Updated: Mar 6, 2022
Black garlic is produced by aging regular raw garlic in a controlled heat and humid environment. Unlike regular garlic, black garlic doesn't have a garlic odour. It has a dried fruit-like sweetness.
Compared to raw garlic, black garlic has 4 times the amount of S-Allylcysteine. A former professor from the Medicine Department of Hirosaki University conducted research and demonstrated S-Allylcysteine to have an anti-cancer effect. The news was widely featured in a Japanese newspaper.
Black garlic as a superfood has been gaining popularity due to its health-promoting effects such as lowering cholesterol levels, antioxidant activity, anti-aging, and immunity enhancement.
How To Use Black Garlic
Depending on your health, the recommended Black Garlic consumption is about 1 to 3 black garlic cloves per day. However, it varies for each person. Black garlic is not a medicine, so there is no fixed amount that you should follow to consume black garlic. Black garlic is considered an energizing superfood; eating it in the morning or before exercise can promote the extra energy that you need. Eating a lot of regular garlic raw may cause discomfort in your stomach. This discomfort is caused by allicin, an antimicrobial component in garlic that sterilizes the guts. Black garlic also contains allicin, but it also has a high concentration of S-Allylcysteine. This compound has proven to assist the body in absorbing allicin and minimize the chance of gastric distress. Therefore you can eat black garlic raw without gastric side effects. All in all, there are relatively no dangerous side effects from eating black garlic. Just make sure to eat in moderation.
How To Eat Black Garlic
Eat it raw
In Asia, most people would eat black garlic as it is. Black garlic is sweet and won’t leave an unpleasant odour in your mouth. Hence, it is ideal for eating raw.
Use as a topping
The amazing, sweet taste of black garlic can be an additional topping to your cooking. From pizza to salad, black garlic bits can add that earthy-sweet bite to your cooking.
Use as a seasoning
Mash black garlic and mix them with a stick of butter, then use it as a compound butter for steak. You can also whisk pureed black garlic with vinaigrette and mix it as a salad dressing.
Ingredient for desserts
Due to the sweet nature of black garlic, some cooks have used it as an ingredient for desserts. Multiple dessert recipes incorporate black garlic, e.g., pound cake, egg pudding, pastry choux, and other sweet treats.
Black Garlic Nutrition And Its Benefits
After going through the aging process, black garlic made from already nutritious raw garlic bulbs will have even more nutrition and double the amount of antioxidants. Other than the fantastic taste, many people also consume black garlic for health benefits.
Compared to regular raw garlic, Black garlic contains:
16 times S-Allylcysteine
3 times Arginine
6 times Polyphenol
2 to 7 times Amino Acid.
Health Benefit #1: Arginine
Black garlic has three times the amount of arginine than regular raw garlic. Arginine is a type of amino acid. It is proven to have an effect on antihypertensive on the human body. Arginine also plays a major role in helping blood arteries to dilute and smoothen blood flow.
Other benefits gained from arginine consumption include:
Promoting collagen production Improving immunity
Suppressing blood sugar levels and
Enhancing the healing of wounds.
Health Benefit #2: Polyphenol
Research has proven that the total polyphenol contents in black garlic extract are higher than those in regular garlic extract. The data suggest that the aging process increases the total polyphenol in garlic.
The Polyphenol benefits:
It prevents blood clots and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
Lower blood sugar level
Protect against cancer
Health Benefit #3: Amino Acid
The amino acid plays a major role during the blackening process of black garlic. After the aging process, the amount of amino acid in black garlic will increase about 2 to 7 times.
Consuming these amino acids can have a lot of energizing and recovery benefits:
It boosts exercise performance
Reduce muscle loss.
Health Benefit #4: S-Allylcysteine
Black garlic does not have a strong off-flavour like regular garlic. This is caused by compound changes in garlic bulbs after heating. A compound responsible for a strong odour called allicin is turned into water-soluble antioxidants compounds during aging. One of these compounds is S-allylcysteine.
S-allylcysteine is a potent antioxidant agent and has anti-aging properties. It promotes health benefits and also has a significant effect on the skin.
The main benefits of S-allylcysteine include:
Helping to prevent health problems caused by an unhealthy lifestyle
Preventing sugar diabetes
Reducing the risk of stroke and neurodegenerative damage.