There’s little doubt that at some point many of us had a craving for garlic. Of all the things we could hanker for, why garlic? It’s a seemingly odd thing to crave.
After a deep dive into the spicy recesses of the internet, it turns out it’s not as odd as one might think. In fact, it’s a perfectly natural craving based both on physiology and psychology.
What Causes Garlic Cravings?
If you find yourself craving garlic, there are a few reasons this might happen.
The most common one being, your body needs it. Cravings are your body’s way of letting you know what it needs. So when you’re yearning for that aromatic little bulb, your body may be in need of vitamin B or C, iron, calcium, or selenium. Garlic is full of all these needed nutrients.
Your need for nutrients is not the only reason you may be desperately seeking garlic. Less common reasons are if you’ve changed your diet and haven’t eaten garlic in a while.
Your taste buds may be so used to it that they are sending the message that they miss it. On the other hand, if you eat a lot of garlic, the more likely you are to want more.
Another reason garlic craving is somewhat common is that it’s often a staple ingredient in our comfort food. If you’re feeling stressed or down, you may start thinking about garlic because you associate it with your favorite foods.
Now that we’ve established that garlic cravings are perfectly normal, what can all this garlic do for us?
What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Garlic?
Garlic is a wonder spice that’s been used in medical treatments for centuries. The ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Chinese civilizations used garlic for everything from treating snakebites and parasitic infestations to circulation disorders and treatment of infection.
Related: Why is Garlic Sticky (and how to prevent it from sticking)?
During World War 1, garlic was used on wounds to prevent gangrene. By this time, it had been discovered that garlic contained allicin, which is a bioactive antibiotic.
Today, we know that garlic can brings many benefits, including:
- reducing blood pressure
- reducing cholesterol levels
- boosting the immune system
- reducing a fever
- fighting bacterial and viral infections
- killing fungi, salmonella, and E-coli
- helping to prevent dementia
- helping to fight the flu and colds
- increasing muscle strength
The scientific research surrounding garlic’s benefits continues. So who knows what new benefits might be discovered in the future!
Is It Bad To Eat Garlic Every Day?
Aside from the possible social implications of people keeping their distance, eating garlic every day (in moderation) is not bad for you. In fact, eating 1-2 cloves of raw garlic each day can help boost your immune system, lower blood sugar, improve memory, and support heart health.
An example of how a clove a day can keep the doctor away were the delightful Delany Sisters.
These ladies, who wrote their first book at ages 101 and 103, ate a clove of garlic each morning for over 70 years. They lived to the ages of 104 and 109! If the raw clove is too much for you, roasting, baking, or sautéeing is also fine.
Can You Eat Too Much Garlic?
We’ve already established that garlic has fantastic health benefits. But you know what they say about too much of a good thing? If you don’t, it’s not good. There are several side effects to consuming too much garlic. Some are just annoying, but some can be quite serious.
1. Risk of Increased Bleeding
Garlic has properties that can prevent blood from clotting. If you are on blood thinners, having surgery, or have a clotting condition, you may want to go easy on the garlic.
2. Garlic Breath
Garlic has a number of sulfur compounds. While this is great for our health, it’s literally bad for our breath. This can be offensive to those around us and create awkward social encounters. The good news is, chewing on some parsley is a great way to combat that vampire-killing odor.
3. Digestive Issues
In some people, garlic is not absorbed by the small intestine. It will travel undigested to the colon where it ferments causing bloating, gas, and cramps.
4. Low Blood Pressure
Garlic is a great tool for lowering blood pressure for those that need it. However, if you already have a lower pressure rate or are on medication to lower your blood pressure, too much garlic can cause your pressure to go dangerously low.
This can cause fainting and other negative effects. Always consult your physician / doctor for advice.
Why Am I Craving Pickled Garlic?
If you’re craving a piece of pickled garlic, you may be dehydrated. Anything that is pickled is going to have a high salt content. Sodium is an electrolyte. Electrolytes help keep your body hydrated. So if you’re craving pickled garlic or pickled anything else, you may be in need of some serious hydration.
1. Where did garlic originate?
Garlic is native to Asia.
2. What is the best way to store garlic?
Garlic is best stored in a cool, dry, dark place away from other food.
3. How much garlic do we eat each year?
Worldwide, about 26 million tons of garlic are consumed each year.
4. What country produces the most garlic?
China produces 80% of the world’s garlic.