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For health, crush garlic before cooking

Cooking uncrushed garlic completely suppresses its anti-clotting properties, says a study.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2007 18:15 IST

If you are cooking with garlic, crush the pods first for health benefits, says a study.

Garlic's health benefits and medicinal properties are well known. It has long been considered a herbal "wonder drug" with a reputation in folklore for preventing everything from the common cold and flu to the plague.

Garlic is used extensively in herbal medicine and it contains compounds shown to help prevent blood clots. But most studies have tested raw garlic and cooking can damage garlic's anti-clotting compounds, reported an online edition of health magazine WebMD.

Crushing garlic may help prevent that damage, report researchers in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Claudio Galmarini of the agricultural sciences faculty at Argentina's Universidad Nacional de Cuyo and other researchers found that garlic cooked for three minutes in boiling water or in an oven at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit has the same amount of the anti-clotting compounds as raw garlic.

But cooking uncrushed garlic for six minutes completely suppressed the anti-clotting properties, the researchers added.

Galmarini's team tried crushing the garlic by putting it through a garlic-press before cooking. That helped preserve the compounds, although they still lost much of their anti-clotting effects after three to six minutes.