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Garlic – Culinary Delight or Cancer Fighting Ingredient?

The answer to the title is, both! Garlic has a very deep history in the culinary world and is in fact used in dishes across all continents. While this delicious ingredient is considered a kitchen staple in most homes, researchers have, in recent years, been looking beyond the aromas and flavor enhancing qualities and have found strong ties between garlic consumption and reduced risk of cancer. 

To be more specific, the links are correlated to a reduced risk of colorectal cancers through consumption of allium containing vegetables. Garlic is one of several vegetables belonging to that genus. Others include; leeks, chives, onions and shallots – technically all members of the lily family.  

The study that has caught science journals and researchers attention was published by researchers from First Hospital of China Medical University. Essentially what the study found was that participants who consumed more allium containing vegetables were significantly less likely to develop colorectal cancer than those with a low intake of allium vegetables.

According to the study, 1.5 ounces a day is the amount of these vegetables we should be consuming to gain the cancer preventative effects. The study also notes that types of organosulfur compounds found in these vegetables are best released when crushed and sliced.  So let’s make a zesty broccoli recipe with crushed garlic to spice up a traditional side dish and transform it from a boring boiled green tree on your plate to the side that everyone around the table asks for more of!

Zesty Broccoli

1 broccoli head
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 pinch of chili flakes (optional)
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
olive Oil

Cut your broccoli into florets and heat up a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan on med-high heat. Toss in the broccoli, a few chili flakes if you desire an extra kick and the crushed garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Then add 1 tablespoon of water and stir the broccoli until the water has evaporated. Your broccoli should should have a slight crispiness to it and a zesty bite. Season with salt and pepper.

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