Garlic has been part of the kitchens for centuries. This herb has curative and medicinal properties because of its antibacterial and antiseptic nature. The beneficial properties of garlic are because of a compound, Allicin. It is rich in minerals like phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. Vitamins C, K, Folate, niacin and thiamine also are found abundantly in garlic.
Garlic Nutritional Chart
Here is the nutritional chart for 100 grams of raw garlic. Note that 1 medium to large garlic clove weighs between 3-8 grams each.
|Amount per 100g raw garlic
|Percentage of recommended daily intake
|Also contains vitamins A, E, K, Niacin, Folate, Pantothenic acid and Choline
|Also contains Zinc, Magnesium and sodium
Did You Know?
- Onions and garlic are in the same plant subfamily called Allium. source: USDA
- Garlic is considered a vegetable, not an herb or spice. source: USDA
- Garlic can reduce total cholesterol levels by 10-15%. source: heart.org
- Garlic has been shown to boost the immune system and reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms. source: nccih.nih.gov
- Garlic can help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including colorectal and stomach cancer. source: cancer.gov
The Health Benefits of Eating Garlic are:
1. Wards Off Cough and Cold
Raw garlic has the potential to ward off cough and cold infections. Eating two crushed garlic cloves on an empty stomach has the maximum benefit. For kids and babies, hanging garlic cloves in a thread around their necks is supposed to relieve congestion symptoms.
2. Good for Cardiac Health
Allicin, a compound found in garlic stops the oxidizing of LDL (bad cholesterol). This reduces cholesterol levels and improves heart health. Regular consumption of garlic reduces the incidence of blood clots and thus helps prevent thromboembolism. Garlic also lowers blood pressure so is good for patients with hypertension.
3. Improves Brain Functioning
Garlic promotes brain health because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is effective against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Also, read more on the best brain foods to include in your diet.
4. Improves Digestion
Digestive problems improve with the inclusion of raw garlic in the diet. It benefits the intestines and reduces inflammation. Eating raw garlic helps to clear out intestinal worms. The good thing is that it destroys the bad bacteria and protects the good bacteria in the gut.
5. Balances Blood Sugar
Those who suffer from diabetes observe their blood sugar levels regulating the consumption of raw garlic.
6. Boosts Immunity
Garlic protects against free radicals and prevents damage to the DNA. Zinc in garlic promotes immunity. Vitamin C helps to fight off infections. It is very beneficial against eye and ear infections as it has antimicrobial properties.
7. Improves Skin Health
Garlic helps prevent acne and lightens acne scars. Cold sores, psoriasis, rashes, and blisters can all benefit from the application of garlic juice. It also protects against UV rays and therefore prevents ageing.
8. Prevents Cancer and Peptic Ulcer
Because of a high amount of antioxidants, garlic protects the body against lung, prostate, bladder, stomach, liver and colon cancer. The antibacterial action of garlic prevents peptic ulcers as it eliminates the contagion from the gut.
9. Good for Weight Loss
Garlic reduces the expression of genes responsible for the formation of adipose cells which store fat. It also increases thermogenesis in the body and leads to the burning of more fat and the lowering of LDL (bad cholesterol).
Apart from the fact that it is good for weight loss, garlic is highly nutritional. In fact, one clove of raw garlic, which is around 3 grams, contains:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, iron, etc.
10. May Improve Athletic Performance
Garlic is considered one of the best ”performance enhancing” substances. In olden times, the item was used to treat fatigue and improve the work capacity of labourers. Studies on rodents suggest consuming garlic helps in improving exercise performance. People who had heart disease consumed garlic for 6 weeks and this resulted in a 12% reduction in their heart rate and better exercise capacity.
11. Fights UTI and Improves Renal Health
Fresh garlic juice has the potential to reduce the growth of E. Coli bacteria that cause urinary tract infection (UTI). It also helps prevent kidney infections.
Garlic reduces infections on wounds, promotes hair growth, bone health and liver health. Most of the home remedies are effective only if garlic is consumed raw.
12. Reduces Exercise Fatigue
According to studies from Japan, raw garlic when aged in a mixture of water and alcohol may have significant effects on exercise endurance. Human studies have also been conducted that have shown that garlic can indeed improve the symptoms of exercise fatigue.
13. Reduces Blood Toxicity
For people who are susceptible to lead poisoning due to occupational hazards, garlic may be the best organic solution. Studies conducted in 2012 have revealed that garlic is in fact, safer and better at reducing lead poisoning of the blood than d-Penicillamine, which is the common drug used to treat the same.
14. Overcome Oestrogen Deficiency
The period of menopause for older women has often been associated with a lack of the female hormone known as oestrogen due to irregular production of a protein known as a cytokine. Consumption of garlic has been seen to regulate this to some extent and therefore, may be effective in overcoming oestrogen deficiency after menopause.
15. Reduce Effects or Onset of Osteoarthritis
Consuming garlic in your regular diet can also help to prevent or reduce the onset of osteoarthritis. Research has shown that garlic contains a compound known as diallyl disulphide which helps to maintain bone density and therefore can potentially delay the onset of bone-related ailments like osteoarthritis.
16. Prevent Heart Blockages
Garlic is also believed to help reduce the stickiness of the platelets in your blood. These platelets are responsible for the clotting of blood. Consuming a healthy dose of garlic can help reduce the excessive clotting effect of platelets on the blood. Therefore, it may help prevent unnecessary blood clots inside arteries that may reach up to your heart causing a heart attack.