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Health Benefits of Garlic

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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.

Sherry Torkos
Sherry Torkos is a pharmacist, author, certified fitness instructor, and health enthusiast who enjoys sharing her passion with others. Sherry graduated with honors from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992. Since that time she has been practicing holistic pharmacy in the Niagara area. Her philosophy of practice is to integrate conventional and complementary therapies to optimize health and prevent disease. Sherry has won several national pharmacy awards for providing excellence in patient care. As a leading health expert, Sherry has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and the public. She is frequently interviewed on radio and TV talk shows throughout North America and abroad. Sherry has authored fourteen books & booklets, including The Glycemic Index Made Simple and Breaking the Age Barrier. Her most recent book, The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine has become a national best-seller. For more information, visit:

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