Garlic Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits (2024)

Garlic is a food that many people either love or hate. Its strong, pungent flavor lends itself to several types of savory dishes, and garlic is used in traditional cuisines worldwide.

Garlic has been used to treat illness and disease for thousands of years. There are biblical references to the use of garlic in medicine. According to some sources, Hippocrates prescribed garlic for various illnesses, and early Olympic athletes used garlic to enhance performance. The benefits are mainly due to plant compounds, but garlic does contain several vitamins and minerals as well.

Garlic Nutrition Facts

This nutrition information for one clove of raw garlic (3g) is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories:4.5
  • Fat:0g
  • Sodium:0.5mg
  • Carbohydrates:1g
  • Fiber:0.1g
  • Sugars:0g
  • Protein:0.2g
  • Vitamin C: 0.9mg
  • Zinc: 0.04mcg


The calories in garlic come from carbohydrate, and because the serving size and calories are so low, the carbs in garlic are also very low. There is just one gram of carbs in a clove of garlic.


There is no fat in garlic.


Garlic provides no significant protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Garlic contains several vitamins and minerals, although a single clove doesn't provide much due to the small serving size. Each clove contains a small amount of vitamin C, zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin K, and manganese, according to the USDA.


A 3-gram clove of garlic provides almost no calories. You'll only add four calories to your total intake if you consume the whole clove. Because you are likely to eat so little of the food, garlic caloriesare not likely to make a noticeabledifference in your daily food intake.


Garlic is low in calories, fat, sugar, and sodium, but since it is consumed in small quantities, it does not contribute to much of your nutritional intake overall. A single serving of garlic contains several vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, zinc, and calcium in small amounts.

Health Benefits

The potential therapeutic benefits of garlic primarily come from its bioactive compounds, including organic sulfides, saponins, phenolic compounds, and polysaccharides. Keep in mind that many studies on the health benefits of garlic involve garlic supplements and not the garlic you buy at the store. So you may not gain the health benefits of garlic simply by using it in your cooking unless you consume amounts that are equivalent to amounts found in supplements.

May Aid in Balanced Eating

Garlic can support your healthy eating program or a program to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Because it is so flavorful, a tiny amount can add a delicious savory flavor to your food without providing any fat or significant calories. Garlic can also be used as a replacement for salt if you are trying to cut back on sodium but still want food that has a satisfying taste.

May Reduce Inflammation

Studies have shown garlic to produce potent anti-inflammatory effects by decreasing biomarkers of inflammation. A double-blind randomized clinical trial showed a significant reduction of inflammatory cytokines with a 400 mg dose of garlic extract given twice a day for eight weeks. Keep in mind this study used an extract and may not reflect real-life consumption of garlic.

May Lower Blood Lipids

Garlic has been shown to lower serum cholesterol levels. Patients with diabetes who were given a combination of olive oil and garlic were able to regulate cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

These effects were seen with garlic in powder or non-powdered form dosed over one to three months. After four months, the garlic consumption raised HDL (good cholesterol) and lowered LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol levels.

May Protect Against Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress due to free radicals is thought to be mitigated with antioxidant consumption. Garlic contains phenolic compounds with potent antioxidant properties. Specifically, garlic has been shown to help reduce cardiovascular risk in patients with obesity via increased antioxidants and reduced inflammation.

A meta-analysis of clinical trials has shown that supplementing with garlic modulates oxidative stress markers, including total antioxidant capacity.

May Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Garlic is a key ingredient in many popular heart health supplements. Available research shows that garlic extract can significantly reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, myocardial infarction, and ischemic stroke due to the nutritional and phytochemical properties it contains.


Consuming garlic can trigger an allergic reaction in some people. The reaction may occur after ingestion of garlic, contact with garlic, or exposure to garlic dust.

Symptoms range from mild (such as sneezing) to severe and may include red or swollen skin, stuffy nose, breathing difficulty, and skin welts. Anaphylaxis from garlic allergy is rare. Unfortunately, researchers don't know if heating garlic changes the allergy impact.

Adverse Effects

Garlic contains an enzyme that can cause your eyes to water. When you slice or chop garlic, the enzyme is released. If you get the substance on your hands and then touch your eyes with your hands, it can cause slight irritation, and your eyes might water.

And of course, garlic is famous for its effect on the breath. Consuming garlic cooked instead of raw lessens the bad-breath factor, but doesn't eliminate it.


You can find garlic in its whole form, pre-minced and preserved, or in powdered form at most grocery stores.

There are hundreds of varieties of garlic. The most common varieties you'll see in stores include artichoke and silverskin. Artichoke garlic is named so because they resemble artichokes with overlapping layers of cloves.

When It's Best

Garlic is grown all over the world and shipped fresh all year long. Use it before it begins to brown, soften, or sprout.

Storage and Food Safety

When selecting garlic at the grocery store, avoid buying any bulbs that are starting to get soft. At home, store garlic at room temperature in a wire or mesh container. Avoid using plastic bags and keep the tops attached to keep garlic freshlonger.

How to Prepare

Garlic can be prepared in many ways. Usually, you first need to remove the papery, onion-like skin. You can buy a special tubular silicon device to remove garlic skin, or try shaking cloves garlic in an enclosed bowl or container. Or smash the garlic with the broad (flat) side of a knife to make removing the skin easier.

Garlic can be cooked whole, or chopped or minced. Recipes may call for it to be sautéed in oil or roasted.

Some people make tea with garlic by combining it with a variety of different ingredients, such as lemon and honey. Garlic tea does not have caffeine in it (unless you combine garlic tea with another type of tea from the Camellia sinensis plant) and is rumored to provide certain health benefits such as weight loss and reduced blood pressure. But scientific evidence supporting most of the benefits is lacking.

5 Sources

Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Garlic.

  2. Garlic, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  3. Ansary J, Forbes-Hernández TY, Gil E, et al. Potential health benefit of garlic based on human intervention studies: A brief overview.Antioxidants (Basel). 2020;9(7):619. doi:10.3390/antiox9070619

  4. Zhu Y, Anand R, Geng X, Ding Y. A mini review: Garlic extract and vascular diseases.Neurol Res. 2018;40(6):421-425. doi:10.1080/01616412.2018.1451269

  5. Ma S, Yin J. Anaphylaxis induced by ingestion of raw garlic. Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2012 Aug;9(8):773-5. doi:10.1089/fpd.2012.1133

Garlic Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits (1)

By Malia Frey, M.A., ACE-CHC, CPT
Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.

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Garlic Nutrition Facts

Garlic is a widely used ingredient in traditional cuisines worldwide and has been used for its potential health benefits for thousands of years. One clove of raw garlic (3g) contains approximately 4.5 calories, 0g fat, 0.5mg sodium, 1g carbohydrates, 0.1g fiber, 0g sugars, and 0.2g protein. It also contains small amounts of vitamin C, zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin K, and manganese.

Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic is known for its potential therapeutic benefits, primarily attributed to its bioactive compounds, including organic sulfides, saponins, phenolic compounds, and polysaccharides. Some potential health benefits of garlic include aiding in balanced eating, reducing inflammation, lowering blood lipids, protecting against oxidative stress, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Allergies and Adverse Effects

Consuming garlic can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals, ranging from mild symptoms to severe reactions. Additionally, garlic contains an enzyme that can cause eye irritation when handling it. Cooking garlic can lessen its impact on breath odor but may not eliminate it entirely.

Varieties, Storage, and Preparation

Garlic is available in various forms, including whole, pre-minced, and powdered. It is grown worldwide and can be used fresh throughout the year. When selecting garlic, it's important to choose bulbs that are firm and avoid those that are starting to soften. Proper storage involves keeping garlic at room temperature in a wire or mesh container. Garlic can be prepared in multiple ways, such as sautéing, roasting, or making tea with additional ingredients like lemon and honey.

In summary, garlic is a versatile ingredient with potential health benefits, but it's important to be mindful of potential allergies and adverse effects. Proper storage and preparation can help maintain its freshness and flavor.

I hope this information is helpful! If you have any further questions or need more details on any specific aspect, feel free to ask.

Garlic Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits (2024)


Garlic Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits? ›

Garlic contains several vitamins and minerals, although a single clove doesn't provide much due to the small serving size. Each clove contains a small amount of vitamin C, zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin K, and manganese, according to the USDA.

What are the nutritional benefits of garlic? ›

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.

What does garlic do to the body? ›

Garlic has long been associated with health benefits – from curing a cold to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Garlic contains vitamins C and B6, manganese and selenium, but it's a chemical called allicin, a type of antioxidant, which is thought to be responsible for its positive effects.

What happens if I eat garlic everyday? ›

Eating 1-2 garlic cloves daily can have health benefits, but more can cause bad breath, heartburn, stomach issues, and other unpleasant side effects. It's best to enjoy it in moderation. For many home chefs, garlic is a favorite spice to cook with, thanks to its pungent taste and aroma.

What organ is garlic good for? ›

According to a 2018 article, garlic has hepatoprotective properties. This means that it can help protect the liver from damage. In particular, garlic may be beneficial in protecting against ethanol-induced liver injury. Ethanol is a compound within alcoholic drinks.

What is the healthiest way to eat garlic? ›

Raw garlic contains a component called Allicin, which helps in thinning the blood and reduces the cholesterol levels. Thus, the best way to consume garlic is by eating raw garlic on an empty stomach as the fresh garlic contains Allicin and this component gets diluted during the process of cooking.

What diseases does garlic treat? ›

Garlic inhibits and destroys bacteria, fungus, and parasites, as well as lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels, preventing blood clotting and protecting the liver. It also has anticancer effects [8]. Garlic can also help to improve the immune system, prevent sickness, and preserve good health.

Can too much garlic damage liver? ›

1.0, 2.5 and 5.0 g/kg body weight/day of garlic showed significant (P<0.001) deterioration in liver function tests (LFT's) after 21, 14 and 7 days respectively. A 1.0 g/kg body weight/day dose of garlic was associated with marked histological damage in liver after 21 days.

Can garlic remove plaque from arteries? ›

People in the aged garlic group saw a reduction of a specific kind of plaque in the deposits in their arteries, compared with those who took a placebo during the same time period, who did not see a reduction.

Can garlic cleanse your body? ›

Garlic contains organo-sulfur compounds (OSCs) which make it the perfect detoxification supplement—these compounds boost the number of detoxification enzymes while also increasing levels of glutathione and sulfur so the enzymes have plenty of tools to work with.

Who should not eat garlic? ›

People with cardiovascular disease, hypertension or diabetes need to be careful when using garlic.

Does garlic burn belly fat? ›

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition revealed how garlic can help with weight loss. Garlic contains some compounds that promote the fat-burning process in the body. Hence, garlic for belly fat is something you all should consider.

Is garlic good for the kidneys? ›

Due to its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties garlic is a good nutritional food candidate for use in a “Food as Medicine” approach for chronic kidney disease (CKD) [6,7].

Does garlic cleanse the liver? ›

By itself, garlic helps your body fight infections, regulates blood sugar, lowers blood pressure, and lowers cholesterol. But what can it do for your liver? Garlic is such good food to cleanse your liver due to its sulfur-containing compounds, which help protect your liver from damage.

Is it better to take garlic supplements or raw garlic? ›

Studies have shown that raw garlic is necessary in high doses, about 5-28 cloves per person, per day, to feel the health benefits (1). Whereas garlic supplement dosage is much lower and offers many other benefits.

What is the best time to eat garlic? ›

Which time is best for garlic? The best time to expend garlic is amid dinners, as it improves its retention and absorption in the body. Consolidating garlic into lunch or supper can maximize its potential wellbeing benefits.

What are the secret benefits of raw garlic? ›

Along with these benefits, garlic has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health by turning sulphur into hydrogen sulfide that expands blood vessels and improves the regulation of blood pressure. And if you have skin and hair troubles, garlic can even improve the appearance of your skin and hair.

What happens when you eat garlic on an empty stomach for 7 days? ›

Garlic works great for those suffering from weak immunity when consumed on an empty stomach. Works like magic for those who catch cold easily. It enhances the body's immunity against the virus that causes colds and coughs. When consumed on an empty stomach, garlic can help in improving your gut health.

Is garlic good for your Kidneys? ›

Due to its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties garlic is a good nutritional food candidate for use in a “Food as Medicine” approach for chronic kidney disease (CKD) [6,7].

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