Consuming large amounts of raw garlic may be good for your heart, but not necessarily your social life. So, how do we best enjoy these pungent little bulbs, without missing out on their impressive health benefits?
Crush them. Then bake them slightly.
Researchers have known for some time that garlic is a rich source of heart-protective compounds called thiosulfinates. These sulfur compounds, best known for causing eyes to water, may lower blood pressure and break up potentially harmful clusters of platelets in the bloodstream, both major cardiovascular health benefits.
Up to now, most researchers and nutritionists assumed that the best way to seize on garlic’s cardiovascularbenefits was to eat the small bulbs in their most unfettered form ~ in the raw.
After boiling, baking and microwaving both crushed and uncrushed cloves of garlic and evaluating them for their antiplatelet activity, scientists learned that lightly cooked, crushed garlic provides most of the health benefits found in raw garlic.
The only exception was microwaving, which stripped garlic almost entirely of its blood-thinning effects.
Researchers contend that while heating might be generally blamed for reducing garlic’s antiplatelet activity, it’s the crushing that enables the beneficial compounds to be freed in the first place.