The Secret Superfood: Exploring the Health Benefits of Black Garlic

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Black garlic, known for its impressive benefits, is showcased beautifully on a rustic wooden table.

As functional practitioners, our quest for effective, natural solutions to improve cardiovascular health is relentless. Black garlic, the mysterious and savory superfood, has recently captured the spotlight for its exceptional potential to support heart health.

Often dubbed the “forbidden fruit of garlic,” it is making waves in the world of functional medicine and culinary arts. While it may look unassuming, this fermented delicacy packs a punch when it comes to health benefits.

Today, I’ll delve into what aged black garlic is, how it's made, and the numerous ways it can positively impact our health, making it a must-have addition to any functional practitioner's toolkit.

What Is Black Garlic?

Black garlic is not a distinct garlic variety; rather, it's regular garlic that has undergone a unique fermentation process naturally or by using this Xeternity-Made 5L Black Garlic Fermenter. It transforms from its familiar pungent form into a dark, sweet, and savory treat.

The transformation takes time—usually close to two weeks—and happens at specific temperature and humidity levels. During fermentation, the garlic cloves turn a deep black color and develop a soft, jelly-like texture, making them easy to spread and incorporate into various dishes.

The Cardiovascular Conundrum

Cardiovascular diseases continue to be a major global health concern, with factors like high blood pressure, cholesterol imbalance, and oxidative stress playing significant roles in their development in heart health. As a functional practitioner, I and many other practitioners are constantly searching for innovative approaches to address these issues, and aged garlic offers a promising avenue containing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that lower blood cholesterol level in the body.

Black garlic rich health benifits

The Nutritional Powerhouse

Black garlic is more than just a flavor enhancer; it's packed with an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Protecting heart health, making low-density lipoprotein, and boosting the immune system are some of black garlic's benefits. Here are some of the key nutrients and bioactive compounds found in aged black garlic that benefit you:

1. Allicin – While raw garlic is renowned for its allicin content, black garlic contains a stable and potentially more bioavailable form of allicin. This compound has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties.

2. S-allyl cysteine – This antioxidant-rich compound is unique to black garlic. It has been linked to reduced cholesterol levels, cardiovascular health, and potential anticancer properties.

3. Vitamin C – Black garlic boasts a significant amount of vitamin C, which plays a vital role in immune function, skin health, and wound healing.

4. Manganese and Selenium – These minerals are essential for various bodily functions, including metabolism, thyroid health and immune support.

5. Polyphenols – Black garlic is rich in polyphenols, which have been associated with reduced oxidative stress and inflammation.

The Health Benefits of Black Garlic

As functional practitioners, understanding how black garlic can benefit your clients is crucial. Here are some of the health advantages associated with black garlic consumption:

1. Cardiovascular Health – One of the most recognized benefits of black garlic is its ability to help regulate blood pressure. Compounds in black garlic can dilate blood vessels and reduce resistance, leading to improved blood flow and potentially lower blood pressure.

2. Antioxidant Protection – The high concentration of antioxidants in black garlic helps combat oxidative stress, reducing inflammation and damage to blood vessel walls. This effect can be instrumental in preventing atherosclerosis.

3. Enhanced Immune Function – The bioactive compounds in black garlic support a healthy immune system, helping your clients stay resilient against illnesses.

4. Anti-Inflammatory Properties – Black garlic's anti-inflammatory potential can benefit those with inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis.

5. Digestive Support– Some people find that black garlic is gentler on the stomach and easier to digest compared to raw garlic.

6. Potential Anticancer Effects – While more research is needed, some studies suggest that black garlic may have anticancer properties.

7. Cholesterol Management – High cholesterol levels, particularly LDL cholesterol, are a known risk factor for heart disease. Black garlic has been shown to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels and may also support overall cholesterol balance.

8. Endothelial Function – Black garlic has shown the potential to enhance endothelial function, which is vital for the regulation of blood pressure and overall cardiovascular health.

9. Reduced Plaque Formation – The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of black garlic may help reduce the formation of arterial plaques, thus lowering the risk of heart disease.

black garlic extract for better immune system

The Battle with Blood Sugar Imbalances

Blood sugar imbalances, including hyperglycemia and insulin resistance, are significant concerns in modern society. These issues are often linked to a host of chronic conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

As functional practitioners, it's our responsibility to explore innovative, natural solutions to address these challenges, and black garlic provides a promising avenue.

Black Garlic's Influence on Blood Sugar

The impact of black garlic on blood sugar is multifaceted, thanks to its rich nutrient profile and unique compounds. Here's an in-depth look at how black garlic can support blood sugar regulation:

Improved Insulin Sensitivity– Some studies suggest that black garlic may enhance insulin sensitivity, allowing cells to more effectively take up glucose from the bloodstream.

Reduced Glycation – Black garlic's antioxidant properties can help mitigate the process of glycation, the aging process where excess sugars bind to proteins in the body, potentially reducing the risk of diabetic complications.

Glucose Metabolism – Black garlic may assist in the regulation of glucose metabolism, helping to maintain balanced blood sugar levels.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects – Chronic inflammation is closely linked to insulin resistance and impaired glucose control. Black garlic's anti-inflammatory properties may help alleviate this issue.

Antioxidant Protection – The potent antioxidants in black garlic protect pancreatic cells and other vital components of the insulin regulation process from oxidative stress.

Weight Management – Black garlic's potential to support weight management can indirectly help regulate blood sugar, as excess weight is a common contributor to insulin resistance.

How to Incorporate Black Garlic

We can recommend various ways for our clients to include black garlic in their diet:

1. Spread like fresh garlic – Black garlic can be used as a spread – on seed crackers that are gluten-free, low-glycemic, or used as a dip for vegetables.

2. Salad Dressing – Make a unique salad dressing by blending black garlic with olive oil and lemon juice, or add to a creamy nut or seed dressing.

3. Soups and Stews – Add black garlic to soups and stews for an extra layer of flavor and nutrition.

4. Marinades – Incorporate black garlic into marinades.

5. Sushi Rolls – Use black garlic as a filling in sushi rolls for a very sweet flavor and savory twist.

6. Smoothies – Believe it or not, black garlic powder can even be blended into smoothies for a nutrient boost.

7. Whole Black Garlic Cloves – Encourage clients to consume a few cloves of black garlic daily, either on their own or as part of a meal. I love just eating them whole.

8. Supplements – If dietary incorporation proves challenging, suggest black garlic supplements as a convenient alternative.

Remember, the strong flavor of black garlic means that a little goes a long way. Start with small amounts and adjust to your taste preference. Also, feel free to get creative and experiment with different recipes to discover what you enjoy most.

black garlic for a better heart health

Why Black Garlic is Important

Black garlic is an incredible addition to your functional practitioner toolkit, offering a unique combination of flavor and health benefits. With its potential to support heart and brain health, boost the immune system, and provide powerful antioxidants, black garlic is an exciting food that can help your clients thrive.

We hear all the time that eating 6 cloves of raw garlic during a cold or flu can support healing – but it's really challenging to do that. Fermented black garlic to the rescue. It's easy to eat that much and more!

With its ability to regulate blood pressure, manage cholesterol levels, and provide a powerful antioxidant shield, it has earned its place as a heart-healthy elixir. Encourage your clients to embrace the delicious and nutritious world of black garlic as they journey toward better heart health.

In this unique superfood, they may find the natural support they've been seeking for their cardiovascular well-being.

S.H.I.N.E. Event

Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death on the planet? Make sure you are equipped with the knowledge and skills to help your clients overcome this disease.

Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo

Sign up for SHINE now, so you can start with the heart and help people heal.

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