Garlic & Onions: Good Health, Bad Breath

With most things in life, you have to learn to take the good with the bad. . .and gardening is no exception. While onions and garlic tend to have potent smells and can leave your mouth in need of a mint, their health benefits are undeniable. If you want to expand your garden and try some new plants, garlic and onions may be just the match for you (and can be grown in the NEW EarthBox® Root & Veg gardening system)!

"Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food." - Hippocrates

Even though they have completely different tastes, garlic and onions are both part of the Allium family, a group of plants known to have a strong flavor but pack a punch in the health category.

Garlic is high on the nutrient index because even though it has few calories, it packs a wallop for manganese, vitamin B6 and C, and fiber. Studies have even found that taking a garlic supplement will reduce your chances of getting a cold AND can diminish cold symptoms if you end up catching one. Results of a study concerning colorectal cancer showed those who consumed the highest number of allium vegetables, including garlic, were 79% less likely to develop it.

Garlic is a perennial plant that can be planted before a hard frost. All you’ll need is a garlic bulb (you should purchase the bulb from a seed company or nursery, not plant one from the grocery store)! Keep the husk on the bulb, but separate the cloves a few days before planting. Plant your cloves about 2 inches deep with the pointy end facing upwards. Once warmer temperatures arrive, you’ll start seeing shoots! Make sure to water your garlic regularly during May and June.

Onions belong to the same family as garlic and also are a great addition to a garden. Packed with sulfur, which is good for your liver, onions also contain flavonoids that act as antioxidants. The main antioxidant is Quercetin, which acts as a natural blood thinner, combats diabetic symptoms, and helps to lower cholesterol.

There are many varieties of onions out there, so if you don’t like one type’s taste, don’t give up completely on these healthy gems! From sweet onions to more mild scallions, you can grow a complete onion garden in the EarthBox® gardening system! Most onion varieties like full sun and need adequate spacing, depending on the type of onion you’re planting. Be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging.

Happy Gardening!

Tell us: How do you like to eat onions and garlic? Do you prefer them raw or cooked?
Share your favorite garlic or onion recipes below!