Some claim garlic is toxic. The only truth about toxic being garlic is if you buy conventionally raised imported garlic. Over half of conventionally grown garlic comes from China.
Some of that garlic in China is grown in human feces, according to an Australian report. Almost all the rest comes from Mexico and some South American nations.
After having several large shipments detained in the USA due to mold and insect infestation, China and other nations have resorted to bleaching and fumigating their garlic with methyl bromide, a highly toxic pesticide that has been banned in some areas.
There is an option. Pay slightly more to purchase locally or domestically grown organic garlic bulbs. Ironically, the toxic measures at attempting to keep imported garlic from spoiling also inhibits a quality that enhances garlic’s health providing attributes – sprouting.
Garlic That Has Sprouted is Even Healthier
Sprouted garlic, older garlic bulbs with bright green shoots sprouting from their cloves, is commonly thought to be past its prime and routinely gets tossed into the garbage bin without a second thought.
While some aging plant foods that begin to sprout, like potatoes, can actually be dangerous because they release toxic chemicals which can harm the body, that’s not the case with sprouted garlic.
In fact, a study funded by Korea’s Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology, which was recently published in the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that sprouted garlic has even more antioxidant activity than its younger, fresher brethren. (Source)
The researchers knew that as seedlings transform into green plants they manufacture many compounds, some of which protect the plant from pathogens.
Researcher Jong-Sang Kim explained:
Plants are very susceptible to attack from bacteria, viruses, and insects during sprouting. This causes them to produce a variety of chemicals called phytoalexins to defend themselves. Most of these are toxic to microorganisms and insects, but beneficial to human health.
Kim’s group hypothesized that a similar process may be occurring when green shoots grow from older garlic cloves.
Extracts from garlic sprouted for five days had the highest antioxidant activity, whereas extracts from raw garlic had lower antioxidant activity.
Furthermore, sprouting changed the metabolite profile of garlic: the metabolite profile of garlic sprouted for five to six days was distinct from the metabolite profile of garlic sprouted four days or less.
The researchers concluded that sprouting may be a viable method to increase the antioxidant potential of garlic, though still not certain of the exact mechanisms involved.
Sprouted garlic enhances raw garlic’s proven anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, cardiovascular health protection, and its ability to kill 14 types of cancer cells. A sulfur rich compound in garlic called allicin is effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites without toxic side effects.
So go ahead and grab a few domestic organic sprouting garlic bulbs from the market shelves or simply allow them to sprout in your pantry or storage closet to enhance their antioxidant properties.
featured image: myelomacrowd.org