Garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor as a seasoning or condiment. But many do not know that garlic can be used medicinally as well.
Studies have shown that garlic, especially aged garlic, can have a powerful antioxidant effect. Antioxidants can help to protect the body against damaging free radicals. Furthermore, garlic also contains a medicinal component called, allicin. Allicin is the most powerful medicinal compound derived from garlic and provides the greatest health benefits.
Allicin is produced when garlic is finely chopped or crushed. The finer the chopping and the more intensive the crushing, the more allicin is generated and the stronger the medicinal effect. Allicin has antibiotic properties, is an excellent anti-fungal, can treat an upper respiratory tract infection, can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and can promote a healthy heart.
The problem with allicin produced by being finely chopped or crushed, is that it starts to degrade immediately after it is produced, so its medical effectiveness decreases over time. Cooking speeds up this degradation and microwaving appears to destroy allicin totally and eliminate any health benefits.
*So for the most powerful medicinal effect, crush a little raw garlic and combine with the cooked food shortly before serving.
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