Even though this nickname is perhaps well-deserved due to its pungent odor, for over 4000 years this food has been used for flavoring and for a variety of potential vitality benefits.*
In ancient times, its distinctive taste and aroma were believed to help…
- Ward off evil spirits – Found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs
- Supply strength and courage – Greek and Roman athletes used it prior to sporting events
Despite its "stinking rose" connotation, over 250 million pounds of this food are consumed annually in the US. And it's very popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries, as well as India and China.
Over 300 varieties of this vegetable are grown in various locations around the world. And yet, you may not be aware that it's more than just a great flavoring.
Raw garlic by itself has many potential health benefits.* But as I recently discovered, there are different possibilities when raw garlic is aged and fermented.* Before we get into the fermentation aspect, let's first take a look at raw garlic and its possibilities…
Potent Vegetable with a Secret Weapon
You may seem surprised that I refer to garlic as a vegetable. Most people probably consider it an herb or spice. But in reality, it is neither. Garlic belongs to the allium genus of vegetables that includes onions, leeks, chives, and shallots.
Raw garlic contains a wide array of phytocompounds (plant nutrients) that act together to create various responses and reactions in your body.*
And raw garlic contains:
- Vitamins B6 and C
But what makes garlic such a nutritious and potent vegetable? It has a unique hidden secret weapon, and it has all to do with a very interesting fact that a clove of garlic has very little aroma by itself.
Yet, I'm sure you're aware of its pungent odor firsthand. It's not until garlic is chewed (not many people enjoy doing this) or crushed in some sort of food preparation that the secret is revealed. Of course, that is when you get the very distinctive odor.
The end result of all this is a chemical reaction that creates one of the most pungent and potent antioxidants from the plant kingdom called allicin. The finer the chopping and intensity of crushing, the more allicin is produced and the greater its potency.
Unfortunately, it's difficult to get allicin up to biologically active levels in your body. Allicin is very short-lived – in most cases lasting less than an hour. Cooking, crushing, aging, and processing garlic causes allicin to quickly break down into other compounds.
It's through these other compounds (particularly one) where fermentation can come into play to provide a whole new dimension of potential health benefits.*
How Could Garlic Ever Have a Sweet Taste?
What if I told you that there was a form of garlic, called black garlic that has a sensational taste?
I'm talking about actually biting into a clove and chewing it, and not just crushing it and sprinkling it on foods or adding to your favorite recipe. I'm specifically talking about eating the clove.
You may think this is too good to be true. But I can tell you from experience that black garlic has a tantalizing taste even though the garlic essence remains.
Here are a few of the tastebud sensations you can experience from this type of garlic.
- Sweet with hints of caramel
- Molasses flavor with balsamic and tamarind undertones
- Soft and chewy, and melts in your mouth
So why is black garlic black?
The black color occurs due to aging, carmelization, and fermentation. The fermentation process involves high heat and aging time. Even though the process may at first seem simple, what occurs chemically and biologically is quite complex.
The effects from aging and fermentation of the raw garlic include:
- Acid reduction
Throughout the process enzymes are broken down, and proteins and sugars in garlic combine to create the distinct black color – as well as create the sweet balsamic taste and chewy texture.
There's another very important thing that happens during the garlic fermentation process. Remember our raw garlic secret weapon (allicin mentioned above)? Well, the majority of allicin is destroyed.
How could this possibly be important if it's destroyed in the process? Well, an exciting biologically conversion takes place with the allicin that creates an even more potent antioxidant in black garlic.
I'll explain more about this potent black garlic antioxidant coming up. But first, let's look at some of the before and after effects of garlic fermentation.
Raw Garlic vs. Black Garlic – An Eye-Opening Comparison
During the raw garlic fermentation process many astonishing things take place. Just looking at the before and after effects when it comes to essential amino acids, black garlic appears to provide more potential.*
Here's a chart showing one example of the possible fermentation outcome on essential amino acids found in garlic. Essential amino acids are those building blocks of protein not produced by your body that must be consumed as part of your diet.
|Essential Amino Acids
*Dr. Mercola's Fermented Black Garlic contains 800 mg of black garlic
This is just an example of what potentially happens to the essential amino acids in raw garlic during the fermentation process. Results obviously can vary depending on the quality of the raw garlic and the fermentation process itself.
But to me, one of the most eye-opening points about black garlic is how new nutrients are created and others are enhanced by the fermentation process. Black garlic is packed with high concentrations of highly beneficial sulfur compounds, especially one in particular: S-allyl-cysteine (SAC).
Black Garlic Benefits Unveiled
Before I show you some of the potential health benefits from black garlic, it's important to know a bit more about SAC.
What's interesting about SAC is how it's the result of a biological conversion that takes place during garlic fermentation. Even though most of the allicin is destroyed during the process, it is actually biologically converted to SAC.
I'm going to let you in on something most people don't understand. In fact, I didn't appreciate this as much as I do now. The bottom line with SAC is that it:
- Provides better stability than allicin
- Absorbs well
- Delivers enhanced antioxidant effects compared to the same amount of allicin*
Here's more on the underlying reasons why SAC has…
More than Double the Antioxidant Power
The fermentation of raw garlic has been shown to improve antioxidant potency. This process that results in black garlic has oftentimes doubled or more, the oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) value of the raw garlic. The ORAC is a way of measuring and comparing the estimated potency of an antioxidant.
The most prevalent antioxidant found in black garlic is SAC.
A comprehensive review of SAC and black garlic (in both in-vivo and in-vitro scenarios) reports its antioxidant effect is a result of multiple complex mechanisms because it:
- Scavenges free radicals – Including superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl, peroxynitrite radicals, as well as hypochlorous acid and singlet oxygen*
- Induces the activity of endogenous antioxidant enzymes – Such as glutathione peroxidase, NAD (P) H: quinone oxidoreductase, and superoxide dismutase (SOD)*
- Chelates iron and copper ions and inhibits prooxidant enzymes – Such as nitric oxide synthase (NOS), xanthine oxidase, NADPH oxidase, and cycloxygenase (COX)*
In a nutshell, these complex processes demonstrate how potent black garlic's antioxidant capability can be.*
So with all this – what are some good sources of black garlic? I'll explore a couple obvious ones with you. And then, I'll introduce you to an exciting one I feel is unique and the one I consider the best source of them all.
Why Making Your Own may not be a Reliable Approach
As with any whole food, when it comes to garlic I believe it's much better to eat the real food rather than rely on any supplement.
If you're looking to use garlic for purely culinary purposes, then finding the freshest garlic as possible is your best bet. Adding raw garlic to fresh salads or other foods you prepare can enhance their flavor and make them more delicious.
When it comes to eating raw garlic, not too many people (me included), enjoy biting into a fresh clove. For many, the pungent taste is a bit too overpowering to chew and swallow.
But with black garlic, the taste is an entirely different taste experience. The first time I took a bite of black garlic, I was totally surprised with how pleasant and sweet it tasted – totally different from raw garlic.
You can buy black garlic bulbs from many different sources online. Some select retail stores may carry it, but otherwise it can be a real challenge to find what you're looking for in stores.
So, why not just make your own black garlic from raw cloves?
You can try and make your own but it's not something everyone can do easily. Here's the basic process and you'll quickly see how inconvenient and time-consuming it can turn out to be…
- Fresh whole bulbs of raw garlic are placed in a humidity-controlled environment…
- Raw bulbs are heated to 140-170 F for about 30 days…
- The combination of high temperature and humidity create a dry steaming effect that ferments the garlic…
- Once out of the heat, the bulbs are left to oxidize (preferably in a clean room) for about 45 days…
- This lengthy process causes the raw garlic bulbs to turn black and to acquire the chewy texture and sweet taste
So, unless you have the right type of equipment to control the humidity and heat for a month, I would suggest you look for a good source of black garlic online. If you want to enjoy the sweet taste of black garlic, then finding a high-quality source online is probably the best path to take.
If you're truly interested in taking advantage of the potential health benefits of black garlic, I recommend a better alternative.
Great Way to Take Advantage of SAC's "Secret Sauce"
Enjoying the sweet, caramel-like taste of black garlic can be a great reward for your tastebuds. But, if you're looking to reap the benefits from SAC, I would recommend you consider a high-quality supplement.
It's not often I feel this way because more often then not, eating the whole food itself is better than a supplement. However, since black garlic is created from raw garlic, inconsistencies can occur during the fermentation process that can potentially impact the overall quality and quantity of the SAC.
I feel SAC is the most important nutrient in black garlic.*
Unfortunately, I doubt you'll find companies that produce black garlic bulbs listing SAC in the Nutrition Facts on their products. They simply don't have to do this and most likely don't know how much SAC is consistently there in the first place.
To me, this is where a high-quality black garlic supplement can come into play. The key is high-quality and finding a supplement that identifies how much SAC is in each dose.
This in itself can be a challenge because not all black garlic supplement producers even bother listing the SAC content.
I compiled a short but specific checklist to save you time when searching for a black garlic supplement.
How to Select a High-Quality Formula
When it comes to selecting a black garlic supplement that has the greatest potential to support your health, here are what I believe are some of the most important requirements.
The black garlic supplement should:
- Identify the SAC content on the product Supplement Facts label – If the SAC content is not identified, then it's unclear how much is in the supplement and could raise doubts as to the SAC consistency from batch to batch
- Incorporate a reliable and consistent fermentation process – Must show how the process can yield reliable amounts of SAC. Not all manufacturers can do this
- Provide evidence of quality controls throughout the production of black garlic – From sourcing to processing to manufacturing, the black garlic supplement producer must show evidence of the highest-quality control standards, as well as, high-technology know-how
This may be a shorter checklist then you're normally used to. But in the end, the key factor is SAC. Without it, or not knowing how much is consistently in every serving you take, how can you take advantage of all black garlic has to offer?*
In my opinion, you can't. You need proof of the amount of SAC per serving. If it's not identified in the Supplement Facts on the product label, I would simply pass and continue your search.
Fortunately, my team eventually experienced a tremendous breakthrough and succeeded in finding exactly what I wanted and more so. With Fermented Black Garlic, I strongly feel you'll be as pleasantly surprised as I was. I believe it's one of the best black garlic supplements available.
Why All Black Garlic Supplements are NOT Created Equal
By now, you've probably already come to the conclusion that not all black garlic supplements are equal. The most obvious differentiator is the SAC content. With my Fermented Black Garlic formula, this differentiator clearly shows itself because the SAC amount is identified right on the product label.
But there are other reasons why my Fermented Black Garlic stands apart – and that has all to do with the unique fermentation and other high-quality processes it undergoes to deliver you the extraordinary supplement.
What's so unique about how Fermented Black Garlic is made? My supplement:
- Integrates double fermentation – Many black garlic supplements are not the result of real fermentation, but more of an aging process. Fermented Black Garlic actually goes through double fermentation involving both enzymes and microbial incubation. Unlike other black garlic supplements, intrinsic bacteria on the garlic itself is expertly used in the double fermentation process
- Employs freeze-drying – This process helps keep the end product stable and ensures normal shelf life of well over a year (about a year and a half). This process also helps maintain consistent ingredients (including SAC)
- Maintains the stability of SAC – The innovative processes work in unison to ensure the quality and consistent SAC is available in each and every serving
Plus, high-quality control and assurance practices/certifications are employed, including:
- In-house micro-testing and ORAC analysis
- Analytical testing (HPLC, GC, UV/Vis)
- Product stability/Shelf-life testing
- Star-K Kosher certification (Jewish)
- Halal permissible (Islam)
- HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) preventable approach
- GMP-compliant for dietary supplements under NSF International's Good Manufacturing (GMP) Registration program
Plus, all growing, processing, and packaging take place within North America. All this should give you a real good picture why I'm excited about the Fermented Black Garlic formula.
It truly is special in its SAC content, the unique double fermentation and freeze drying processes used to make it, and the producer's overall commitment to high-quality standards.
You're Ensured a Minimum Amount of SAC
I cannot stress enough from a health standpoint, the importance of knowing how much SAC is in your black garlic supplement.* And this is where I believe Fermented Black Garlic shines.
As I said earlier, most black garlic supplements don't bother showing the SAC content on their Supplement Facts panel. To me, this is a mistake.
With Fermented Black Garlic, you're ensured that there will be a minimum of 1.2 milligrams (mg) of S-allyl-cysteine (SAC) in each recommended serving of the supplement.
And the 1.2 mg of SAC, combined with a total black garlic amount over 800 mg per recommended serving of Fermented Black Garlic, can potentially help to:
- Maintain blood pressure levels already in the normal range*
- Support healthy immune function*
- Maintain cholesterol levels already in the normal range*
These are powerful benefits that can support your overall vitality.* Your next step is to take action.
You Owe it to Yourself to Take Advantage of this
I recommend this supplement over eating the whole food itself, because I feel that with what's available today, you won't get consistent amounts of SAC by eating black garlic bulbs.
Not only does Fermented Black Garlic provide you a consistent amount of SAC per serving, it is also produced by a very unique double fermentation process.
If you're looking to reap the health benefits of black garlic, do yourself a favor and try Fermented Black Garlic.* After extensive research, it's the only black garlic supplement I recommend.
Order Mercola Fermented Black Garlic today.