Whip up yummy meals with boosted nutritive effects. By Yuen Yi Ying
Garlic isn’t just delicious, it’s loaded with health benefits – it’s good for your heart and blood pressure, it’s a great antioxidant, and it keeps up your immunity. However, if you want to get the most out of the pungent allium, there are a few tricks you can do.
1/ Crush the Garlic First, and Wait a Little
In a report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists shared that some of garlic’s heart-healthy compounds diminished after just a few minutes of cooking. Somewhat surprisingly, the drop was most pronounced in whole bulbs of garlic. Those that were crushed or chopped released an enzyme that triggers production of health-giving compounds, a process that stops once the enzyme comes in contact with heat. So to maximise the output of those compounds, the report recommends setting the chopped garlic aside for 10 minutes before adding it to your hot pan.
2/ Go for the Fresh Stuff
What makes garlic stinky (and so potent for health) is the hydrogen sulfide it generates, which helps relax blood vessels so blood flows more smoothly and circulation improves. Unfortunately, according to a report in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cooked and processed garlic can’t create this vital chemical, so while garlic chips and powder may still add good flavour to dishes, they’re not as helpful as freshly pressed garlic.
3/ Let It Grow
Do you have some “old” sprouting garlic in the kitchen? Keep them, and more importantly, use them. Turns out, they may be better for you than younger cloves. A report in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry revealed that garlic that had sprouted for five days had more antioxidant activity than younger bulbs, and the older alliums had a variety of additional health-boosting compounds as well. Scientists who worked on the study shared that the new metabolites produced to protect the growing plant from pathogens could guard you against certain types of damage as well.