Black garlic is raw garlic that people have fermented under controlled high-temperature (1400-1900F), high-humidity conditions for several weeks (1).
Black garlic offers a number of health benefits that may outweigh those of raw garlic, as well as the culinary benefits of better taste and interesting appearance.
Contains more antioxidants – The fermentation process causes black garlic to contain substantially more antioxidants than raw garlic. This is because allicin, the compound that gives garlic its pungent odor when crushed, is converted into antioxidant compounds like alkaloids and flavonoids as black garlic ferments (2).
May reduce the risk of heart disease – Studies have shown that black garlic may reduce indicators of heart disease, including levels in the blood of total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides. It may also increase HDL (good) cholesterol (3). Researchers found that both raw and black garlic helped open up circulation to protect the heart from damage (4).
May protect brain health – Black garlic may help prevent inflammation that can impair memory and worsen brain function over time. It is suggested that the accumulation of a protein compound called beta amyloid causes inflammation in the brain that increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (5).
May help protect your liver – Black garlic may help protect the liver from damage that can come from its constant exposure to chemicals, medications, alcohol, and germs. Black garlic may also be helpful in more chronic conditions. One study found that black garlic improved liver function in the case of chronic alcohol-induced liver damage, likely through its antioxidant activity (6).
Potential downsides – Neither raw nor black garlic appear to come with major side effects. However, raw garlic has a couple of downsides that black garlic may share.
Eating raw garlic in large amounts may increase the risk of bleeding. Because of this, people on blood thinning medications may also want to avoid black garlic in large amounts (7). People who experience an allergic reaction after consuming raw garlic should also avoid black garlic.
Black garlic is raw garlic that has been fermented under controlled conditions for several weeks. This changes its color and flavor and increases the antioxidant activities of the garlic.
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