood! But it’s up to us to make sure we get it from the most reputable suppliers.
And whatever we do – let’s peel it ourselves!