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Savory and sweet frozen desserts using functional super foods

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Frozen desserts can be made with beans, green tea, roasted garlic, mushrooms, or other functional foods. If you're looking for the perfect gift book to give to a friend or relative who enjoys cooking or as a gift for the owner or chef of your favorite Sacramento eatery, check out this wonderful book called Ice Cream: A Global History.

The publisher is Reaktion Books - Edible And the book also is available at Amazon.com. If you're looking to buy ice cream in Sacramento, including some places where you can see the dessert being made on the premises, try Top Picks: Sacramento Ice Creameries.

In the book, Ice Cream: A Global History you'll read how ice cream first began in China, a land where you'd think nobody would eat dairy products in ancient times when frozen dessert was so simple to make from mashing tofu with fruit and freezing it with mountain snow or crushing ice and covering it with citrus tree juices. But China is from where ice cream originally came. According to folkloric history, ice cream was brought back in memory and description by Marco Polo, who probably did enjoy Italian lemon ice shavings after lemon trees were brought along the Silk Road from China to Sicily in historic times.

The book on the history of ice cream is packed with photos and artwork and has a variety of anecdotes and personal experiences of how people (and animals) used, ate, or prepared ice cream, even when it applies to animals and ice cream, an anecdote of how a Hollywood director coaxed mules with ice cream cones. There are recipes and stories about ice cream in various countries. Everyone has a personal memory connected to ice cream, even if someone is allergic to dairy products. Also if you're looking for the taste as close to ice cream as you can find, you can find or create non-dairy frozen desserts that taste a lot like ice cream in the natural food coolers of many Sacramento food markets.

Corn meal ice cream is popular south of the border. And you might be interested in taking plain vanilla ice cream and flavoring yourself with edible lavender, cinnamon, cloves, walnuts, almond extract, chopped nuts, rose petal water extract, orange blossom water extract, mint extract, edible flower petals, coffee liqueur, or melted unsweetened baker's chocolate. Remember that during the garlic festival each year in Gilroy, CA, there's always garlic ice cream.

If you're looking for instructions on how to make garlic ice cream, see these recipes

Gilroy Garlic Ice Cream, Savory Garlic Ice Cream | The Gilded Fork, 3 Ways for how to Make Garlic Ice Cream at Home, Roasted Garlic Ice Cream Recipe @CDKitchen, RecipeSource: Garlic Ice Cream, RecipeSource: Garlic Ice Cream, Garlic Festival® Foods : : Garlic Recipes ~ Garlic Ice Cream, Garlic Ice Cream, and/or Garlic Ice Cream - Buzz - Foodbuzz.

Mushroom Ice cream or Green Tea Ice Cream, Azuki Bean Paste Ice Cream, or Red Bean Paste Ice Cream

Follow the video on how to make Red Bean Paste Ice Cream

Main Ingredients
• 1 Cup red bean paste or Japanese-style using azuki bean paste (Sacramento health food stores, ethnic food markets, and the natural food aisles of numerous local food, natural food, and supermarkets usually carry azuki beans.
• 1 Cup Whipping Cream
• ½ Cup Milk and 3 Tbsp Sugar or use a substitute sweetener such as a pinch of stevia.

Recipe is from aeriskitchen on Sep 21, 2011

Yield: 7 Popsicles Also see the site: Korean Food: Homemade Red Bean Paste (팥 앙금

Mushroom Ice Cream

  • 1 quart chocolate ice cream or frozen nonfat chocolate yogurt, slightly softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon powder

1 cup of boiled, softened shiitake and maitake mushrooms in their own broth with no added salt. You can further sweeten with a pinch of stevia. You simmer the fresh maitake and shiitake mushrooms in a cup of water until soft, about three minutes.

Then let cool. Put the liquid from the mushrooms with the mushrooms in a blender and liquefy. Mix the chocolate frozen yogurt or ice cream into the liquefied mushrooms and mushroom broth.

To view videos on how to prepare mushroom ice cream, you also can refer to videos on uTube such as the following videos which have various recipes with different ways to make mushroom ice cream. Check out the videos and select a recipe you prefer: Raw Vegan Recipe: Immuno Mushroom Ice Cream - YouTube, and/or video: Raw Vegan Recipe: Immuno Mushroom Ice Cream.

Green Tea Ice Cream

You make a basic ice cream recipe from scratch and add green tea powder to it. Check out the recipe on how to make green tea ice cream in this uTube video which demonstrates specific ingredients and how to mix them to make the ice cream. The video is How to make green tea ice cream without an ice cream making machine.

Green tea ice cream is a popular Japanese-style dessert usually eaten in the West. On uTube, there are various videos on how to make green tea ice cream which uses green tea powder mixed with eggs and cream or milk. You can also make this nondairy by using milk substitutes. You can also view the video on how to make Mochi Ice Cream.

More green tea ice cream recipe videos are at the following sites: You can combine unusual ingredients for a new taste and twist on frozen desserts.

Green tea nondairy chocolate mousse without added table sugar

Green tea non-dairy chocolate mousse without added table sugar. To buy green tea powder online see, Green Tea Powder. Green tea is renowned for its antioxidants and great benefits. It is non-GMO. Packed with EGCG, green tea from Camellia sinensis promotes good health in the body. Mix in with water or any other beverage. Serve the green tea chocolate mousse with green tea ice cream. The recipe for the ice cream is below the recipe for the mousse.

Use green tea powder in small amounts instead of coffee when making chocolate mousse. Store your green tea powder in the refrigerator. To make green-tea flavored chocolate mousse, you'll need unsweetened baking chocolate squares, coconut cream, and coconut oil as well as eggs and a pinch of stevia to sweeten. You can pour the chocolate over sweet thawed pitted dark cherries.

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) melted organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons green tea powder
  • 1 cup cold coconut milk or can of coconut cream
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 pinch of stevia
  • (Optional) sweet cherries.

Instructions

1 Open a can of coconut cream and stir it so that it looks like whipped cream. Add a pinch of stevia to the coconut cream and stir.

2 Combine the unsweetened baking chocolate squares, pinch of stevia to sweeten, the melted coconut oil and green tea powder in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not simmering, water, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool until the chocolate is just slightly warmer than body temperature. To test, dab some chocolate on your bottom lip. It should feel warm. If it is too cool, the mixture will harden when the other ingredients are added.

3 Once the melted chocolate has cooled slightly, whip the egg whites in a medium bowl until they are foamy and beginning to hold a shape. Sprinkle in a pinch of stevia to sweeten and beat until soft peaks form.

4 When the chocolate melts, stir in the yolks. Gently stir in about one-third of the thick coconut cream. Fold in half the whites just until mixed in thoroughly, then fold in the remaining whites, and finally the remaining coconut cream.

5 Spoon the mousse into a serving bowl or individual dishes. If you wish, layer in fresh sweet thawed frozen pitted dark cherries and blobs of air-whipped coconut cream. Refrigerate overnight in a covered container. (The mousse can be refrigerated for up to a day.)

Serves 5-8, depending on the size of the servings. Keep your green tea powder stored in the refrigerator. According to the website, green tea powder may be stored under refrigeration for up to six months. Note that green tea powder contains caffeine.

Green Tea Ice Cream: Where to find the recipe online via video

You make a basic ice cream recipe from scratch and add green tea powder to it. Check out the recipe on how to make green tea ice cream in this YouTube video which demonstrates specific ingredients and how to mix them to make the ice cream. The video is How to make green tea ice cream without an ice cream making machine.

Green tea ice cream is a popular Japanese-style dessert usually eaten in the West. On YouTube, there are various videos on how to make green tea ice cream which uses green tea powder mixed with eggs and cream or milk. If you're on a non-dairy diet, use coconut cream or almond milk instead of cow's milk and coconut cream instead of heavy dairy cream.

You also can make this a nondairy frozen dessert by using other milk substitutes of your choice. Some people make frozen desserts from ground almonds and bananas or other fruits such as pureed mango chunks with coconut flakes. You can also view the video on how to make Mochi Ice Cream.

More green tea ice cream recipe videos are at the following sites: You can combine unusual ingredients for a new taste and twist on frozen desserts. Check out these sites on green tea ice cream: Homemade Green Tea Ice Cream (녹차 아이스크림) and Green Tea Ice Cream.

Avocado-carrot-cocoa-cherry-spinach-goji berry frozen dessert and avocado-lime ice cream are two ways to use avocado and other vegetables in frozen desserts

The creamy avocado added to sherbet makes the frozen dessert taste more like ice cream. And to be called ice cream, a frozen dessert technically must contain at least 16 percent butterfat from the cream.

A non-dairy frozen dessert made to taste creamy with avocado, has no animal fat such as butterfat from milk or cream. Sesame seed paste also can be used to imitate the creamy texture of emulsified avocado in a smoothie or frozen dessert.

Cranberries may be seasonal, but cranberry juice sweetened with a pureed banana in your blender can turn into a cranberry frozen dessert. Just substitute cranberry juice for tart cherry juice but sweeten the cranberry juice with another fruit such as raisins or a banana, if desired. Also you can follow the traditional blackberry ice cream recipes and use those frozen cranberries you put away in your freezer compartment a few months ago.

Green tea ice cream, mochi ice cream, and Rooibus tea and lavender frozen desserts

If you're looking for a green tea ice cream recipe, see, Green Tea Ice Cream Recipe at Epicurious.com. For a mochi ice cream recipe, check out the site, How To Make Japanese Mochi Ice Cream Recipe - Japanese Ice Cream. For more exotic flavors, you can add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to a cup of decaf green tea for another flavor.

Another idea is to use cooled Rooibus tea as a liquid in making frozen desserts. Rooibus tea comes from South Africa, but is sold in many supermarkets in the USA. See, Rooibos tea ice-cream - Sardines on Toast and Rooibos tea and Lavender Sorbet.

Avocado-chocolate-carrot frozen dessert

To make avocado-chocolate-carrot frozen dessert, simply add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to your blender and blend and puree a peeled, avocado after you remove the pit, with a cup of peeled baby carrots, a handful of raisins or dried goji berries, and a cup of tart cherry juice along with a cup of unsweetened almond milk. If it's not sweet enough for you, add a few raisins and blend or an apple with the core removed, and blend until everything is liquid. For more nutrition, add a handful of clean baby spinach and a sliced raw beet. Emulsify, puree the whole mixture in your blender. Then serve as a smoothie or freeze.

Avocado-lime ice cream

A simple way to make avocado-lime ice cream is to put in a blender two avocados, the juice and flesh of two limes (not the peel), a pinch of stevia, and a pint of coconut non-dairy plain or vanilla ice cream. If the coconut ice cream is already sweetened, you don't need the pinch of stevia. If you want a dairy version, use a pint of vanilla ice cream instead of the coconut non-dairy ice cream.

If you want a frozen dessert instead of ice cream, you don't need to use a pint of commercial vanilla ice cream mixed with your avocado and lime juice. Instead, use nondairy milk substitutes such as unsweetened almond milk and add a pinch of stevia, if you don't want a sugar-based sweetener. You also could use orange blossom honey as a sweetener.

After your mixture is blended and liquefied, pour the frozen dessert into cups or molds, an ice-cube tray, or any other container and freeze for about four hours in your freezer compartment. If you want to loosen the iced dessert from the mold, dip the bottom and sides of the mold in hot water until the ice cream or frozen dessert becomes loosened.

Then turn upside down and serve in a dish. You can garnish with chopped nuts or coconut flakes. The liquid you blend your avocado and lime juice with can be coconut milk, almond milk, hemp milk, soy milk. oat, rice, or hazelnut milk. With the almond milk or soy milk, at least you can choose unsweetened milk which lets you choose your own sweetener.

If you don't use honey as a sweetener (vegans) just use raisins or any other dried fruit in the blender to sweeten or a pinch of stevia. Other versions of frozen desserts made in the same way can be ginger ice cream or carrot ice cream sweetened with tart cherry juice and a pureed apple. You could add a handful of clean baby spinach to a cup of peeled baby carrots and tart cherry juice, for a frozen dessert and then add an avocado.

Carrot-ginger ice cream or carrot-chocolate frozen dessert

For a recipe for carrot ice cream, see, Carrot Ice - Cream Recipe - 123recipes.com. Carrot ice cream easily becomes carrot-ginger ice cream by blending about an inch of a piece of peeled fresh ginger to your blender with the mixture. And carrot-chocolate ice cream uses carrot juice mixed with unsweetened cocoa powder. See, Carrot Ice Cream Recipe - Food.com.

Instead of stevia as a sweetener, some people use a dash of cinnamon if they don't want the sweetness. You can make chocolate carrot juice by adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder to a pint or quart of carrot juice. It can be frozen. To turn it into a frozen dessert, add a peeled, pitted avocado, blend the liquid, and freeze in a mold or cups. Some people prefer a dash of chili powder and a dash of cinnamon instead of sweetener in cocoa.

Garlic ice cream and sweet corn ice cream

Turmeric can be added to carrot ice cream or carrot-cocoa frozen dessert/smoothie, but just a dash, combined with a dash of cinnamon. Savory spices in small amounts can be added to ice creams/frozen desserts, such as a dash of cloves, ginger, turmeric, or cardamom. Some people enjoy corn-based ice cream, or even garlic ice cream. For a garlic ice cream recipe, see, the sites, "Gilroy Garlic Ice Cream,"Garlic Ice Cream Recipe - Food.com, " and "3 Ways for how to Make Garlic Ice Cream at Home." For corn ice cream see, "Corn Ice Cream Recipe | Recipes," and "Sweet Corn Ice Cream - Rick Bayless."

Blackberry Ice Cream Recipes

You can use this no white table sugar and no dairy recipe for blackberry ice cream or use another recipe online that uses whole milk, cream, and sugar, which you can find at this website. Also there are blackberry ice cream recipes at the following websites, first is a vegan blackberry frozen dessert recipe: See, Vegan Blackberry Ice Cream Recipe. The vegan blackberry "ice cream" recipe uses the following ingredients.

Vegan Blackberry Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups blackberries
1 1/2 cups unrefined vegan granulated sugar or any other sweetener such as a pinch of stevia or a handful of raisins, pureed in the coconut milk
1 can coconut milk
1/2 vanilla pod

Check out this website for the instructions and the photos of how the blackberry ice cream would look using traditional cream, milk, and egg yolks. The recipe at the website does use sugar, milk, cream, and eggs.

For a recipe that doesn't use sugar or egg yolks, see this vegan one below which substitutes coconut flakes, and sesame seeds for creaminess (instead of the eggs), bananas instead of granulated table sugar, and coconut cream or coconut water instead of the dairy milk and cream. You can use the bananas without also adding stevia, depending on how sweet you want the outcome:

Blackberry frozen dessert using fruit and coconut instead of eggs, cream and milk:

3 cups frozen blackberries

2 bananas

1 pinch stevia

1 cup shredded coconut or coconut flakes

1 peeled or washed organic pear

1 can coconut water or coconut cream

1/3 cup sesame seeds, either white or black sesame seeds

Basically to make this frozen dessert you puree the bananas, sesame seeds, and pear (remove the seeds) with the blackberries in your blender like a smoothie along with the coconut flakes using the coconut water or coconut cream as liquid instead of water. Then you freeze the smoothie-like result of emulsified blackberries and fruit.

When it is not quite frozen solid, serve. Freeze only long enough to be able to get a spoon in the frozen dessert, not frozen solid and hard as a rock. You might try to test it each hour until it's frozen enough for you to get your spoon in the container. You can pour the emulsion into one-pint containers or dessert cups.

For a traditional dairy-and- egg-based blackberry ice cream, try this blackberry ice cream site. As you can see below, the traditional, more familiar blackberry ice cream tastes great, but uses whole milk, sugar, whipping cream, and 4 large egg yolks.

This recipe from this blackberry ice cream site is adapted from the combined techniques of two of the site's favorite dessert books, The Perfect Scoop, and The Professional Pastry Chef. Makes about 1 qt.

  • 1 1/2 c (375ml) Whole Milk
  • 1 1/2 c (300g) Sugar
  • 1 1/2 c (375ml) Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 4 large Egg Yolks
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups (480ml) pureed Blackberries (approximately 4 – 6 oz baskets of berries)
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) fresh Lemon Juice
  • Combine the milk and sugar in a saucepan and gently warm to just less than scalding.
  • While milk warms, put heavy cream in a large bowl and cover with a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.
  • Whisk egg yolks and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Slowly pour the warm milk into the eggs, whisking constantly. Next pour the egg/milk mix back into the saucepan.
  • Heat the milk/egg yolk mix over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it coats the back of a spoon. Pour through the strainer into the heavy cream. Mix in the blackberry puree and the lemon juice.
  • Stir until cool over an ice bath. Cover and thoroughly chill in the refrigerator (at least a couple hours.)
  • Churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.

For other blackberry ice cream recipes, check out these sites below for various types of blackberry ice cream.

Blackberry ice cream recipes online: Check out these blackberry ice cream recipe websites: Blackberry Ice Cream Recipe with fresh blackberries, Blackberry Ice Cream, Part 1 | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree, Blackberry Ice Cream Recipe - Food.com - 131896, Blackberry Ice Cream Recipe | Italian Recipes | Simple Recipes, Blackberry Ice Cream Recipe | MyRecipes.com, Blackberry Ice Cream Recipe - Saveur.com, Blackberry Ice Cream Recipe - Cooking for Two - About.com, Vegan Blackberry Ice Cream Recipe, and All good berries go to heaven — others go into blackberry ice cream.

Roasted garlic ice cream, anyone?

Garlic is good for your body, great for your taste buds, but terrible for your breath. In the American Chemical Society’s latest Reactions video, we look at the plant beloved by chefs and feared by vampires. Once again we teamed up with the Compound Interest blog to break down the chemistry of garlic, and how to beat the bad breath it causes. The YouTube video is "What causes garlic breath? (video)."

You might also take a look at news releases such as the following: Freshly crushed garlic better for the heart than processed or Garlic does not appear to lower cholesterol levels. On the other hand, there's Study shows unique garlic product works like the real thing. Then there's news of a 2007 study about how garlic helps to relax arteries, according to the October 15, 2007 news release, "Garlic boosts hydrogen sulfide to relax arteries."

Garlic boosts hydrogen sulfide to relax arteries: Polysulfides and their ability to liberate H2S within cells is behind the effect, a study says

Eating garlic is one of the best ways to lower high blood pressure and protect yourself from cardiovascular disease. A new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) shows this protective effect is closely linked to how much hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is produced from garlic compounds interacting with red blood cells.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researchers found this interaction triggered red blood cells to release H2S, which then led to the relaxation of blood vessels. Fresh garlic was used at a concentration equal to eating two cloves. The resulting H2S production caused up to 72 percent vessel relaxation in rat arteries.

This relaxation is a first step in lowering blood pressure and gaining the heart-protective effects of garlic, said David Kraus, Ph.D., a UAB associate professor in the Departments of Environmental Health Sciences and Biology and the study’s lead author

The research team examined molecules in garlic called polysulfides and their ability to liberate H2S within cells. The findings, "Hydrogen sulfide mediates the vasoactivity of garlic," appear November 13, 2007 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), vol. 104 no. 46.

“When these garlic compounds are metabolized to H2S in the vascular system, the H2S targets membrane channels and causes smooth muscle cells to relax,” Kraus said, according to the October 15, 2007 news release, Garlic boosts hydrogen sulfide to relax arteries. “So a garlic-rich diet has many good effects, and H2S may be the common mediator.”

The findings add to a study by John Elrod and David Lefer, Ph.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine published in PNAS that showed H2S protected hearts from the tissue and cell damage often seen in heart attack patients.

The 2007 study, performed by Gloria Benavides, Ph.D., of UAB’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Kraus and others, is the first to show garlic-derived polysulfides in the diet boost bodily H2S production

H2S is a toxic, flammable gas responsible for the smell of rotten eggs. It’s also produced naturally by the body in small amounts, and as age advances, H2S production dwindles.

Exactly how H2S affords the cardiovascular system so much protection is not entirely clear, but it may involve limiting oxidative damage in cells, Kraus said, according to the news release. “The role of garlic compounds in preventing platelet aggregation, which can trigger a heart attack or stroke, and in limiting cancer growth and the progression of several diseases is well documented,” he explained.

The new findings show H2S may be the mediator for these protective benefits. Future studies are being planned to better understand how much H2S production is needed through garlic or supplements to maximize those benefits. The research is supported grants from the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health.

Old garlic bulbs with bright green shoots emerging from the cloves have heart-healthy antioxidants

Don't throw out old, sprouting garlic -- it has heart-healthy antioxidants, says a new study on old garlic bulbs that have sprouted green shoots. "Sprouted" garlic — old garlic bulbs with bright green shoots emerging from the cloves — is considered to be past its prime and usually ends up in the garbage can. But scientists are reporting in the American Chemical Society's (ACS') Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that this type of garlic has even more heart-healthy antioxidant activity than its fresher counterparts.

On another note, you also may enjoy the article, "How walnuts and flaxseeds may improve your blood pressure and your reaction to stress." And when it comes to those green shoots that sprout from garlic as it ages, how many health benefits have been found in those green shoots from the garlic bulb you thought was kept too long? Have you ever thought of eating the cleaned green shoots of garlic that's sprouting?

You can check out the abstract of the study, "Garlic Sprouting Is Associated with Increased Antioxidant Activity and Concomitant Changes in the Metabolite Profile" published online February 10, 2014 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Jong-Sang Kim and colleagues note that people have used garlic for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Today, people still celebrate its healthful benefits. Eating garlic or taking garlic supplements is touted as a natural way to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure and heart disease risk.

It even may boost the immune system and help fight cancer. But those benefits are for fresh, raw garlic. Sprouted garlic has received much less attention. When seedlings grow into green plants, they make many new compounds, including those that protect the young plant against pathogens.

Kim's group reasoned that the same thing might be happening when green shoots grow from old heads of garlic

Other studies have shown that sprouted beans and grains have increased antioxidant activity, so the team set out to see if the same is true for garlic, says the February 26, 2014 news release, "Don't throw out old, sprouting garlic -- it has heart-healthy antioxidants." Researchers found that garlic sprouted for five days had higher antioxidant activity than fresher, younger bulbs, and it had different metabolites, suggesting that it also makes different substances.

Extracts from this garlic even protected cells in a laboratory dish from certain types of damage

"Therefore, sprouting may be a useful way to improve the antioxidant potential of garlic," they conclude, according to the news release. The authors acknowledge funding from the IPET High Value-Added Food Technology Development Program.

Although garlic (Allium sativum) has been extensively studied for its health benefits, sprouted garlic has received little attention. In the study's abstract, researchers hypothesized that sprouting garlic would stimulate the production of various phytochemicals that improve health.

Extracts from garlic are known as ethanolic extracts. This plant extract comes from garlic sprouted for different periods. In that study, the sprouted garlic had variable antioxidant activities when assessed with in vitro assays, including the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity assay and the oxygen radical absorbance capacity assay, the study notes.

Extracts from garlic sprouted for 5 days had the highest antioxidant activity, whereas extracts from raw garlic had relatively low antioxidant activity, says the study's abstract. What happened as a result of the garlic sprouting is that the sprouting process actually changed the metabolite profile of garlic.

The result was that the metabolite profile of garlic sprouted for 5–6 days was distinct from the metabolite profile of garlic sprouted for 0–4 days, which is consistent with the finding that garlic sprouted for 5 days had the highest antioxidant activity. Therefore, sprouting may be a useful way to improve the antioxidant potential of garlic, says the research. The objective was to see what process led to the highest antioxidant activity in the garlic as it sprouted.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

Garlic counteracts virulent bacteria

In another study, researchers found that aggressive multi-resistant infections constitute an increasing health problem all over the world. Bacteria are developing resistance at an alarming pace, so new pharmaceuticals that can combat this threat are in great demand.

"We know that there is a potent chemical compound in the garlic plant that neutralises resistant bacteria by paralyzing their communication system. My PhD thesis demonstrates that ajoene – the substance present in garlic – specifically prevents the bacteria from secreting the toxin rhamnolipid which destroys white blood cells in the body. White blood cells are indispensable because they play a crucial role in the immune defence system, not only warding off infection, but also killing bacteria," explains Tim Holm Jakobsen, PhD Student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, who defended his thesis on February, 20, 2014, according to the February 18, 2014 news release, "Garlic counteracts virulent bacteria."

A tough sheath of biofilm

When bacteria clump together in what is known as biofilm – where they surround themselves with a tough film of organic materials – they become resistant to antibiotics. Researchers have been devoting much of their attention to Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria, which cause infections in patients with chronic leg ulcers, for example, and in the lungs of patients suffering from cystic fibrosis.

"Ajoene supports and improves treatment with conventional antibiotics. We have clearly demonstrated this on biofilm cultivated in the laboratory and in trials involving mice. When we add antibiotics to biofilm they have very little effect, and ajoene alone barely makes any difference. It is only when the two are combined that something significant happens," explains Tim Holm Jakobsen in the news release.

Combination treatment with ajoene and antibiotics kills more than 90 per cent of the normally virulent biofilm. From a technical perspective, the ajoene blocks the communication system – known as Quorum Sensing – in the bacteria, which is used for purposes including creating infection.

Chemists outstrip nature

A large number of natural substances have proved extremely effective as medicines; taxol from the yew tree is used to treat breast cancer, for example, while artemisinin from sweet wormwood is effective against malaria. However, to improve on the original substances from nature – and to assure sustainable pharmaceutical production – researchers are working to augment natural materials through chemical synthesis.

"Garlic contains so little ajoene that you would need to eat around 50 a day to achieve the desired effect. This means we have to pick up the ball from Mother Nature and run with it," says Tim Holm Jacobsen, according to the news release. Jacobsen hopes that the pharmaceutical industry will be quick to turn its attention to producing of the natural substance to which the research group currently holds the patent.

"There's a lot of money in pharmaceuticals for treating chronic illnesses such as diabetes, but if we are to win the race against bacteria, we need to bring new antibiotics into play. Nature is a great starting point for developing medicines – two-thirds of all new pharmaceuticals are based on natural substances," concludes Tim Holm Jakobsen in the news release.

In another study, researchers found that garlic helps to relax arteries. Here's how it works: Garlic boosts hydrogen sulfide, which helps arteries to relax, according to the October 15, 2007 news release, "Garlic boosts hydrogen sulfide to relax arteries." You also can check out the news release, "Freshly crushed garlic better for the heart than processed." Or see, "Sustainably grown garlic," which are becoming popular with consumers.

How garlic relaxes arteries

When garlic boosts hydrogen sulfide to relax arteries, the polysulfides use their ability to liberate H2S within cells is behind the effect, the study on how garlic helps to relax arteries reports. Eating garlic is one of the best ways to lower high blood pressure and protect yourself from cardiovascular disease. A 2007 study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) shows this protective effect is closely linked to how much hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is produced from garlic compounds interacting with red blood cells.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researchers found this interaction triggered red blood cells to release H2S, which then led to the relaxation of blood vessels. Fresh garlic was used at a concentration equal to eating two cloves. The resulting H2S production caused up to 72 percent vessel relaxation in rat arteries.

Relaxation of your arteries is a first step to lowering blood pressure

This relaxation is a first step in lowering blood pressure and gaining the heart-protective effects of garlic, said David Kraus, Ph.D., a UAB associate professor in the Departments of Environmental Health Sciences and Biology and the study’s lead author, according to the news release.

The research team examined molecules in garlic called polysulfides and their ability to liberate H2S within cells. The findings appeared online in 2007 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“When these garlic compounds are metabolized to H2S in the vascular system, the H2S targets membrane channels and causes smooth muscle cells to relax,” Kraus said in the news release. “So a garlic-rich diet has many good effects, and H2S may be the common mediator.”

A garlic rich diet's effects

Everything in moderation when it comes to diets. The findings about garlic add to a study by John Elrod and David Lefer, Ph.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine published in PNAS that showed H2S protected hearts from the tissue and cell damage often seen in heart attack patients. The study, performed by Gloria Benavides, Ph.D., of UAB’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Kraus and others, is the first to show garlic-derived polysulfides in the diet boost bodily H2S production.

H2S is a toxic, flammable gas responsible for the smell of rotten eggs. It’s also produced naturally by the body in small amounts, and as age advances, H2S production dwindles. Exactly how H2S affords the cardiovascular system so much protection is not entirely clear, but it may involve limiting oxidative damage in cells, Kraus said, according to the news release.

“The role of garlic compounds in preventing platelet aggregation, which can trigger a heart attack or stroke, and in limiting cancer growth and the progression of several diseases is well documented,” he said in the news release.The findings show H2S may be the mediator for these protective benefits.

Future studies are being planned to better understand how much H2S production is needed through garlic or supplements to maximize those benefits. The research is supported grants from the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health. You also may wish to see the news of a study on how garlic fights certain types of bacteria. Check out the news release, "Garlic counteracts virulent bacteria." It's noteworthy to realize that garlic has certain antimicrobial properties.

Freshly crushed garlic better for the heart than processed

Another study from 2009 reports what scientists term the first scientific evidence that freshly crushed garlic has more potent heart-healthy effects than dried garlic. That study is published in the August 12, 2009 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. You can check out the various studies on the health benefits/effects of garlic this year and for several years back in that journal.

The study also challenges the widespread belief that most of garlic's benefits are due to its rich array of antioxidants. Instead, garlic's heart-healthy effects seem to result mainly from hydrogen sulfide, a chemical signaling substance that forms after garlic is cut or crushed and relaxes blood vessels when eaten.

In the study, Dipak K. Das and colleagues point out that raw, crushed garlic generates hydrogen sulfide through a chemical reaction. Although best known as the stuff that gives rotten eggs their distinctive odor, hydrogen sulfide also acts as a chemical messenger in the body, relaxing blood vessels and allowing more blood to pass through. Processed and cooked garlic, however, loses its ability to generate hydrogen sulfide.

The scientists gave freshly crushed garlic and processed garlic to two groups of lab rats, and then studied how well the animals' hearts recovered from simulated heart attacks. "Both crushed and processed garlic reduced damage from lack of oxygen, but the fresh garlic group had a significantly greater effect on restoring good blood flow in the aorta and increased pressure in the left ventricle of the heart," Das said, according to the July 29, 2009 news release, "Freshly crushed garlic better for the heart than processed."

Other news about research on garlic and health benefits include, "Freshly crushed garlic better for the heart than processed," "A touch of garlic helps kill contaminants in baby formula," "Be careful when using garlic to treat childhood ailments," "New testing method hints at garlic's cancer-fighting potential,"

You also may wish to check out, "Stanford study drives stake through claims that garlic lowers cholesterol levels," "Ingredient in garlic protects against severe chronic pulmonary hypertension in rats," and "Queen's chemist sheds light on health benefits of garlic." You also may want to check out the site, "Science - Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract."

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