The Benefits Of Black Garlic And The Allium Family
Best known for their pungent aromas, onions, garlic and leeks have powerful health benefits. Vegetables in the allium genus are rife with “organosulfur compounds” and possess antioxidant properties that protect us against certain heart conditions and cancers and have other health benefits.
Garlic is not a culinary herb, but is in fact, a vegetable in the allium family.
Those in the allium family include:
5. White and black garlic
Why black garlic?
Black garlic is not as well known as white garlic, but it is seeing a surge in popularity among “foodies,” in certain gastronomic circles and the alternative medical field.
Garlic becomes “black” garlic through a process of fermentation that takes place under strictly controlled humidity and heat conditions; this process takes about a month.
What are the health benefits of black garlic?
Almost all of the long-lived society consume large amounts of garlic. So it is no surprise that natural health practitioners and herbalists tout the benefits of black garlic.
Protection against infection. Ingesting white garlic provides your body with antibiotic, antimicrobial and antifungal agents through garlic’s active ingredient, allicin. When you ingest black garlic, you get the former benefits in addition to S-allylcysteine, which assists in the absorption of allicin and this lets your body more easily metabolize it and can boost protection against infection.
Cholesterol benefits and protection from cancer. The fermentation process used to create black garlic turns it into “super garlic.” Its S-allylcystein compound, a natural component in fresh garlic and a derivative of cysteine (an amino acid) is in higher concentration in black garlic. This high concentration of natural components is believed to decrease the risk of cancer and help lower cholesterol.
The compounds in garlic have been shown, in laboratory testing, to kill cancer cells. One study found women who “regularly ate garlic (along with a diet of other fruits and vegetables) had a 35% lower risk of colon cancer.” Studies have also shown those who “consume high amounts of black garlic appear to have a lower risk of stomach cancers.”
Diallyl sulfide (AS), a sulfur compound found in garlic, inhibits the formation of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines (HCAs); these form when cooking meat at high temperatures. DAS can prevent HCA from transforming during the cooking process into DNA-damaging compounds and this may decrease the production of specific liver enzymes that are required for this damaging transformation.
Protection against disease. White garlic is high in antioxidants, but black garlic has twice the antioxidant properties. Antioxidants slow the effects of aging and protect our cells from disease.
Black garlic and its enhanced potency offers higher levels of protection against free radical damage and this thwarts some chronic diseases. Free radicals can damage cells and lead to Alzheimer’s disease, circulatory problems, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and others.
Inflammation reduction. Inflammation, as we have written in many articles, is one of the true enemies of good health. Black garlic is believed to reduce inflammation and that leads to better overall health benefits.
Other black garlic benefits. The fermentation process reduces garlic’s strong flavor and pungent odor and makes it more appealing for many. Those who have eaten black garlic say it has a smoky, sweet flavor and it is the texture of dried fruit. This makes eating black garlic more palatable for most and also may eliminate the garlic odor that can permeate your skin and lead to “garlic breath.”
Black garlic can be consumed in large quantities – in raw form or in black garlic botanicals supplements – without objectionable olfactory effects.
Garlic plays host to a powerful combination of biochemicals including:
5. Essential oils
In research studies there were some “superbugs” that were resistant to more than ten different antibiotics, but were killed by garlic.
Garlic is also rich in calcium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and Vitamins B6 and C and this makes it beneficial for your thyroid and your bone health.
When choosing a black garlic supplement, look at Black Garlic Botanicals which contain aged and fermented black garlic, which starts out just like regular garlic but is fermented in precise, highly-controlled conditions for over 60 days, which is what gives it its black color.
The longer garlic ferments the more potent it becomes. The fermentation process transforms garlic to the point where it contains 18 different amino acids and other nutrients and these are desperately needed by our bodies.
Taking black garlic supplements may seem off putting because the capsules are black, but they are easy to digest and are completely odorless and tasteless. When you look at the ways in which black garlic botanicals benefit your health you will happily want to add them to your daily regimen.
Here are some more of the many ways in which Black Garlic Botanicals will benefit you:
• Promote healthy blood flow and vital circulation
• Help maintain healthy blood sugar levels
• Support healthy cholesterol levels
• Encourage healthy heart muscle function
• Helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels
• Help protect your digestive system
• Support a healthy circulatory system to encourage a vibrant sex drive
Eating a clove or two of black garlic a day may keep the doctor away more than eating an apple a day because of black garlics’ health benefits.
Add chopped black garlic to burgers, marinades and any other meal in which you would normally use garlic; switch from white to black for increased health benefits.
Include raw garlic in your diet. To gain the full effect you need to crush or chop or compress it to release an enzyme called alliinase – the catalyst for forming allicin.
As with most beneficial foods you may not be able to get the full effect through diet alone and will want to add black garlic supplements to round out the amount you need to fully benefit from this superfood.