Most of us are aware of the phenomenal health benefits of garlic as an antiviral agent and immune system booster. But did you know that sprouted garlic has even more to offer, especially in terms of cancer prevention?
Unfortunately, we may not be getting the benefits of older garlic bulbs that sport new, green growth. There are even some misconceptions about sprouting garlic that may cause you to throw it away as too old for use or even as bad for you. It is true that some root vegetables like potatoes have an increased toxicity as they age and begin to sprout. However, the polar opposite, researchers have found, is true of sprouted garlic. Sprouted garlic is better for you than fresher, un-sprouted bulbs.
A recent study funded by the Korean Institute for Planning and Evaluation of Technologies discovered more antioxidant activity in sprouted garlic than in younger, un-sprouted garlic bulbs. The study found that garlic’s own immune system is improved after sprouting through the production of phitoalekins; naturally occurring chemicals that makes the garlic plant less susceptible to pathogens. This serves the plant’s ability to better ward off diseases and it can serve you, too. A sulfur-rich compound known as alllicin is also more pronounced in sprouted garlic. Allicin effectively wards off fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites. These beneficial phytochemicals are then passed on to you when sprouted garlic is included as part of a healthy diet.
Researcher Dr. Jong-Sang Kim described how sprouting changes the metabolism of garlic in relation to fresher garlic. Five-day-old garlic shoots had a higher antioxidant ratio in comparison to those younger, un-sprouted bulbs. It was then concluded that allowing garlic to sprout increased its antioxidant potential—particularly where cancer is concerned.
By choosing this previously overlooked super food, you also choose enhanced anti-inflammatory properties, immune-acceleration, and improved cardiovascular health. In addition, sprouted garlic has been proven to kill 14 types of cancer cells including those responsible for brain, lung, breast and pancreatic cancer. But that isn’t all. With super strength phytochemicals, sprouted garlic becomes doubly effective for heading off strokes, and the elimination of free radicals responsible for the onset of early aging and inflammation that causes osteoarthritis diseases.
A word of caution, though. Make sure to check your labels when purchasing garlic. Imported garlic is often grown in human waste. Then it is eventually irradiated and sprayed with toxic bleach compounds upon importation in an attempt to offset its toxic origins. Those already-compromised bulbs of garlic typically do not sprout at all. Given how they have been grown, they would not be very good for you even if they did. However, organic, locally grown garlic does sprout, and readily, and its health-giving properties then multiply in relation to younger, un-sprouted bulbs.
Plus, sprouting garlic is as easy as storing local, organically grown garlic in a cool, dry place as you usually do. Or, if you’d like to hasten the sprouting process, peel the bulb and insert a toothpick into either side of the fleshy parts of the clove. Suspend the garlic by the toothpicks over a small glass of water, until the bottom part of the bulb is submerged. Make sure the garlic bulb receives enough sunlight.
Once the bulb is sufficiently sprouted, you can wash it and use the whole cloves and new green shoots as you normally would for an extra boost of anti-oxidants and health giving phytochemicals.
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