Roma Tomato Salad with Feta and Garlic (Benefits of Garlic)

Garlic has been used as both food and medicine in many cultures for thousands of years, dating back to when the Egyptian pyramids were built. In early 18th -century France, gravediggers drank a concoction of crushed garlic in wine they believed would protect them from the plague that killed many people in Europe. More recently, during both World Wars I and II, soldiers were given garlic to prevent gangrene. Today garlic is used to help prevent heart disease, including atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries that can block the flow of blood and possibly lead to heart attack or stroke), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and to improve the immune system. Garlic may also protect against cancer.

While the science is not conclusive, research shows promise for garlic in the areas of cancer protection and heart-related risk factors for patients.

Garlic is rich in antioxidants, which help destroy free radicals -- particles that can damage cell membranes, interact with genetic material, and possibly contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of conditions, including heart disease and cancer. Free radicals occur naturally in the body, but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollution) can also increase the number of these damaging particles. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause over time.


4 servings

  • 6 roma (plum) tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 to 3 garlic, peeled and minced (or sliced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 ounces tomato-basil feta cheese, crumbled


  1. In a large bowl, toss together tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and feta cheese. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before serving.
From Body&Soul