About Black Garlic

Black garlic is made when heads of garlic are aged under specialized conditions of heat and humidity. Bulbs are kept in a humidity-controlled environment at temperatures that range from 60 to 77 °C (140 to 170 °F) for many weeks. It loses about half its weight during the process. There are no additives, preservatives, or burning of any kind. The enzymes that give fresh garlic its sharpness break down. Those conditions are thought to facilitate the Maillard (my-Yard) reaction, the chemical process that produces new flavor compounds responsible for the deep taste of seared meat and fried onions. The cloves turn black and develop a sticky date-like texture

In Taoism mythology, black garlic was even rumored to grant immortality – and, while we certainly can’t guarantee that, there is little doubt that it offers a ton of health benefits. It’s packed with nearly  twice the amount of antioxidants  as raw garlic – researchers have found that the aging/fermenting process appears to double its antioxidants. And, not coincidentally, a 2009 conducted in Japan found that it was more effective than fresh garlic for reducing the size of tumors.

Black garlic is also filled with a high concentration of sulfurous compounds. One of the compounds in particular, s-allylcycteine or SAC, has been scientifically found to offer numerous health benefits, including the inhibition of cholesterol synthesis – which in layman’s terms means that it can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

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1. Treat type 2 diabetes

Those who suffer from type 2 diabetes know that the condition can wreak havoc on your health due to the effects of oxidative stress. Uncontrolled diabetes may lead to serious complications like kidney disease, heart disease, nerve damage and vision problems – sometimes even blindness.

The potent antioxidants in black garlic specifically can lessen oxidative stress caused by increased blood sugar levels. Multiple studies have found that its high level of antioxidants exert an even stronger effect than regular garlic and could be even more helpful in preventing complications of diabetes.

2. Improve cholesterol levels

While “good” cholesterol, or HDL, is essential for survival, keeping LDL, or “bad” cholesterol in check is important for reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and premature death. Although raw garlic has gotten most of the praise when it comes to heart healthy benefits, black garlic has recently been the subject of multiple studies, and as it has a slightly different phytochemical makeup compared to raw garlic, as mentioned, it offers even greater benefits for supporting the heart.

A 2014 study conducted at Chonbuk National University Hospital in South Korea found that participants who took black garlic extract daily for 12 weeks say an average increase in HDL (“good” cholesterol), as well as a decrease in apolipoprotein B in blood lipids – something that’s considered to be a strong indicator of heart disease risk.

3. Allergy relief and more

Whether you suffer from nasal or skin allergies, black garlic can bring significant relief. Studies have found that it actually has the ability to turn off genes that cause inflammation and allergic reactions in the first place. It’s also known to strengthen the immune system, due to its abundance of antioxidants, which is important whether you have allergies or not.

In addition to warding off allergies, as garlic is considered a natural antibiotic it can even help to battle viruses and infections. A 2012 study conducted at Washington State University found that garlic was 100 times more effective than two top antibiotics for fighting a bacterium known as Campylobacter, which is responsible for many intestinal illnesses throughout the world. It’s been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, include to help fight the plague in the 18th century.

Garlic has the ability to kill bacteria as well as viruses, fungus’s and pathogens without harming beneficial gut flora, unlike antibiotic drugs.

4. Help heal the liver from alcohol damage

The liver is one of the only organs that can heal itself from damage – if good habits are developed before it’s too late. Alcoholic liver disease occurs as a result of damage from oxidative stress, due to trying to break down the alcohol. That damages liver cells, which can lead to inflammation and scarring over time.

Scientists have found that black garlic can help reduce inflammation and even help reverse the damage of alcohol on the liver, as well as to remove fat that’s accumulated on the liver, thanks to its potent antioxidant properties, once again.

How to Use It

Use the cloves as you would roasted garlic: Purée them with oil, and smear the paste on crostini, mix with butter for garlic bread, incorporate it into dressings, or rub it onto chicken, steak or fish before roasting. Many people eat it like candy. Some other uses:

  1. Mash some cloves with some soy sauce and add to your favorite sauce for an alternative stir-fry sauce.
  2. Combine cloves with cream cheese and herbs for a tasty dip or bagel spread.
  3. Add a few cloves to many sauces enhance flavors.
  4. Mash a few cloves into mashed potatoes.
  5. Blend some cloves with mayo and serve with burgers or chips.
  6. Pair with cheese such as on a cheeseboard replacing chutney with black garlic.
  7. Mix crushed cloves into a homemade tomato sauce and use with pasta or spread as a sauce base on a pizza.