Garlic Greens Health Benefits

Garlic Greens Health Benefits

By Dr. Adam Richman

Garlic has been used as a medicine for thousands of years.1, 2 Today, we continue to celebrate its health benefits while delighting in its flavor!

Fresh garlic is extolled for controlling blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, boosting heart and circulatory system health,3 fighting infection4 and inflammation,5 and even battling cancer.6

Garlic is a rich source of diverse antioxidants,1 which protect cells from injury. We are most familiar with fresh garlic, and extracts & supplements made from it, and often discard old garlic that has “sprouted”. But don’t be so hasty! Those older garlic bulbs sprouting green leaves, it turns out, are even better sources of antioxidants than fresh, unsprouted garlic. This is according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.2

In fact, 5-day old garlic sprouts contained more antioxidants than unsprouted or less than 4-day old sprouted garlic. The study authors even suggest that “sprouting may be a useful way to improve the antioxidant potential of garlic.” So don’t toss that sprouted garlic, grow it!

Along with that delicious flavor and delightful aroma, you will reap the added health benefits that come with the greening of your garlic. Just be a little bit patient, and don’t harvest too soon!


(1) Capasso, A. Molecules 2013, 18:690-700; doi:10.3390/molecules18010690

(2) Zakarova, A. et al.J. Agric. Food Chem. 2014, 62:1875-1880; doi:10.1021/jf500603v

(3) Rahman, K. and Lowe, G. M. J. Nutr. 2006, 136:S736-S740; doi:10.1093/jn/136.3.736S

(4) Hunter, R. et al.Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 2005, 1056:234-241; doi:10.1196/annals.1352.011

(5) Hofbauer, R. et al. Heart Dis. 2001, 3:14-17; doi:10.1097/00132580-200101000-00003

(6) Wargovich, M. J. and Uda, N. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 1996, 401:171-177; doi:10.1007/978-1-4613-0399-2_14

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