Nowadays garlic is a “must-have” in our kitchen to fight various viruses, that become especially active in autumn. The health benefits of garlic are wide, starting from antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant and anticancer effects and ending by enhanced immune system and increased longevity. So, how do you need to use garlic in your dishes to achieve its maximum health benefits?
The best way is to eat it raw, about 10 minutes after it has been crushed or sliced to increase levels and bioactivity of some garlic compounds. However, this advice doesn’t give you a 100% guarantee as we still don’t know how these healthy compounds behave themselves during their journey through the gastrointestinal tract after consumption.
Anyway, raw garlic is always better than any cooked, backed, steamed or boiled version of it, as it looses its health-protective effects because of changes in its chemical composition. To give you an example, just 1 minute in the microwave, or 45 minutes in the oven, leads to a significant loss, including almost all anticancer effects. As you can see, microwaving garlic is not an option to cook garlic.
But what to do if you can’t stand the strong taste of raw garlic? In this case, keep the garlic cloves whole while roasting, acid mincing, pickling, grilling or boiling it. This will help garlic maintain its nutritional value.
By the way, it doesn’t really matter, what type of garlic you use if you aim for allicin. There seems to be no difference in the amount of this compound in the different garlic varieties, but there is some distinction in their taste, appearance and nutritional value.