Health Benefits of Black Garlic

 Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Black garlic is common garlic that went through a month-long processing that involved a humid environment and heat application. Over the course of several weeks, whole bulbs of garlic are heated and dried in a controlled environment. After the fermentation process, the usually white garlic cloves turns black. It takes on a tart, sweetish taste similar to balsamic vinegar. Black garlic is typically used as an ingredient in Asian cuisine. It’s also prized for its medicinal value in western medicine. Below are just some of the many uses and health benefits of black garlic:

Prevents Cancer

Imagine garlic on steroids, that’s black garlic. Because its cancer-fighting compounds are intensified, black garlic is more effective in combating all types of cancers. Black and fresh garlic contain a compound called S-allylcysteine. S-allylcysteine is a derivative of the amino acid cysteine. It helps lower cholesterol level in the body and cut the risk of cancer. But the S-allylcysteine level in black garlic is much higher than fresh garlic.

Fights Infections

Normal garlic is highly regarded for its antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Through careful processing, beneficial compounds in garlic intensify in potency. Black garlic contains powerful antibiotic and antifungal properties that protect from all types of infections and inflammation. Black and fresh garlic contains allicin. This natural compound stops viruses, fungi and bacteria dead in their tracks. However, you need S-allylcysteine to metabolize allicin. Because black garlic contains both compounds, you don’t have to take other supplements.

Full of Antioxidants

Fresh and black garlic contain high levels of antioxidants. These compounds prevent free radical damage and slow down the aging process. Compared to fresh garlic, black garlic contains twice the amount of antioxidants. It’s so high in antioxidants, it’s an effective treatment for chronic diseases including cardiovascular, digestive and respiratory diseases. It also protects from circulatory disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

It Tastes Better

If you’ve been taking garlic capsules because you cannot stand fresh garlic’s pungent taste, you’ll love black garlic. Unlike fresh garlic, black garlic tastes like dried fruit. It has a sweet, smoky taste. It definitely tastes better than fresh garlic. Also, chewing fresh cloves of garlic causes bad breath. Not a problem with black garlic. The pungent odor is neutralized through the processing of black garlic. You can consume more black garlic and not worry about its olfactory effects.

Where To Get Black Garlic

Black garlic is widely available in health food stores and Asian specialty shops. You can also check for online sellers. Some restaurants also use black garlic in selected dishes. If you’re buying online, make sure you get it from a trusted source. Some factories produce poor quality black garlic. To maximize its health benefits, make sure you are getting nothing but the best.

Using Black Garlic in Cooking

Using black garlic is not as complicated as it sounds. You can add black garlic to any recipes that require fresh garlic. You can add it to soups, risottos or in dips. If you want to add smokiness to a dish, you can also use chopped black garlic!

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