Why does garlic turn green when cooked?

In this brief article, we will answer the questions why does garlic turn green when cooked, five health benefits and if it is safe to consume green garlic.

Why does garlic turn green when cooked?

Garlic turns green because of the natural sulfur compounds and amino acids that it contains. During cooking, these compounds react and a change of color is observed which is completely normal. There is nothing wrong with garlic that turns green while cooking.

Garlic’s nutritional value:

Garlic is a healthy root vegetable that is used in many recipes as a tastemaker and for its aroma. It is also used in herbal medicine and is very nutritious. Garlic has carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

It is beneficial for blood pressure patients, to lower cholesterol, it prevents cardiovascular diseases and cures flu as well as headaches. Drinking garlic tea is one of the most common home remedies suggested when you are suffering from flu, cold and headaches.

Sulfur in Garlic:

Sulfur is a component of garlic and present in the form of many different compounds like Allicin, ajoene, allyl propyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, s-allylcysteine, vinyldithiines, S-allylmercaptocysteine and enzymes like alliinase. Peroxidases, myrosinase etcetera.

It is also present in many amino-acids present in garlic like arginine and many minerals like selenium, germanium, tellurium and others. These compounds when cooked react and turn to green. This color change leads you to think that garlic is turning green or blue.

Color change in Garlic:

When cooking garlic the temperature, pH and pressure changes leads to chemical reaction between different amino acids. The reaction between these amino acids form a cluster of carbon-nitrogen rings. The rings when linked together form a complex compound which is green in color and is similar to green chlorophyll.

Another reason why garlic turns green might be because of its age. Older garlic has larger quantities of organic compounds and chemical precursors than fresh garlic. That’s why older garlic turns green or blue when cooked or even after storing it for a while.

Effects of color change in garlic:

As the change in color is because of chemical reaction between different amino acids, the shift in color changes the perception when consuming garlic. But it has a positive effect as the reaction is in chemical precursors green garlic often has stronger taste. Level of greenness in garlic is actually a direct test for its strong taste.

Other FAQs about Garlic which you may be interested in.

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Health benefits of green garlic:

Green garlic is not as different as normal garlic or fresh garlic but it still has some promising health benefits. As in it the chemical precursors like amino acids react with each other, it makes a lot of difference in garlic’s taste and aroma. Some of the health benefits are:

Aids in digestion:

Green garlic has anti-inflammatory properties which soothes the stomach muscles of irritation or inflammation. This relaxation of muscle helps in digestion by increasing the speed of the process and eliminating discomfort. It has antioxidant properties and creates a bacterial balance in the body.

Boosts immunity:

Just like garlic, spring garlic or green garlic has natural antibiotic properties that’s why it is a natural booster of our immune system. It is also healthy and refreshing when you are suffering from cold or flu. Due to its refreshing aroma and antioxidative properties green garlic is a natural immunity booster.

Improves circulation:

The presence of vitamin C in garlic makes it easier to uptake iron and other minerals. This property of green garlic makes it an excellent herb for boosting circulation of our blood in the system. It helps in the production of red blood cells and is indirectly related to more oxygenation.

Prevents Cardiovascular diseases:

In green garlic there is a sulfur compound called allicin, allicin is an active component in garlic. The allicin from garlic is able to lower blood cholesterol as it lowers bad cholesterol or LDL and elevates HDL. It helps prevent raising blood pressure which protects the heart from cardiovascular disease.

Detoxification of body:

Green garlic is not only refreshing but also has detoxifying nature, when consumed it detoxifies the body. As it is a diuretic it can help remove toxins from the kidney and helps clean the body more efficiently. It also helps clean blood in the liver and affects the overall health in this way.

Consumption of green garlic:

A garlic turns green only due to the reaction of sulfur compounds in chemical precursors. So it is completely safe to consume green garlic, it is somewhat more beneficial to do so. Garlic turns greener with age and green garlic is stronger in taste. That is why many recipes prefer using green garlic especially when you need a strong taste of garlic in your food.


In this brief article, we have answered the questions why does garlic turn green when cooked, five health of benefits and if it is safe to consume green garlic