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Nutrition & Dieting/Will I lose nutrients when cooking garlic? Is raw garlic better?

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Question
Hello,

I recently started paying more attention to my diet and decided
to have a clove of raw garlic every day.

I found that eating plain raw garlic can be very difficult, and decided to mix it with my main dishes so I can eat it with ease.

Do the health benefits of raw garlic minimize if I mix it with other foods? ( e.g. chicken, potatoes etc)

Thank you

Answer
Thanks for a super question, Jose!

It is wonderful that you are paying more attention to your diet. Nature provides us with such a rich variety of natural health-protecting and health-stimulating 'tools'. We just have to learn to make smart choices - which is what you are doing by incorporating more garlic into your diet.

If you are just mixing raw garlic with your main dishes, that is fine. You will not really reduce the benefits.

It is not mainly the mixing of garlic with other foods that will cause nutrient losses, but cooking garlic. However, even this can be handled in a way that limits these losses to a large extent.

Here are some tips for protecting the nutrients as much as possible and getting the most from garlic, should you decide to cook with it:

1. Don't microwave garlic if you can help it. Microwaving is more detrimental than ordinary cooking.

2. Don't use the garlic clove whole. Crush the garlic and let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before eating it or using it in cooking.

Researchers such as Claudio R. Galmarini and his colleagues in Argentina and the United States have found that this 'waiting time' is likely to trigger the crucial enzymatic process which helps with the formation of allicin.

Allicin is one of the most important sulfur compounds in garlic. With immediate cooking, you may be stopping this enzyme's workings in its tracks! So, by simply waiting for a little while before cooking with the garlic, you will be encouraging the formation of allicin.

3. According to The World's Healthiest Foods, you should also wait before adding something acidic, such as lemon juice. This is for the same reason.

4. Cook garlic only at a lower heat and for a short period. For instance, add it at the end of preparing a dish with garlic, not from the beginning, to reduce the cooking time. The ideal is not to cook it for more than 5 to 10 minutes.

Garlic is also rich in other sulfur compounds and nutrients such as selenium, manganese, vitamin C and vitamin B6.

Possible health benefits of using garlic include:

- Improving cardiovascular health
- Lowering cholesterol
- Possible cancer prevention
- Reducing blood pressure
- Antibacterial
- Antifungal
- Antiviral
- Anti-inflammatory

If you would like to read about 10 other super-foods I make sure to include in my diet regularly, you can get the article here

I hope this answers your question and I wish you the best of health!

Warm regards
Rika Susan

Nutrition & Dieting

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Rika Susan

Expertise

My main interest is in juicing fruits and vegetables for health. I specialize in all aspects of juicing, juicers and the preparation of fruits and vegetables for juicing. General healthy nutrition and dieting also form part of my experience. I have written a number of free e-books where I share tips and advice.

Experience

I have been using juicing as an integral part of my family's diet and nutrition program for almost 15 years. I have developed a passion for juicing as an easy way of gaining access to the required daily portion of fresh fruits and vegetables - especially where parents are struggling with kids who won't eat veggies. Some years ago I began writing about juicing and I developed a website www.best-juicing.com

Organizations
http://www.best-juicing.com

Publications
Juicing For Health - 35 FAQ's Answered Book 7 Seriously Nutritious Juice Recipes Book 24 Quick And Easy Weight Loss Tips

Education/Credentials
I have been researching juicing for health and weight loss as well as healthy nutrition for more than 20 years.

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