Black garlic is a mystery. Sounds like something related to witchcraft or black magic, doesn’t it? But no, black garlic is just normal garlic, only fermented. This makes the meat portion of garlic incredibly oily and shiny. But other than its appearance, does it have any health benefits? Research has proven, yes.
When fermented, the taste and texture of garlic changes, making it soft and creamy. Well, this could be the reason cooks and chefs love to prepare scrumptious food and drinks with black garlic. Read more to find out how healthy this tasty ingredient is for you!
Black garlic has roots in Korea and China, but the flavor of umami blends perfectly with everything from noodles to cocktails and muffins.
Black garlic health benefits are a great many. These foods have a complex diet that can benefit your entire body. You might like raw white garlic, but you need to check out these black ones as they can turn out to be better for you.
So let’s get peeling and unravel the layers of healthiness in these little pitch-dark nuggets!
Black garlic and its production
Although it has been introduced to the rest of the world in recent times, people in Asian countries like Thailand, Korea, and Japan have been producing and using black garlic for centuries. Black garlic is made by fermenting whole fresh garlic under high heat and humidity, resulting in various non-enzymatic browning reactions, including Maillard reaction, phenol oxidation, and caramelization.
There has been a significant increase in consumer demand and profitability in recent years, making black garlic one of the most popular and well-known products in the food markets due to its excellent taste and high amount of bioactive compounds. In addition, black garlic is attracting attention from researchers, producers, and consumers due to the improvement of production methods and the development of new processed products based on it.
The process of making black garlic will vary over time depending on temperature, relative humidity, season, and ingredients. The researchers concluded that higher temperatures could shorten the ripening time and that the sensory qualities of black garlic fermented at 70°C were higher than at other temperatures.
Researchers have studied how black garlic is made up of ingredients ranging from multi-leaf garlic to mono-leaf garlic and unpeeled garlic to peeled garlic. Molasses, wort, paste, extracts, and cereal supplements that are processed from black garlic have been introduced to the Vietnamese and global markets recently.
Different types of black garlic
People often use the terms “black garlic” and “old garlic” interchangeably. Some studies change terminology; others make some differences. It’s a bit confusing.
- Aged black garlic health benefits
Aged garlic is not yet fully fermented. It will not turn black if not placed correctly in the desired temperature and humidity conditions. Instead, it sits somewhere between raw white garlic and fully fermented black garlic.
Aged black garlic health benefits range in between the benefits of raw white garlic and black garlic.
Since it undergoes a chemical change, the chemical composition of aged black garlic changes completely. This means that it has both the properties of raw garlic and black garlic.
2. Fermented black garlic benefits
Most studies have shown that black garlic is one of the aged garlic subspecies. This is thought to be due to the long aging during fermentation. When raw white garlic is at one end of the spectrum, black garlic is at the other end of the spectrum.
No one knows for sure how long it takes for raw white garlic to turn into a black one. Some procedures take 40 to 45 days.
However, according to a university study of black garlic marketing, the optimal period can be around 13 days. This darkens garlic under proper processing conditions, producing developed medicinal and nutritional value in this short period.
Is black garlic better than white?
There is no way to judge one over the other as it completely depends on your required health benefits and also a choice. Both differ from each other not only in appearance but also in terms of advantages. People will always choose one over the other. You have to sort your preferences and get your garlic!
Sometimes you want a sharp, tangy flavor of raw garlic. You can go for roasted garlic. At other times, you can modify your favorite recipe with the sweet, composite flavor of garlic cloves.
Since it is much sweeter than white garlic, black garlic can be eaten raw more easily.
Looking for the black garlic health benefits and are struggling to get enough of it? Look no further! Black garlic is delicious and healthy food in itself. It’s a wholesome package. But beware of its addictive taste. Once you eat it, you’ll find yourself coming back to it and chomping several times!
Is it healthier than white garlic?
You’ll find not only black garlic easier but also more beneficial than eating white garlic. Although both types of garlic contain allicin, black garlic contains a high amount of S-Ally-Cysteine , which is easy on the body and is believed to bring many health benefits for the body.
It is also said that black garlic contains about twice as many antioxidants as white garlic. But it has also been found that black garlic contains fewer anti-inflammatory effects than white garlic. So that’s something to think about.
Black garlic health benefits
We have already explained how black garlic affects the body. But don’t take our word for it. Look at what the researchers said:
- According to a 2019 report, black garlic health benefits may include preventing heart disease. Researchers have found that high levels of organosulfur compounds in black garlic act as antioxidants. Other benefits include helping the heart reduce arterial plaque and fight inflammation that damages cells.
- A 2019 black garlic study found that the fermentation process changes the chemical composition of garlic. This change has antioxidant, anti-cancer, and antiallergic effects. It is also involved in the role of black garlic in protecting the liver and improving the immune system.
- A 2015 study in rats found that black garlic can change the body’s mechanism to metabolize fat and reduce fat, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels.
- A 2017 study found that black garlic has anti-obesity properties. In this study, mice fed black garlic weighed less and had thinner ectoderm and abdominal fat than mice that did not. In this article, we have also talked about the black garlic health benefits on brain function, health, the nervous system, and inflammatory diseases.
- A 2009 study in rats found that black garlic may improve blood sugar and lipid indicators, reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
- Black garlic health benefits for cancer
Cancer, the leading cause of death worldwide, is a disease that involves the uncontrolled or abnormal growth of cells and tissues in our body. With the increasing cancer-fighting effects of black garlic in recent decades, some researchers say it may be used as a food for the prevention and treatment of gastric cancer and leukemia. Depending on the type of cancer, the mechanisms of anti-cancer black garlic health benefits are diverse, including inhibition of apoptosis, inhibition of cell cycle, and tumor growth and invasion.
In one study, a blood test of 21 volunteers showed that black garlic extract had stronger immunizing, antioxidant, and cancer-preventing effects than raw garlic extract.
They had also found that within 72 hours, it is toxic to lung, breast, colon, and liver cancer cells.
Other test-tube studies have shown that black garlic kills abnormal cells in human colon cancer as well as in leukemia. It also inhibits the growth of these cancer cells.
A lot of other studies have shown the researchers that aged garlic had potentially beneficial anti-cancer effects in most human, animal, and laboratory studies investigated.
As scientists haven’t yet been able to find out proper cancer treatment, black garlic needs more research on its potential for anti-cancer properties.
2. Black garlic health benefits for dyslipidemia and anti-obesity
Obesity is a serious public health problem in the West and developed countries that causes many physical disorders and chronic diseases. By combining physical activity with a healthy nutritional balance between energy consumption and expenditure, obesity can be prevented. Many functional foods such as oryzanol, butyric acid, legumes, bromelain, peas, lentils, soy, conjugated linoleic acid, diacylglycerol, refined blackberries, apples, raspberries and buckwheat fight against satiety, loss of appetite, regulation of lipid metabolism, fever, etc.
Black garlic also falls under this list and is known to be an important agent of fat loss and weight loss. Black garlic health benefits include the extract that reduces blood lipids from a high-fat diet. One explanation for the anti-obesity effect of black garlic is that garlic may decrease fat synthesis and cholesterol synthesis.
Black garlic has a methanol content that promotes anti-obesity. The anti-obesity effects of black garlic may be linked to the regulation of adipogenesis, adipokine biosynthesis, fatty acid oxidation, fatty acid and glucose transport, adipose tissue, and liver lipolysis.
Black garlic, along with exercise, is more effective in reducing visceral fat, epididymal fat, and liver weight than exercising alone. It has been shown to reduce the effects of triglycerides and the intake of fatty foods.
3. Black garlic health benefits for antioxidation
Because black garlic undergoes a fermentation process, it contains more antioxidants than raw garlic.
This is because finely chopped garlic converts allicin, a compound with a pungent odour, into antioxidants such as alkaloids and flavonoids in fermented black garlic.
Antioxidants are compounds that protect cells from oxidation that can cause a variety of diseases. People generally get their antioxidants through plant foods like garlic.
Many studies have found that black garlic health benefits include antioxidant activity, and it increases dramatically with age. They had found out that garlic pushed the limits of antioxidant peaks within 21 days of fermentation.
4. Black garlic health benefits in regulating blood sugar
High levels of diabetes and diabetes mellitus can increase the risk of complications, including kidney damage and heart disease.
Research held with rats fed a high-fat, high-sugar diet treated with black garlic extract improved metabolism by lowering cholesterol, reducing inflammation, and controlling appetite.
Another study held in 2009 on diabetic rats proved that the antioxidant black garlic health benefits might help prevent the effects of hyperglycemia.
In a 2019 study, the researchers fed rats a high-fat diet. Rats fed black garlic had significantly lower blood sugar and insulin levels than mice fed black garlic.
A study with 226 disease-prone women found that the antioxidant properties of black garlic fermented with Lactobacillus bulgaricus may help prevent gestational diabetes.
It is worth noting that most of these researches were done on animals, and scientists need to conduct more studies on the black garlic health benefits on human diabetes and blood sugar levels.
5. Black garlic health benefits for reducing the risk of heart disease
Black garlic health benefits also include eliminating signs of coronary disease, cholesterol levels, both LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides. Apart from this, it promotes the growth of good cholesterol.
An animal study compared the black garlic health benefits in mice recovering from ischemic heart injury.
Researchers have found that raw black garlic helps blood flow and protects the heart from damage.
In another animal study, black garlic extract was found to help reduce blood lipids, triglycerides, and total cholesterol in rats on a high-fat diet. Higher numbers usually indicate an increased risk of heart disease.
In another animal study, black garlic reduced the risk of heart disease by increasing triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
In another study, 60 people with hyper cholesterol were given 6 g of old black garlic extract or a placebo daily for 60 weeks. They found out that black garlic health benefits included increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels and reducing symptoms of heart disease.
In one study, patients with coronary heart disease were given 20 g of black garlic extract daily for six months. They had increased antioxidant levels and improved heart health indicators compared to those taking a placebo.
Although there have been tons of research on black garlic health benefits in animals, we need more studies on humans.
6. Black garlic health benefits for protecting brain condition
There are components in black garlic that can help prevent infections impairing memory, and causing brain damage.
Scientists suspect that the buildup of a protein compound called beta-amyloid causes inflammation in the brain, increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
A study in rats found that black garlic may reduce beta-amyloid-induced encephalitis and improve short-term memory.
In another study, the researchers stressed the brains of mice with oxidative power. Feeding rats black garlic extract protects them from oxidative stress and memory loss.
7. Black garlic health benefits for liver protection
Black garlic can protect against liver damage that can result from a high intake of chemicals, drugs, alcohol, and bacteria.
Studies in rats have shown that black garlic has a protective effect on liver damage and, because of its size, prevents further liver damage.
Black garlic health benefits also work against chronic cases. For example, animal studies have shown that black garlic improves liver function in alcohol-related chronic liver damage due to its antioxidant properties.
More studies in rats with liver damage showed that aged black garlic reduced ALT and AST, two blood chemicals responsible for liver damage.
8. Black garlic health benefits for anti-inflammation
Black garlic health benefits also include anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is the process by which the immune system fights against damage, infection, and toxins. It plays an important role in the wound healing process as well as protecting our bodies from foreign substances such as viruses and bacteria.
However, chronic inflammation can negatively affect our health and is seen in a variety of chronic conditions, from heart disease to rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Consumption of anti-inflammatory foods or foods such as ώ-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, beta-cryptoxanthin, quercetin, kaempferol, malvidin, brimonidine, daidzein, genistein, extra virgin olive oil, tomato juice, and red wine helps.
Cherry and sour cherries may help fight diseases associated with chronic inflammation. Several recent reports have shown that black garlic is an important component in the treatment of sepsis-related infections and diseases.
9. Black garlic health benefits for hair
Have you ever heard of black garlic shampoo? We’re not joking! It’s a real thing. But what makes it better than regular shampoo?
Looking through scientific or factual information about black garlic for hair problems, we found almost every specific case of black garlic. In a 2012 study, a rat study vaguely suggested that old garlic prevents hair loss.
- For lustrous locks
You will find endless bottles of black garlic shampoo, hair oil, and other accessories on the market. Marketing statements suggest that this incredible element can enhance the brilliance and strength of your locks.
You have to look for it yourself whether it works or not! You have no idea what black garlic can do to your hair!
- Preventing hair loss
Researchers have studied the effectiveness of simple garlic and onion extract as a solution for hair loss in terms of preventing hair damage and supporting growth. Garlic has shown promising results.
A research was conducted in 2007 where 95% of participants who used topical garlic gel for treating hair loss problems had astonishing results within a few months.
However, only 44 participants were involved in this study, and the combination of garlic gel and steroid cream might affect the hair later on. Scientists need to conduct more experiments in this field.
10. Black garlic health benefits for skin
Garlic has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for skin problems. The black garlic health benefits for the skin include:
- No eczema symptoms.
- It protects against skin infections such as acne, psoriasis, and warts
- Promotes wound healing
- Reduces signs of aging and UV damage
- Promotes tissue regeneration.
Side effects of black garlic
Any kind of garlic and recipes made with garlic are safe foods. In particular, black garlic is known to be non-toxic and side effects (whether ingested or topically used) of black garlic are rare. However, the following side-effects or downsides might be experienced:
- Allergic reaction: A 2017 study found that women suffered from pneumonia due to a delayed allergic reaction to black garlic.
- Consuming large amounts of black garlic may have anticoagulant effects. This can be a problem for people who already have blood clotting problems or are taking blood thinners.
- After surgery, you may experience a lot of bleeding.
- Interruptions with other drugs. Black garlic can worsen blood thinners, blood pressure medications, and other medications such as for HIV.
- We’ve often seen how excessively good things get ruined very soon. Too much consumption of garlic can cause bad breath, skin odor, and stomach pain.
- Yet with all these downsides, black garlic has milder side effects than raw garlic.
How to use black garlic?
Want to use black garlic more often? Well, here are some simple, everyday ways to include garlic in your daily diet.
- Prepare garlic puree, add to soup or vegetable puree.
- Mix it with other ingredients like a marinade, sauce, and other kinds of dressings before preparation.
- Chop it well and use it for dips and spreads and well-mixed butter in your favorite breakfast recipes.
- Sprinkle on plain foods to season and blend in a scrumptious taste.
Re-kindle your culinary spirit to be creative and healthy!
Recipes to make with black garlic:
Ready to dive in? Check out your favorite black garlic recipes!
- Black garlic sauce
- Black Garlic Chicken
- Grilled Fish with Black Garlic and Lime Sauce
- Dodeul Noodles with Pepper and Black Garlic
- Paris Batavourg and Fried Cauliflower with Black Garlic Yogurt
- Black Garlic Tofu
- Black Garlic with Vegetable Yogurt
- Minced Garlic Eggs
- Carrots with black garlic and herb yogurt
- Black garlic deviled eggs
- Miso eggplant with black garlic
- Fermented Black Garlic Soup
- Desserts & Drinks
- Black Garlic Chocolate Chip Biscuits
- Salted date black garlic smoothie
- Black garlic Bloody Mary
- Golden Gai’s Tokyo banana
- Black garlic mojito
By now, you must have known the black garlic health benefits and how powerful its little ink-black bulb is! It is simply fermented white garlic, but it blackens and acquires a sweet taste.
Black garlic and other members of the onion stem are known for their manifold advantages and have long been used to treat health conditions, including heart, brain, and liver diseases. Existing research supports the many benefits of black garlic.
Despite black garlic being a safe and functional food, there are few reports of side effects. It can spoil some medicines you might take for other diseases. So, if you are currently taking any medications, consult your doctor before starting a garlic supplement program.
So, don’t believe our garlic-breath mouths. Find black garlic in your local shops or online. You’ll know how versatile and functional it is. So, receive all the black garlic health benefits while making your favorite foods and beverages!