Health Benefits of Garlic

Does it matter how fresh garlic is prepared to get nutritional benefits?

Garlic contains a wide range of active compounds that have health benefits. To maximize the health benefits of garlic, it is best to chop or crush fresh garlic before eating. This will stimulate the enzymatic process that converts the nutrient alliin into allicin, one of garlic’s active compounds. In order to allow for maximal allicin production, wait at least 5 minutes (preferably 10 minutes) before eating or cooking the garlic. Wait at least 5 minutes before adding garlic to acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or vinegar, because Ingredients with a pH below 3.5 can also deactivate the enzymatic process.

Research has shown that microwaving or boiling garlic in uncrushed, whole clove form will deactivate its enzymes, preventing the formation of allicin. So always chop or crush the garlic cloves prior to heating. When including garlic in cooked dishes, add it during the end of the cooking time (last 5 to 15 minutes) to retain the nutritional value. If garlic is cooked for a long time with high heat, this will reduce the activity of the sulfur compounds.

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