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Sprouted Garlic’s Surprising Benefits

Don’t trash garlic that has begun to sprout – new research suggests that it may have more health benefits than fresh garlic. We know that the antioxidant effects of garlic can influence health in many positive ways - it has been used traditionally to address high blood pressure, and can help protect against heart disease. It has also found some utility in treating earaches, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), chronic fatigue syndrome, and diabetes. Historically, it was prized for it usefulness in colds and flu to boost the immune system, and has even been used to treat skin infections. The discovery that sprouted garlic may have more antioxidant potential than fresh bulbs comes from researchers in Korea who noted that sprouted beans and grains often have increased antioxidant activity and wondered if the same is true of garlic. After controlling the ripening conditions, they reported that garlic sprouted for five days had more measurable antioxidant effects than younger fresher bulbs, and that the sprouted variety has different metabolites, suggesting that it also makes different substances than fresh garlic. In lab tests, the research team found that extracts from sprouted garlic protected cells in a lab dish from oxidative damage and suggested that sprouting “may be a useful way to improve the antioxidant potential of garlic.”

Sources:
Joon-Sang Kim et al, “Garlic Sprouting Is Associated with Increased Antioxidant Activity and Concomitant Changes in the Metabolite Profile” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, DOI: 10.1021/jf500603v