How is Black Garlic Different from Regular Garlic?


Referred to by some as a “super food”, black garlic wasn’t always around. First, human civilization discovered how to cultivate white garlic. Later in history, people discovered how to produce black garlic, and it has been with us ever since.

We are uncertain exactly when black garlic was invented because some people claim that it takes it roots in Asia and that it was invented 4000 years ago while others claim that it was invented as late as the 19th century. We can't tell for sure which origin story is true, but we do know that we are grateful to whoever invented it. Black garlic went mainstream in 2008 and it is sure to stay with us for a long time as it is such a tasty and beneficial versatile ingredient compared to its more potent origins as white garlic.

Black Garlic different from regular garlic

History of Regular Garlic

In the beginning, garlic was only used as an offering to gods and was despised by people for its taste. But for over 5000 years now, garlic has been used pretty much for everything. Garlic is or was used as a food, money, medicine, aphrodisiac, and to create magic potions. The most famous use for garlic in mythology is to keep you safe from vampires . It is believed that garlic’s origin is Siberia and the Asia region. It is interesting that it was crusaders who brought garlic to Europe, and it was spread from there all around the world.

The Differences between Regular and Black Garlic

Now that we are familiar with the history of both forms of garlic, we can talk about the differences between them. The first and most obvious difference is the color and the name itself. You may wonder, how does the black garlic get its color?

Color. It gets it color from the process of fermentation over the period of 3-4 weeks. It is a simple process in which you take fresh garlic and let it stay at a warm temperature while being wrapped in aluminum foil.

Odor. The smell of raw garlic may be unpleasant to some, and the odor can be difficult to get rid of. It clings to your hands and clothes and gives you bad breath. Black garlic has a very mild scent due to the breakdown of certain molecules during the fermentation process.

Taste. Black garlic also has a very different taste compared to regular garlic. The taste can best be described as that of a slightly bitter caramel.

Digestion. Some people may feel discomfort digesting raw garlic. Black garlic, however, doesn’t cause any problems. Because it has already been softened due to the fermentation process, it is quite easy for your stomach to process .

Nutrition. The nutritional benefits of black and raw garlic are also different, and that is mainly because black garlic goes through the process of fermentation. In this process, two of garlic’s important components - sugars and amino acids – become more pronounced to create black garlic.

Differences in Health Benefits between Black Garlic and White Garlic

The medical benefits of both raw and black garlic are tremendous. This is also the area where we can see the real difference between raw and black garlic.

The Health Benefits of Regular Garlic

Raw garlic is great for your health and so is black garlic. Raw garlic is especially good for controlling blood pressure. This is due to garlic’s polysulfides. Garlic also enhances your immunity, which is great for people who suffer from a range of diseases that destroy your immunity .

It also helps remove heavy metal toxins from your body. Heavy metals are extremely toxic, and eating raw garlic can help you prevent any unwanted problems that are related to them.

Raw garlic is also great for the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. It helps by increasing the level of anti-oxidant enzymes that the liver produces, and this helps reduce the action of free radicals while also reducing inflammations in the brain that cause this kind of disease.

It is beneficial to our eyesight but in a different way than most other foods are. First, it reduces intraocular pressure, which is a contributor to glaucoma, and it also helps control organisms that can cause keratitis. We already mentioned that it helps remove heavy metals, and they can also harm our eyes.

There are many more medical benefits of garlic, and in general, garlic is a very useful herb to consume.

The Health Benefits of Black Garlic

Now, let us talk about the benefits we get from black garlic . Even though black garlic goes through the process of fermentation, it still keeps almost all of the characteristics important to our health that garlic has, and it even gains a few more.

The benefits of black garlic include the following.

    1. Loaded with Antioxidants
    1. Helps Fight Cancer Growth
    1. Boosts Heart Health
    1. Preserves Cognitive Function
    1. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
    1. Kicks Up Immunity

1. Loaded with Antioxidants. Research shows that antioxidants can significantly benefit the prevention of certain types of chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease and even cancer. There are a lot of antioxidants in garlic, but studies that were done on black garlic prove that there are even more antioxidants in black garlic due to the breakdown of certain molecules during fermentation. That’s great news for all the black garlic enthusiasts.

2. Helps Fight Cancer Growth. Again, the main reason why black garlic helps fight cancer growth are the antioxidants it contains. They help block the buildup and spreading of cancer through the body. But this is not a big surprise as it is well-known that garlic and black garlic are cancer-fighting foods.

3. Boosts Heart Health. The heart is obviously one of the most important organs in our body, and if you want to keep it healthy and protected, you better start using some garlic. That is a well-known fact. Raw and black garlic do almost the same job here, but it is suggested that black garlic does it a bit better as it lowers the level of cholesterol and high triglycerides in your bloodstream. That is the main reason it could be said that it is superior to raw garlic when it comes to improving your heart health.

4. Preserves Cognitive Function. While garlic is also very good for your cognitive function and preventing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’ disease, a recent study proves that black garlic also helps improve your memory.

5. Stabilizes Blood Sugar. If you continuously have high levels of blood sugar, this can lead to diabetes in the short term and, in the long run, it can cause kidney dysfunction, skin infections, and a high risk of heart disease. Thankfully, you only need to add a little bit of black garlic to your already healthy and balanced diet, and it will help you maintain a normal blood sugar level.

6. Kicks Up Immunity. We already mentioned that garlic helps your immune system stay strong, but it may come as a surprise that a study done in 2012 on the difference between raw and black garlic showed that black garlic had more influence and helped your body more to fight common diseases.

So, to summarize, both black and raw garlic are beneficial to your health, but black garlic is a little more so. It’s funny that if we're to look at some pieces of black garlic you might not even think that it was made out of garlic. Another difference is the overpowering smell of garlic versus the almost scentlessness of black garlic. The taste is also completely different with black garlic being much sweeter. Looking at the nutritive values there is also a small difference between the two.

What Can You Do with Black Garlic?

We talked a lot about the medical use of black garlic, but let us talk about the best ways of eating it and enjoying its taste. Some people eat black garlic raw as a sweet for its caramel-like flavor. You can also use its cloves mixed with some cream cheese to make a great dipping sauce. Add some cloves to your bolognese or chili for that sweet taste. Some people even use black garlic as a topping on their pizzas or ice cream. And there is a multitude of delicious recipes that use black garlic.

How to Make Black Garlic

If you want to make your own black garlic , it may be easier than you thought. All you need is fresh garlic (use only the best cloves and try to get some garlic from the farmers market or grow it yourself as it is not sprayed with chemicals), a rice cooker or fermenter, and some aluminum foil.

You wash the selected garlic cloves and wrap them tightly in aluminum foil. Then, you place them in the rice cooker and set it for warm cooking. You need to make sure that the cloves are tightly placed in the foil. After that, all the preparation is done and you just need to leave them for 3-4 weeks in the cooker, slowly undergoing its transformation into black garlic. You shouldn't check on them too often, and not at all in the first 2 weeks as you might ruin the process by opening the lid.

After the 3-4 weeks have passed, you take the garlic cloves out, unwrap them, and they are ready for consumption.

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