Garlic is used in most Indian kitchens to add a distinct flavour to dishes. The humble ingredient not only makes the food taste better but also comes packed with umpteen health benefits that help strengthen the body’s immunity and keep many ailments at bay. Possessing “powerful antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory properties and being high in antioxidants,” garlic’s benefits are ‘legendary’, Dr Moomal Asif wrote on Instagram.
Agreed Dr Garima Goyal, a dietitian, and told indianexpress.com, “Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which makes it a medicine in disguise.” She added that it has “excellent disease-preventing effects such as on cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, and also promotes health through its antioxidant activities.”
In an Instagram post, nutritionist Lovneet Batra had also shared that garlic is “a miracle food” that “helps to boost the immune system and thus protect our body against various infections” — all due to the presence of allicin. According to experts, it is also anti-fungal and antiseptic in nature, and can help “prevent certain cognitive diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.”
However, the experts warned that frying garlic — which should ideally be consumed on an empty stomach — even for “two minutes in the frying pan destroys all its health benefits.”
Dr Goyal explained that on being cooked, garlic’s allicin compound is lost along with other water-soluble vitamins like B and C as they all are heat sensitive.
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What can be done?
To retain the health benefits of garlic, Dr Asif suggested making a small change: “Crush, chop, or mince garlic and keep it away from heat for 10 minutes.”
“During this time the maximum allicin is created and (if left untouched for 10 minutes) stays intact during cooking,” she said, adding that after 10 minutes one can “fry, sauté, bake to your heart’s content and still get all its medicine.”
Adding, Dr Goyal said that this is because in those 10 minutes “allicin becomes intact”, which can be “added to your dishes and relished along with the health benefits.”
So, enjoy the myriad benefits of garlic with this super easy rule!