Get More Antioxidants from Garlic

Garlic offers numerous health benefits, from fighting colds and flu to helping wounds heal. To get more benefit from garlic, make these simple tweaks to your routine.

Dice, Then Wait 10 Minutes

Most people chop or press garlic and then toss it in a pan of warm oil. By allowing the chopped garlic to sit on the cutting board for 10 minutes, you will maximize the antioxidant levels, according to Jo Robinson author of Eating on the Wild Side. Enzymes in the garlic become activated after chopping, and by letting them do their work for 10 minutes, garlic becomes super charged.

Infuse Garlic Skins and Pieces in Olive Oil

Many people don’t digest garlic pieces well, evidenced by garlic burps after a meal. There is a way to avoid garlic burps and still get the immune system benefits. After letting chopped garlic sit for 10 minutes, sautee it in olive oil on medium-low heat for another 10 minutes. Toss in the papery skins, roots and all the other parts you’d normally throw away–these “trash” bits are higher in antioxidants than the bulb itself, according to Robinson.
Then strain the oil into a jar with a lid. Cover, store in a cool dark place, and use the oil as a garnish on finished dishes for all the flavor and health benefits and none of the discomfort.

Choose Carefully

At the market, choose garlic that has a hard neck, which contains higher levels of antioxidants than the more common soft neck variety, according to Robinson. Also choose bulbs that have the outer papery skin fully intact with no signs of mold.

About Genevive Bjorn

Award-winning freelance journalist based in San Diego, covering health, medicine, culture and travel.

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