It may not ward off disease (or vampires), but it makes a tasty pasta
There’s no conclusive scientific evidence that garlic lives up to its heart-healthy reputation. “Some studies show that it could be cardio-protective and others show that it’s not,” says clinical dietitian Elizabeth Penniman, MS, RD, LD.
You certainly don’t want to rely on garlic to lower your cholesterol or reduce your blood pressure, Ms. Penniman says, but the pungent plant can fit well into an overall wellness approach that includes a heart-healthy diet and daily physical activity.
If you like garlic, be sure to use it in its fresh form rather than dried or preserved. “Fresh is always better than anything processed,” says Ms. Penniman, Manager of the Section of Nutrition Therapy within Cleveland Clinic’s Digestive Disease Institute. “When fresh raw garlic is crushed, it generates hydrogen sulfide, which, when eaten, can scavenge for free radicals,” she says. “This may contribute to the cardio-protective ability of raw garlic compared to processed garlic, which loses the ability to generate hydrogen sulfide.”
Garlic adds a lot of flavor to dishes, so you can cut down on salt. The following is an easy recipe that Ms. Penniman likes to make for her family.
Pasta with Garlic
2 cloves freshly crushed garlic
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 bag (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach
8 ounces whole wheat pasta
12 ounces peeled and cleaned medium-size shrimp
Sauté until shrimp are cooked through. Makes 4 servings: 340 calories, 6 g fat, 27 g protein.
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