Garlic: The Raw Truth

It's true: garlic is healthy. But the true benefits may lie in the uncooked clove.

By Joseph K. Vetter from Reader's Digest | April 2008

Raw garlic may prevent blood clots and keep blood pressure down, but most recipes call for cooked garlic. Scientists at the USDA and in Argentina decided to look into the benefits of both. They heated the herb several ways and found that when baked or boiled for up to three minutes, it’s just as healthy as raw. Crushed garlic is even better: It retains some benefits when cooked for up to six minutes (crushing seems to release more of the healthy thiosulfinates).

Microwaved garlic, however, was a bust: Nuking for even a few minutes neutralized garlic’s anticlotting effects. Study author Philipp Simon suspects that lightly sautéed garlic also keeps its heart-healthy benefits, but he didn’t look at this method.

The next time you’re making a garlicky dish, such as spaghetti sauce, add the stinky stuff near the end of cooking, and crush it for more taste and benefit. A post-dinner mint is, of course, optional.

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