4 health benefits of black garlic – Cleveland Clinic

On its own, raw garlic is a tangy and potent vegetable that can impact the flavor profile of any dish while providing an abundance of health benefits. Many of these same health benefits are further amplified when you consider incorporating black garlic into your diet, according to a registered dietitian. Beth Czerwony, MS, RD, CSOWM, LD.

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What is black garlic?

Black garlic is created through an extensive fermentation and aging process in which the raw white garlic bulbs are stored at 60-87 ° C (140-190 F) at high humidity for long periods of time, sometimes up to a month. This process changes the color, texture and taste of the entire bulb.

“It helps the bulb to become tender and turn into that awesome black color,” Czerwony explains.

Newbies can expect black garlic to taste like roasted garlic, but their flavor profiles are quite different: rather than caramelizing its sugars over high heat like roasted garlic, black garlic. is kept at a constant temperature for long periods of time, a “low and slow.” ”Which gives it a molasses flavor profile, subtly sweet and a sticky texture.

Is black garlic good for you?

Due to the fermentation and aging process, Czerwony claims that the health benefits inherent in garlic are simply amplified and enhanced from their original state. However, Czerwony warns that patients taking blood thinners may want to remain cautious when considering incorporating black garlic into their diet.

“If you take blood thinners, garlic tends to thin the blood a bit more. But if you’re not allergic to it and you don’t have any type of blood clotting disorder, those are the only things I’ve found to be potential drawbacks, ”Czerwony explains.

The health benefits of black garlic are numerous.

Improves brain health

Black garlic is a natural anti-inflammatory, and since we know that inflammation in the brain can impair memory or worsen brain function over time, black garlic may help with overall brain health. “There are a compound that some scientists have discovered that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and they believe that if we could have less brain inflammationthen this compound will be less widespread and will reduce the risk of contracting Alzheimer’s disease, ”explains Czerwony.

Contains more antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that protect your cells from free radicals (molecules that play a role in many diseases such as heart disease or cancer). Black garlic contains two to three times more antioxidants than raw garlic due to the fermentation process. “When we look at antioxidants, it will help protect your cells from oxidative damage,” Czerwony explains. “There are even studies which suggest that he has anticancer properties and that it might protect your liver from damage.

Helps regulate blood sugar

High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, kidney failure and nerve damage, while low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can cause seizures, fainting and death. Irregular blood sugar levels can cause or cause other complications with Diabetesbut studies suggest that black garlic helps regulate blood sugar. “A little black garlic has this probiotic which helps prevent the development of gestational diabetes, ”explains Czerwony. “Maybe it helps curb your appetite a bit and lower your blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar levels are low, your chances of complications from diabetes are reduced.”

Reduces the risk of heart disease

Black garlic can lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase the “good” HDL cholesterol in your body. As a result, it may decrease inflammation in your heart and arteries while increasing blood flow. “Overall, this will help your lipid profile improve,” Czerwony explains.

How to use black garlic

Since black garlic is much hotter than raw white garlic, Czerwony suggests using black garlic in a small and potent way to start.

“It can overwhelm other ingredients,” she says. “I would suggest using it as the center flavor.”

Some popular approaches to incorporating black garlic into your diet may include the following:

  • Toss it with a balsamic vinaigrette and serve it with a salad, grilled fish or red meat.
  • Brown it with a little onion and use it as a garnish.
  • Cut it into cubes and mix it into an olive tapenade.
  • Chop it and mix it with olive oil and sea salt to soak the bread.
  • Mash it into potatoes, hummus or other dips.

For each garlic clove a recipe calls for, Czerwony suggests using half when cooking with black garlic, then adding more as needed.

“Healthy food should always taste good,” Czerwony says. “Garlic is really easy to use and gives dishes a boost. This will allow you to reach your health goals a little faster.

Where to buy black garlic?

You can find black garlic – whole bulbs, peeled cloves, mashed potatoes, and more – online, in health food stores, and specialty supermarkets. You’ll want to keep it at room temperature until you open it, and then you should keep it in the fridge for up to a month.

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