The "stinking rose" -- the name derives from Greek and Roman antiquity -- offers far more than its characteristic flavor and aroma; garlic may help protect you against heart disease. Studies have linked this member of the onion family with lowering cholesterol levels, as well as providing anti-clotting activity and reductions in blood pressure. "Garlic contains lots of phytochemicals, such as allicin, saponin and coumaric acid," adds Zied. Such compounds are behind garlic's anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects that contribute to heart health. Consider the supply of manganese, vitamins C and B6, and selenium in garlic, and you can see why it should always have a home in your kitchen.
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