Some of you may know what #WCW means. If by chance you’re not privy to the seemingly endless amount of social media hashtags there are nowadays, WCW is an acronym that stands for “woman crush Wednesday.” Apparently, men and women use this hashtag to let their social media followers know which lady “caught their fancy” that week. I’ve yet to participate in the WCW trend, but if I had to pick someone (other than my wife Shannon of course) I’d go with Dr. Rhonda Patrick (site link).
I’ve professed my platonic love for Dr. Rhonda Patrick numerous times in this blog and on the Addicted to Fitness podcast. Her recall for scientific facts and data is ASTOUNDING! I’ve listened to her on multiple podcasts, including her own (link), and it’s damn near impossible to remember all the information she rattles off. One particular piece of information that stuck with me involved the benefits garlic can offer to combating infections.
The majority of research on the antimicrobial benefits of garlic have yet to produce substantial results, but that may be due to the fact that those studies used garlic supplements instead of raw garlic. Dr. Rhonda Patrick described mitigating the effects of a MRSA infection she experienced by eating raw cloves of garlic & taking megadoses of vitamin C. In addition to her anecdotal evidence, a recent 2016 study demonstrated that eating raw garlic significantly reduced the amount of a specific pathogenic stomach bacteria (source). As unappealing as eating raw garlic sounds, there is a scientific reason to why it may be healthier for you than cooked garlic.
One of the numerous sulfur compounds contained in garlic is alliin. Once a garlic clove is crushed or chopped, the alliin converts to allicin. Allicin is believed to be the compound contained in garlic that provides the majority of its antimicrobial, anticancer and anti-inflammatory benefits. What’s interesting is that more alliin is converted to allicin the longer the crushed clove goes uncooked or uneaten (source). This means that in order to receive the maximum amount of health benefits from garlic, you should eat it raw. However, if you’re not prepared to take that leap, simply crush it and let it sit on your cutting board for 10-15 minutes before cooking it. You’ll still enjoy a certain amount of the health benefits without having to endure the bad breath.
Shannon and I are absolute garlic FIENDS! I don’t remeber the last meal we prepared that didn’t include garlic and/or shallots, which also contain allicin. We’ll chop up a few cloves and toss them in everything from veggies to meatloaf. I’ve also eaten cloves of raw garlic on the rare occasions that I felt a bit under the weather. I’m not sure if I have that ritual to thank for not being sick in a long time, but research suggest that it definitely doesn’t hurt.
If you are one of the brave souls who has eaten raw garlic or if you just enjoy throwing a few cloves in with your sautéed veggies, let us know! Send your favorite recipe that features garlic to firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We love to interact!