Ask Peggy

Does using a garlic press reduce garlic's nutritional value?

Dear Peggy: I've been eating garlic every day because I read that it's good for my health. Does using a garlic press make the garlic lose some of the nutritional value?
—P.B., Nunn, Colorado

There's been little research that compares the health benefits of different forms of garlic, but one recent study showed that crushing garlic with a garlic press followed by brief cooking yielded more nutrients than whole garlic. Garlic is a rich source of thiosulfinates, sulfur compounds thought to provide healthy benefits. More research is needed, but some studies suggest these compounds may help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, protect against blood clots and decrease the risk of some cancers. In order to activate garlic's potential heart-healthy benefits, it must be chopped, crushed or chewed. So it appears that crushing it won't decrease its effect.