Garlic is a bit of a love it or hate it ingredient – it has a strong, pungent taste and an even stronger smell. But if you love it, you’re in luck – garlic actually has lots of health giving properties that make it an excellent addition to any healthy eating plan or weight loss diet.
Researchers are constantly finding more and more benefits of eating garlic – it’s found to help prevent heart disease and certain types of cancer and its antibacterial properties mean that it can help ward off infection.
Garlic is also known to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your body, whilst increasing the levels of good cholesterol – and when taken daily, these effects can last for up to three months. It’s also thought that garlic could help to remove clots that could cause heart attacks and strokes, and new research suggests that garlic can inhibit the growth of or even kill certain types of bacteria.
Cooked garlic is also good for you – it helps to prevent cholesterol that is already present in your blood stream from oxidising and damaging the lining of your blood vessels.
Garlic & weight loss
Recent research has also suggested that garlic can actually aid weight loss. Researchers found that those rats given a garlic compound put on less weight than those not given the garlic. Plus it has been shown to help boost the metabolism. And to get all of these benefits? You only need to consume one garlic clove per day – so easy to do! To help you come up with ideas for using garlic in your cooking, here are two low fat weight loss recipes.
Asparagus with Anchovies & Garlic
- 2 bunches asparagus
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp. anchovy paste
- 1 tbsp. water
- 4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp. dried chilli flakes
- Snap the woody ends off of the asparagus stalks, then cut into 1 inch pieces. Mince the garlic using a garlic press.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the minced garlic and dried chilli flakes and stir. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the asparagus, anchovy paste and water and cook, stirring often, for 5-6 minutes until the asparagus is tender but still crisp.
Serve as a side dish, tossed with pasta or try adding some strips of flash fried lean chicken breast to make this into more of a substantial meal. Recipe serves 4, calories per serving: 93, fat per serving: 6g.
- 575g cooked prawns, head removed, deveined
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 70ml fresh lemon juice
- Small handful freshly chopped parsley
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- Mince the garlic cloves. Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the garlic. Fry until fragrant, around 1 minute, then tip into a large bowl. Add the lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper and stir well, then add the prawns and toss to coat. Chill until serving.
- Alternatively, cook the garlic until fragrant and then add the lemon juice, parsley and salt and pepper to the pan. Stir well, then add the prawns and simmer for a couple of minutes until heated through before serving.
Serve these prawns tossed with wholewheat linguine, or as they are with chunks of ciabatta bread to mop up all the sauce. Recipe serves 12, calories per serving: 73, fat per serving: 3g.
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