Eating raw garlic benefits your health
If you like garlic from the culinary standpoint you surely are impressed by studies affirming garlic health benefits. It’s claimed to fight many diseases and their symptoms, from a common cold & flu to cancer.
Allicin- garlic’s secret weapon
The main compound of garlic cells is an amino acid called Allin. When the cells of raw garlic are damaged by crushing or chopping, an enzyme called allinase, from separate cells, reacts with Allin and this reaction forms sulfenic acid. Sulfenic acid isn’t stable so it breaks down steadily into another unstable compound called allicin – a powerful antibiotic.
Allicin forms in garlic steadily rather than all at once and this is the reason for leaving garlic after crushing for about an hour before use. If you make yourself a tasty sandwich with sliced raw garlic don’t eat it straight away. Slice the garlic and leave for an hour or so to allow its inner goodness to develop.
The most important benefit of eating raw garlic is that it strengthens the immune system and protects against infection and cancer.
Combining crushed raw garlic with water (not hot though as the heat kills the Allicin) stabilises Alicin and its antibiotic properties are preserved for much longer. This is exactly when garlic benefits us most.
The chemistry of garlic benefits begins when raw crushed garlic is mixed with alcohol or vinegar, water-soluble polyvinyl compounds are generated. When consumed, the tiny compounds pass through the walls of the stomach and get absorbed directly into the blood stream and eventually into the lymphatic system, where they kill or inhibit cancer cells and strengthen the immune system.
While travelling through the body inside the blood stream garlic compounds purify the liver and force it to produce more of the good HDL cholesterol. Higher production of HDL cholesterol reduces the bad LDL cholesterol and reduces total cholesterol, also reducing tri-glycerides.
Of course as with any food, people who are intolerant of or have active garlic allergy, whether through skin contact or ingestion, should avoid it. Garlic benefits most but can hurt the others.
There are no proven health benefits of garlic if consumed after being exposed to high heat and without crushing. (Crushing produces allicin thanks to a polysulfides enzyme. The polysulfides enzyme gets deactivated by the high heat).