Garlic and turmeric are two of the most preferred spices, providing vibrant flavors to multiple cuisines and medicinal benefits.
What is the difference between these two herbs in the garlic vs turmeric discussion? Do they share any similarities?
This article discusses garlic and turmeric in greater detail to help you decide which of the two you should include in your diet. Please keep reading for more information.
What is Garlic?
Garlic is a vegetable belonging to the Allium family with a sharp, spicy flavor. It is helpful in flavoring all kinds of dishes and can even make a delicious tea.
It has a long history of use in Italian and Indian cuisine and can turn a balanced meal into something wonderfully flavorful.
Benefits of Consuming Garlic
Garlic has several health benefits worth considering, even as you include it in your diet. For once, its spicy taste comes from organosulfur compounds, an active ingredient that makes it a proper medical herb.
Here are the health benefits of garlic:
1. Boosting Immunity
Including garlic in your diet can help boost the immune system and help your body to fight off common ailments. Research into garlic has shown how effectively it lowers the risk of diseases like the common cold and colon cancer.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Garlic is also effective in reducing inflammation in the body. For example, rubbing garlic oil on sore and inflamed muscles or joints can immediately relieve. Therefore, it is effective in treating joint pain.
3. Improving Heart Health
Processed and raw garlic can also regulate blood pressure, impacting your arteries positively.
According to researchers, the active ingredient in garlic reacts with red blood cells to produce hydrogen sulfide gas. That leads to the expansion of blood vessels, improving blood flow, and regulating blood pressure.
However, it’s essential to seek professional medical advice before relying squarely on garlic as a treatment for high blood pressure. Your doctor should always have a say.
4. Antimicrobial Properties
Garlic has antimicrobial effects that enable it to clear the skin by getting rid of acne-causing bacteria. But that’s only when you rub garlic on your skin instead of using it in your diet.
In the stomach, garlic can kill harmful bacteria like salmonella and E. coli and protect you from disease. It does that while increasing the good gut bacteria and improving digestion.
5. Lowering Blood Cholesterol Levels
Garlic can also lower blood cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is one of the risk factors for heart disease. By reducing cholesterol production in the liver, garlic helps improve heart health.
Disadvantages of Garlic
Despite its many benefits, garlic has several things that aren’t so good. The following are the disadvantages of including garlic in your diet:
- Lousy Breath: Garlic has a strong, pungent flavor that lingers in the mouth for a long time. Fresh garlic is the biggest culprit when it comes to causing bad breath.
- Side-Effects: Eating fresh garlic gloves comes with several side effects, including diarrhea, gas, and heartburn. Garlic has also been established to cause allergic reactions and increased risk of bleeding.
How to Use Garlic
Garlic helps bring flavor out to many dishes. The following are some of the things you can cook using garlic:
- Garlic lemon shrimp
- Chicken and garlic with fresh herbs
- Skillet potatoes with whole garlic cloves and black pepper
- Tomato garlic lentil bowls
- Garlic-dill soda bread
- Garlic chicken and broccoli
- Onion & garlic biscuits
- Greek garlic chicken
- Garlic grilled steaks
- Creamy roasted garlic & spinach orzo
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a yellow medicinal herb originating in India but is presently used in most of the world. It can be used either as turmeric powder or paste.
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is a potent antioxidant that also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Benefits of Turmeric
As part of comparing garlic and turmeric, it is essential to discuss the health benefits of the latter. Here are the health benefits of turmeric:
- Fighting Inflammation: Through the effects of curcumin, turmeric can fight inflammation in the body. In the process, it reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease.
- Antioxidant: Turmeric has also shown effectiveness in reducing oxidation in the body. Curcumin fights free radicals and activates other antioxidants.
- Heart Health: Turmeric paste or turmeric powder effectively reduces the risk of heart disease. It reduces oxidative stress, inflammation, and high blood pressure, improving heart health.
- Preventing Cancer: Cancer is defined by rampant cell growth, and turmeric can be an effective treatment. It can kill cancerous cells, reduce the development of blood vessels in tumors, and curtail the spread of cancer.
- Improving Memory: By reducing inflammation and fighting free radicals in the body, turmeric helps improve brain function. It may also prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Reducing Pain: In Ayurveda and Chinese traditional medicine, turmeric is a treatment for arthritis. Therefore, it can help ease joint pain.
Disadvantages of Turmeric
Turmeric has several disadvantages despite its many benefits. The following are some of the possible side effects of turmeric when taken in large amounts:
- Stomach upset
How to Use Turmeric
Turmeric has many uses in the kitchen and can turn any dish into a colorful, flavorful meal. Here is how you can use it at home:
- Make Tea: You can use turmeric with lemon juice and honey in hot water to make tea. Instead of lemon juice, you could use coconut milk.
- Scrambled Eggs: Add turmeric powder to bring out its full flavor when preparing scrambled eggs.
- Roasted Vegetables: Turmeric is also great when added to roasted vegetables. You would never want to cook vegetables any other way.
- Rice: Turmeric is best when added to rice. It not only improves the flavor but also makes the rice colorful.
- Greens: Sprinkle turmeric powder in braised or sauteed greens, including cabbage, collards, and kale.
- Soups: It always helps when turmeric paste is added to chicken or vegetable soup. The golden turmeric color makes it very attractive.
- Smoothies: Fresh turmeric root can do great in a smoothie or juice.
The Bottom Line
Garlic and turmeric are great herbs for flavoring food and providing health benefits. They are effective in preparing various dishes in many cuisines. You do not have to choose one over the other.