I just read this article from Prevention Magazine that I found interesting.
One milligram of allicin, the active compound in garlic, equals about 15 IU of penicillin. Three cloves contain the same antibacterial activity as a standard dose of penicillin. Though eating garlic doesn't produce the same results as being injected with penicillin, garlic has the edge on penicillin in at least one respect: Common bacteria are 1,000 times more likely to become resistant to modern antibiotics than to garlic.
It went on to say that its health benefits depend on how you prepare it. Slicing, crushing, mincing, etc garlic will release the benefits; however, heat will destroy it. However:
This simple change in the way you prepare garlic will preserve its potency: Chop, mince, slice, or mash the garlic, and then keep it away from the heat for 10 minutes. During this time, the maximum amount of allicin is created, so the heat-sensitive enzyme is no longer needed. You can then sautée, bake, or fry the garlic and still get all its medicinal benefits. Garlic has so many healing properties that waiting those critical 10 minutes could help reduce your risk of a number of worrisome diseases.
So now, I mince my garlic before I even start chopping anything else for my meal so that it will sit out for 10 minutes before I cook it.
Does anyone else do this or will you start now?