Aged Black Garlic – All you need to Know
Add garlic to any scenario and you’re usually onto a winner…apart from a first date! Dating faux pas aside (top tip: try chewing parsley afterwards for a natural breath freshener), garlic’s a firm favourite with cooking bods everywhere and its versatility puts it in pole position in most kitchen cupboards.
As well as adding some delicious flavour, garlic has got some pretty good health benefits too. So, next time you’re tucking into a garlic-infused dish, you’ve got reason to feel extra chuffed. But have you ever heard of aged black garlic? No, it’s not a culinary experiment that’s been left in the oven for too long, but your next favourite health kick.
Let’s take a look at what black garlic has to offer and why this twist on the popular culinary spice really packs a punch.
Garlic – a History
China accounts for 80% of the world’s garlic growth and it’s been used there culinary and medicinal properties for thousands of years, usually as a seasoning or condiment – it’s an incredibly popular component in global cuisine from Southeast Asian and Chinese cooking to Middle Eastern and Arabic, North African and Latin American dishes.
In British and European cuisine, lightly smoked garlic is common and made to flavour oils, soak breads and stuff meat. Who could forget the range of delicious bread-based dishes that garlic is instrumental in flavouring - garlic bread, garlic toast, bruschetta, crostini.
Originating from the liliaceae family, garlic’s one of the oldest cultivated plants around. And garlic remedies have always been popular throughout history. It was used as an antiseptic to treat wounds during World War 1 to prevent gangrene and had been used to combat cholera and tuberculosis outbreaks.
It’s said that the Egyptian slaves that were used to build the pyramids were given garlic to keep them strong and healthy and give them the boost needed to finish the colossal task ahead of them – quite an endorsement!
The garlic bulb is the most popular part of the plant, although the leaves, flower and head are edible too and their use varies from country to country. Containing around 8-20 garlic cloves in a white skin, they’re removed and crushed to extract flavour.
Skin covering the cloves is rarely eaten anywhere and the root cluster is usually discarded too. Garlic’s a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, phosphorous, calcium, potassium and iron, but the most health boosting property is the active ingredient allicin.
Black Garlic – What’s that and what is it good for?
Which brings us onto black garlic - it’s fermented and aged until the cloves turn black and it develops a silky-smooth black texture. This happens because of a compound called melanoidin which becomes active. The process of fermentation takes several months in controlled humid temperatures. White garlic contains allicin, but it’s thought that cooking it can actually prevent the stimulation of medicinal properties.
And it can be used in various recipes – black garlic juices or mixed into yoghurts and sauces to brush meats and vegetables with or its sweet taste lends itself to dessert dishes too, like black garlic brownies or even ice-cream!
So, why make so much effort to create this unusual form of garlic?
Well, it’s for the element that gives garlic its distinctive smell and taste – allicin. When garlic goes through the fermentation process which creates its black appearance, this also causes a spike in unusually high active allicin levels.
Not only that, it’s rich in amino acids and antioxidants. But it’s the S-Allyl Cysteine (SAC) that’s produced during the fermentation process and occurs in high concentrations, that makes black garlic more effective in the absorption of allicin in the body.
Because a majority of the therapeutic health effects of garlic and the excellent source of vitamins and minerals it provides, revolve around active allicin, this means that black garlic’s SAC levels can enhance the health benefits of traditional white garlic.
What is Allicin? Health Benefits
The main chemical function of garlic’s allicin production is as a defense mechanism, to protect it against pathogens and fungi. And it’s these anti-viral and anti-fungal qualities that make it allicin a popular element in health treatments.
What are some of the other benefits of allicin?
- Fighting Skin Infections – because of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities, allicin can work to ward off bacterial infections and help to reduce symptoms with conditions like athlete’s foot or any other fungal infections.
- Limits Catching a Cold – allicin’s anti-viral properties mean that it supports your immune system and can protect you against common cold symptoms. One study found that taking a garlic supplement every day, reduced the chances of catching a cold by 63%.
- Source of Antioxidant – allicin contains a rich number of antioxidants and vitamins B5 and vitamin C. Vitamin C is especially important in strengthening your immune system and attacking viruses and antibodies.
- Detoxifying Body – allicin in garlic has been found to reduce blood and tissue lead concentrations in people that are exposed to lead and metal compounds in the body through its detoxifying qualities. Metal toxicity levels can be removed from the bloodstream.
- Reducing Blood Pressure – allicin in garlic has been found to protect the cardiovascular system, boost circulation and maintain healthy blood pressure over time. S-allyl cysteineis thought to naturally lower your blood pressure, especially in tablet supplement form – the trial found evidence to reduce “peripheral and central blood pressure in a large proportion of patients with uncontrolled hypertension”.
- May Improve Bone Health – early clinical trials have some evidence to suggest the potential impact of garlic supplements on bone density after oestrogen deficiency in postmenopausal women. There was some evidence to show an immunomodulatory effect of garlic on bone density after female menopausal participants took daily garlic extract.
Increase in Cardio-Vascular Disease
Heart and circulatory diseases cause more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK, which is almost 170,000 deaths per year and 100,000 hospital admissions each year due to cardiovascular conditions.
It’s thought that cardiovascular issues alongside poor heart and artery health can also contribute to various other medical conditions. Heart failure is clearly a pressing concern, as well as kidney disease, arterial disease, and vascular dementia.
It’s arguable that 2019 gives us more and more opportunities to keep fit and eat healthily – there are countless different resources, apps, and information out there to help people combat heart-related illness and conditions and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
But contemporary society also provides us with lots of ways to live a lifestyle that’s not always great for us. We’re thinking sitting at a desk at work all day, Netflix binges on the sofa for hours on end, being able to summon a takeaway at your fingertips, driving when you don’t need to and online shopping instead of a walk to the shops.
We’ve only touched on a few things there, but with more and more tech gadgets designed to make our lives even easier, there are ever increasing reasons to not have to make much of an effort at all, which can make us more static, lazy, lethargic and at risk of heart-related health issues.
What other reasons are there for ever-increasing cardiovascular problems?
- Smoking and Alcohol
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol levels
- Being physically inactive
- Being overweight or obese
- Family history of heart disease
Age and family history aside, tackling any one of the factors we’ve mentioned can bring health benefits and improve your chances of avoiding cardiovascular conditions.
Introducing Aged Black Garlic
We’ve talked about black aged garlic and the advantages of allicin in particular, but how can you get your hands on some of your own black garlic? It’s possible to make your own black garlic at home, but the process is far from easy. It takes a lot of time and dedication to produce the optimal controlled temperatures needed and even when you’ve finished the fermentation process, there’s no guarantee you’ve produced aged black garlic that has the specific health benefits you’re after.
We’d recommend something much less time-intensive and messy, our Aged Black Garlic 10x.
Aged Garlic Supplement health benefits are plentiful. For a start, it’s 10 x more effective than standard raw garlic, odourless and it's free of side-effects and can be taken alongside other medicines that you might be taking for cardiovascular conditions. Your gut, heart and immune health can all improve with a safe natural food-based supplement.
Also, each of our aged black garlic capsules has the highest standardised strength of S-Allyl Cysteine (SAC) at 3%, so it can help to maintain healthy blood pressure, protect the cardiovascular system and circulation. Not to mention, our Aged Black Garlic 10X also contains the highest strength, premium-grade fermented black garlic extract, combined with vitamins C and B1.
So, how do we make such high-quality aged black garlic?
The garlic we use is hand-picked and harvested in small family farms in Northern Spain. It’s here that the warm climatic conditions are ideal and help to grow garlic with high active allicin levels. Then the fermentation process begins and this goes on for several months where the garlic is contained in controlled temperatures until the allicin has converted to bioactives SAC. Every element of black garlic is then extracted, concentrated, filtered and tested so that we can make sure each black garlic achieves the minimum concentration of SAC and gallic acid actives that make it so effective.
Our factory in Sussex uses the concentrated powdered aged black garlic extract and combines it with vitamin C and B1 and then we test it again to ensure it’s always ten times more effective than standard raw garlic.
Again, this is why it’s much more difficult to make your own high-quality aged black garlic at home, because it’s unlikely you’ll be able to achieve the levels of SAC that are needed for all of the health benefits of black garlic we’ve talked about in this article.
Especially considering the fact that when you compare our Aged Black Garlic x10 with other products in the market, the SAC levels are lower or not even listed on the label.
How much black garlic should you eat per day?
It’s so easy to take our handy de-odourised, food supplement black garlic capsules and incorporate it into your daily routine. We recommend taking 1 capsule each day with food for 7 days for cardiovascular and immune protection or 1-2 capsules per day with food for 5 days before and after travel for circulation problems.
All the benefits of aged black garlic, without the garlic smell and taste!
The Naked Pharmacy Aged Black Garlic 10X is available now >> Visit our store