Garlic Health Benefits, Nutrition & Side Effects

Garlic is an effective and powerful natural medicine used for centuries. Eating garlic in moderation can provide a wide variety of health benefits.
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Table of Contents

How This Helps

Garlic Health Benefits for Medical Condition:
Cardiovascular Disorders | Anti-inflammatory | Infections | Cancer| Iron Metabolism | High Blood Pressure | High Cholesterol | Dementia | Alzheimer’s | Detoxification | Healthy Bones | 
Modern science has lately confirmed many of the beneficial health effects.
Roasted in olive oil, it may melt in your mouth like butter, while raw and chopped, it can taste pungent and sharp. In any event, this herb-like vegetable provides significant benefits – on the inside and outside. It is the organic sulfur compound allicin in garlic, which gives it its pungent odor that makes your diet healthy. As you can steep chopped garlic in hot water to make tea, covering the flavor with honey, taking advantage of garlic’s benefits is somewhat complicated. Heating it or placing it in a recipe can alter its pH balance. The enzymes in the allicin need a couple of minutes to begin working, so let it sit once you mince, crush, or chop it. You’ll find the maximum benefit from garlic. But if you decide to cook it, do not heat it over 140°F. Higher temperatures kill the allicin, so add garlic to your recipes when you are almost done cooking.


Nutrition Facts of Garlic:
(per 100 grams of garlic):
Nutrients Amount
Energy 623 kJ (149 kcal)
water 58.58
Carbohydrates 33.06 g
Sugars 1 g
Dietary fiber 2.1 g
Fat 0.5 g
Protein 6.36 g
Thiamine (B1) 0.2 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.11 mg
Niacin (B3) 0.7 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.596 mg
Vitamin B6 1.235 mg
Folate (B9) 3 μg
Vitamin C 31.2 mg
Calcium 181 mg
Iron 1.7 mg
Magnesium 25 mg
Manganese 1.672 mg
Phosphorus 153 mg
Potassium 401 mg
Selenium 14.2 μg
Zinc 1.16 mg
Source: USDA. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28

Science and Research

Garlic Health Benefits:
Heart Disease:
Garlic is rich in the antioxidant compound, allicin. This compound facilitates nitric oxide release which decreases the stiffness of the blood vessels, thereby decreasing the blood pressure. It also reduces the blood clot formation in the body. This along with its fibrinolytic action decreases the risk of heart diseases, strokes, and peripheral vascular diseases. Allicin decreases the cholesterol levels by inhibiting the activity of the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme, present in the liver cells.
Garlic is fortified with many antioxidant compounds like lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and vitamin C. These compounds scavenge the free radicals and prevent the formation of several diseases like inflammatory disorders, heart diseases, and even cancer. This effect of garlic in reducing the cardiovascular diseases and blood pressure also helps in reducing neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Anti-inflammatory Properties:
Garlic contains the sulfur compounds like diallyl sulfide (DAS) and thiacremonone which are known anti-inflammatory compounds and have been proven to have anti-arthritic properties. Garlic also prevents inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. Obesity is characterized by a low-level inflammation. Garlic contains a compound called, 1,2,-vinyldithiin, which decreases the obesity-related inflammation in the body.

What gives garlic medicinal properties?

Garlic is a plant that comes from the Allium (onion) family. It’s closely associated with onions. Each section of a garlic bulb is known as clove. There are about 10-20 cloves in one bulb. Garlic grows in several parts of the world and is a popular ingredient in cooking because of the strong smell and delicious taste. But throughout history, the primary use of garlic has been for its medicinal and health properties. Its usage was well documented by several ancient cultures, such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese. 

Scientists have uncovered that a large part of its health benefits results from sulfur compounds – the most important being allicin formed when a garlic clove is crushed or chopped. Allicin is an unstable substance that is only temporarily present in fresh garlic after it has been cut or chopped, Other chemicals that may play a part in garlic’s benefits include s-allyl cysteine and diallyl disulfide.

Garlic health benefits

The sulfur compounds from the garlic enter the body from the digestive tract and traveling all around the body, where it exerts its powerful biological effects.

1. Boost immunity: In test tubes, garlic seems to kill cancer cells, and studies involving individuals show some of the very same outcomes. According to a research study, between 41,000 middle-aged girls, those who ate garlic, fruits, and veggies had a 35 percent reduced colon cancer risk. Benefits came from raw and cooked garlic — not supplements. Garlic supplements are proven to increase the role of the immune system.

In another research study, the average duration of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70 percent to only 1.5 days in the garlic group, from 5 days in the placebo group.

2. Work as an anti-inflammatory: Research has proven that garlic oil functions as an anti-inflammatory. So, if you’ve got inflamed and sore joints or muscles, rub them with the oil.

3. Contains antioxidants: Oxidative damage is a significant factor in the aging procedure. Garlic contains antioxidants that aid the body’s mechanisms against oxidative damage. High doses of garlic in supplements form have been proven to improve antioxidant enzymes in humans, in addition, to significantly reduce oxidative stress in people who have high blood pressure ).

4. Improve cardiovascular health: The verdict is still out on whether garlic enhances your cholesterol levels, but research does indicate it may have a positive influence on your blood vessels and blood pressure. Human studies have found that garlic supplements have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with hypertension.

In one study, 600-1,500 mg of garlic extract was equally as effective as the medication Atenolol in reducing blood pressure on a 24-week period. Researchers think red blood cells turn the sulfur in garlic to hydrogen sulfide gas, which expands our blood vessels, which makes it much easier to modulate blood pressure. The German Commission E recommends 4 g of garlic daily to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

5. May improve cholesterol levels: Garlic can lower total and LDL cholesterol. For those who have high cholesterol, garlic supplements seem to decrease total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10–15 percent. Looking at LDL (or the “bad”) and HDL (or the”good”) cholesterol especially, garlic seems to reduce LDL but has no substantial effect on HDL.

6. Healthier skin & hair: Garlic’s antioxidants and antibacterial properties can clean your skin by killing acne-causing bacteria. Some data shows rubbing garlic over pimples can clean them off. Be aware, however, that it might cause a burning sensation in your skin.

7. Protect against bacteria: Those exact same antibacterial properties in garlic can kill the germs that result in food poisonings, such as salmonella and E.coli. 

8. May Help You Live Longer: The possible effects of garlic on wellbeing are virtually impossible to show in humans. But given the beneficial impacts on significant risk factors like blood pressure, it is logical that garlic may help you live more. The fact it may combat infectious disease is also an essential factor since these are common causes of death, particularly in the elderly or people with dysfunctional immune systems.

9. Heavy metals detoxification in the body: Sulfur compounds in high dose garlic have been shown to protect against organ damage from heavy metal toxicity. A four-week study in personnel of a vehicle battery plant (excessive exposure to lead) discovered that garlic reduced lead levels in the bloodstream by 19%. Additionally, it reduced many clinical signs of toxicity, including headaches and blood pressure.

Garlic side effects

Garlic’s health benefits are many but do not add too much to your diet too quickly. Overdoing it can lead to distress, including bad breath, upset stomach, nausea, bloatingand body odor.

– You might also receive a stinging feeling on the skin should you manage substantial amounts of dried and fresh garlic. To prevent garlic-induced skin lesions, wear protective kitchen gloves.

– On rare occasions, garlic supplements may cause appetite loss, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, dizziness, and allergic reactions such as asthma attacks or skin rashes.

– Should you choose blood thinners, choosing a garlic supplement may increase the medicine’s effect, which makes it even tougher for your blood to clot.


In addition to bringing a unique flavor to your diet, garlic can add many health benefits. Science has finally confirmed what was believed for centuries. Garlic possesses medicinal properties that can quickly become part of your diet.