In this brief guide we will answer the question “Does roasting garlic destroy nutrients?” and tell you whether it is safe to eat raw garlic or not. We will also list down the health benefits of eating garlic and discuss how to cook with garlic to maximize its benefits without losing too many nutrients.
Does roasting garlic destroy nutrients?
Roasting garlic lowers the amount of vitamins and minerals found in garlic but it is still able to retain a few nutrients. For this reason, raw fresh garlic is more nutrient rich than roasted garlic.
Garlic has a lot of nutrients such as vitamin B6, vitamin C and minerals like calcium, manganese etc which can be lost during the cooking process.
Allicin, a compound found in garlic, is activated when you chop or dice the garlic cloves. It is responsible for most of the health benefits of garlic. Heating the garlic however, will denature the enzyme that activates allicin so cooked garlic will have much lower amounts of allicin in it then a chopped up raw garlic.
Is it ok to eat raw garlic?
Yes, it is completely safe and ok to eat raw garlic. In fact eating it raw will give you more nutrients. However, it has a very strong taste and aroma which can be too overwhelming so people like to cook it to make it more creamy and flavorful.
What are the health benefits of eating garlic?
Garlic is very low in calories but it is very nutritious and offers many health benefits.
- Garlic has allicin and several other antioxidants which boost the immunity and prevent you from getting ill like cold or flu.
- Garlic has also shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Some studies have also shown that eating garlic can help reduce blood pressure. It can be very helpful for people who suffer from hypertension.
- Garlic can also reduce the levels of cholesterol in your blood. It specifically reduces LDL.
- Lower cholesterol levels mean a healthy cardiovascular system. So garlic can keep your heart healthy.
- Antioxidants also help relieve oxidative stress which prevent aging and keep the brain healthy. It can protect against Alzeihmers diseases and keep the memory good.
- It can also help in lowering blood sugar levels in people suffering from type-2 diabetes.
- Garlic may be able to increase estrogen levels in women improving their bone health which can be very helpful for postmenopausal women.
Learn more about the benefits of eating garlic here.
How to cook garlic for maximum benefits?
As we have already discussed, heating the garlic makes it lose its nutrients. So, let’s look at some ways in which you can try to preserve as many nutrients as possible and also make garlic taste more flavorful.
- Use fresh garlic instead of using packaged garlic from the store. Preserving it makes it lose some of the important nutrients such as allicin.
- Chop up the garlic very finely. It is better to chop it or crush rather than cutting it up in thick slices as crushing it releases enzymes, which come in contact with oxygen and activate allicin. The more the surface area, the more the enzymes will work to activate allicin.
- Allicin is also responsible for the strong aroma of garlic so this will make your garlic more flavorful.
- Do not use the garlic directly to cook, let it sit out for a couple of minutes so that enzymes make as much allicin as possible. Heat denatures the enzymes so if you use it directly, enzymes will get denatured and would not be able to produce allicin.
- Cook garlic for a short time and at lower temperatures so that the nutrients do not get destroyed. You can also use crushed garlic raw for example you can sprinkle it on top of your salad.
Other FAQs about Garlic that you may be interested in.
In this brief guide we answered the question “Does roasting garlic destroy nutrients?” and told you whether it is safe to eat raw garlic or not. We also listed down the health benefits of eating garlic and discussed how to cook with garlic to maximize its benefits without losing too many nutrients.