Mind Blowing Things You Probably Don’t Know About Garlic!

A famous Chef once said, “Without garlic, I simply would not care to live.” And if we’re being honest, neither would we. 

Garlic is a staple in Italian cuisine and provides so many dishes with a unique, signature flavour that we can’t help but drool over when it hits our senses! 

Chances are if you planted garlic in your garden earlier this fall, you're probably smack dab right in the middle of harvesting your crop. To honour this vital ingredient and help you celebrate your garden’s bounty, we found the coolest facts that will make you love garlic even more to delight your brain and taste buds!

Fact #1: Eating Garlic Could Make You Happier 

Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

Eating garlic could help positively boost your mood and make you feel happier! 

Garlic contains chromium and other compounds. According to the nutrition and depression guide book, “The Chemistry of Joy'' written by Dr. Henry Emmons, garlic is believed to function as a natural antidepressant and increase serotonin production. 

Fact #2: Garlic Will Help Other Plants Grow

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

Garlic is a popular plant to garden. It takes up little space, isn’t fussy about soil, can flourish in most conditions and will even help your other plants grow! No wonder garlic is one of the most popular companion plants in the world! 

What are Companion Plants? 

Companion planting is a gardening strategy that maximizes the growth of crops by planting mutually beneficial plants next to each other. Garlic is popular because it’s like a social butterfly and can get along well with a wide variety of plants.

According to SFGate, garlic makes a great neighbour to onions, tomatoes, celery, carrots, cabbage, spinach, sweet peppers, lettuce, parsnips, beets, and a variety of herbs! 

Fact #3: Garlic Wards off Vampires (aka Pests)

The lore behind garlic having the power to ward off a scary vampire might have some truth in it! 

Gardeners have strategically used garlic for centuries to help keep away bugs and other problems from damaging and eating their crops. This was effective because garlic's intense aroma and flavour come from its high sulphur content. Since many garden pests are sensitive to sulphur, garlic is excellent to plant because pests will dodge it, making it a delicious all-natural defence mechanism. 

Fact #4: Eating Garlic Has Many Health Benefits  

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Garlic is highly nutritious but low in calories, making it an exceptional ingredient for diet-friendly meals! It’s also an excellent source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). 

The benefits supplied by eating garlic are currently being researched. Yet, the potential impact it has on lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the chance of heart disease/attacks, and helping to prevent the development of particular cancers and tumours makes us love it more!

Fact #5: Garlic Was Vital To Soldiers In World War I 

Garlic has antimicrobial and antifungal properties that made it a coveted and reliable remedy throughout history, especially during epidemics. 

In World War I, soldiers used garlic as an antiseptic to apply to their wounds because it contains properties that clean, heal and treat particular conditions (i.e. dysentery) that were caused by poor sanitary conditions in the trenches. 

Fact #6: Two Types Of Garlic

There are all kinds of garlic... around 211 varieties! However, all kinds of garlic are categorized into two main types based on the development of their flower stalks, hardiness and clove formation patterns.

Hardneck Garlic: Depict varieties that grow bigger, have sturdier stalks, are easier to peel, and are ideal for planting in cold climates, like Sudbury, ON. 

Softneck Garlic: Depict varieties that do better in warmer climates and stores very well. These are varieties that are more common inside grocery stores and places where mass crop production occurs.