Tuesday, 16 March 2010 10:18
Garlic is used in cuisines across the world for its savoury and fragrant flavour. Garlic is an essential ingredient in many curries.
Garlic has been cultivated for so long in human history that botanists are unsure of its exact geographical origin—it seems that our ancestors enjoyed the smelly yet tasty herb as much as we do! Also, recent studies have shown that our love of garlic may also be good for our health.
A study published in the medical journal Carcinogenesis in 2008 showed that garlic-derived substances had an effect on colon cancer cells. An earlier study in 1987 performed on mice showed that diallyl sulphide, a chemical that helps to give garlic its delicious flavour, may inhibit the growth of a certain types of colon cancer.
Garlic is also a source of selenium, which helps your immune system to function. Additionally, garlic contains a chemical called allicin, which, while giving us the dreaded garlic breath, also dilates blood vessels, reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Science of Curry has been produced in association with the British Pharmacological Society (BPS), which is the primary learned society in the UK concerned with research into chemicals which affect the functioning of the body and the way they work. You can check out their Facebook page, Twitter feed, and the BPS homepage.
If you think investigating how everyday foods can keep us healthy could be a great job, you can look at the BPS careers site.
For biology experiments you can do in the classroom, check out Practical Biology.