Black garlic is obtained from the normal garlic that we all know, Allium sativum, which is subjected to a special processing. In particular, the garlic cloves are fermented at a temperature between 60 and 70° C and at a very high humidity level, up to 90%, for several weeks and, as a result of a reaction called Maillard, the color of the garlic cloves turns dark. The odor is less pungent than that of fresh garlic due to the lower content in allicin that, during the process, has been converted into antioxidant compounds such as flavonoids, the taste is sweet and the consistency is jelly like. But what are the healthy properties of black garlic?
Black garlic, properties
Black garlic is more active than fresh garlic due to the chemical alterations that occur during the fermentation process. Anti-free radicals, antidiabetic, antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, hepatoprotective and anti-tumor properties are attributed to the black garlic extracts (Kimura et al, Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, 2017 - Lee et al, Nutr Res Pract, 2009). In addition to this, black garlic also acts against the inflammation of the skin and contact dermatitis, helps to improve the symptoms linked to the metabolic syndrome, protects the heart and lowers bad LDL cholesterol, at the same time it is able to increase the good cholesterol HDL. However, for the latter effect the results are still not definitive and it seems that the action is more limited in case of people with type 2 diabetes (Amor et al, Nutrients, 2019 - Czompa et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2018).
Black garlic, how to take it and warnings
Nowadays it is not difficult to find black garlic, both intact and as a supplement. As reported in the literature, black garlic has no contraindications or toxicity, however, always ask your doctor for advice if you are taking medications to avoid interactions (Ae Wha Ha et al, Nutr Res Pract, 2015).