What Happens When You Eat a Crushed Garlic Clove Every Day?

Garlic is a flavorful ingredient with numerous health benefits. But did you know that crushing and resting garlic unlocks its full potential?

Why Crushing and Resting is Important

When garlic cloves are crushed, they activate an enzyme called alliinase, which converts alliin into allicin. Allicin is responsible for many health benefits. Letting the crushed garlic rest for 15 minutes allows this conversion to occur optimally. Skipping this step significantly reduces allicin formation, leaving just the delicious taste but missing out on potential health benefits.

Nutritional Facts for One Medium Garlic Clove (Crushed and Rested for 15 Minutes)

Protein0.2 g
Carbohydrates0.9 g
Fiber0.1 g
Total Fat0 g
Vitamin C1.8 mg
Vitamin B60.1 mg
Folate0.4 mcg
Calcium5 mg
Iron0.1 mg
Magnesium1 mg
Phosphorus1 mg
Potassium11 mg
Sodium0 mg
Zinc0 mg
Manganese0.1 mg
Selenium0.2 mcg
Allicin (bioactive compound)Varied (depends on garlic variety and preparation)

Health Benefits of Crushed Garlic Clove

1. Boosts Immune System

Crushed garlic is renowned for its immune-boosting properties. The allicin compound, which is activated when garlic is crushed, has strong antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Regular consumption can help ward off common colds and infections.

2. Reduces Blood Pressure

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common ailment that can lead to severe health issues. Crushed garlic has been shown to reduce blood pressure levels, thanks to its ability to stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which helps in the dilation of blood vessels, thus improving blood flow.

3. Improves Cholesterol Levels

Garlic can improve cholesterol levels, which can lower the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that consuming garlic can reduce total and LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) while slightly increasing HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol).

4. Enhances Antioxidant Levels

The antioxidants in garlic help protect the body from oxidative damage. This is crucial in combating aging and various diseases. Garlic’s potent antioxidants support the body’s protective mechanisms against oxidative stress.

5. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is a key driver of many chronic diseases. Crushed garlic contains sulfur compounds that have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce inflammation throughout the body.

6. Supports Detoxification

Garlic contains sulfur compounds that are essential in detoxifying the body. These compounds activate liver enzymes that help to flush out toxins from the body. Regular consumption of garlic can aid in reducing heavy metal toxicity.

7. Promotes Heart Health

Garlic’s ability to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and combat oxidative damage translates into significant heart health benefits. Regular consumption can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

8. Aids Digestive Health

Garlic may help reduce the risk of certain gastrointestinal disorders, such as colon cancer and diverticulosis. It can also aid in digestion and reduce symptoms of bloating and gas, promoting overall digestive health.

9. Supports Respiratory Health

Garlic has natural expectorant properties, making it an excellent remedy for colds, flu, and respiratory issues like asthma and chronic bronchitis. It helps to clear mucus from the airways and can alleviate symptoms of respiratory conditions.

How to Use Crushed Garlic

In Cooking

Crushed garlic can be easily incorporated into your diet through various recipes. To preserve the allicin and maximize its health benefits, add crushed garlic towards the end of the cooking process or use it in dishes that require minimal cooking, such as dressings, dips, and marinades. However, adding raw crushed garlic after cooking or in dressings and dips might result in an acidic or bitter taste for some people. For best results, consume it raw as mentioned below.

Raw Consumption

For maximum health benefits, consuming raw crushed garlic is recommended. Crush the garlic and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before consuming to allow the formation of allicin. You can mix it with honey or olive oil to make it more palatable, ensuring you get the full benefits of allicin.

How Dr. Elizabeth Uses Garlic Clove Every Day

I always use locally grown garlic and avoid imported varieties like Chinese garlic, which often lacks many nutrients.

Here’s how I prepare my garlic:

  • I crush a single medium clove by placing it on a plate and pressing down with the back of a spoon or a garlic crusher.
  • After crushing it thoroughly, I let it sit for 15 minutes to allow allicin to form, as it reacts with oxygen.
  • Then, I swallow it immediately with a little water, followed by a salad before lunch.
  • To mask the strong taste and smell, I take the garlic between bites of the salad I eat before lunch.

Garlic Supplements

If the taste or smell of raw garlic is too strong for you, garlic supplements are a convenient alternative. Look for supplements that specifically contain allicin, the active compound in garlic, to ensure you receive the full range of health benefits.