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Health Benefits of Garlic/Lahsun with Nutrition Value and Its Side Effects

Last updated on : 05 Jun, 2024

Read time : 13 min

What is Garlic?

We all are well aware of garlic, it shows it’s present as a part of our recipe almost every day. Ever wondered how garlic can benefit us and what is the use of garlic and how to use garlic for activities apart from cooking?

Garlic benefits us in a variety of ways. It is commonly known as Allium sativum belonging to the family of Amaryllidaceae. 

It is a storehouse of minerals, vitamins, and other phytoconstituents like allium, saponins, and flavonoids. Garlic benefits us due to these chemical constituents which are not found in any other food products.

How to use garlic, what is the use of garlic, and other uses of garlic are some questions people often wonder about, let us discuss them all.

Garlic Nutrition Facts

In terms of nutrition, garlic is best used as a spice or to enhance the flavours of other nutritious foods, such as veggies. The following nutritional facts for garlic are based on a 1-teaspoon serving estimate from the US Department of Agriculture:

Nutritional Value:

NutrientsConcentration per 100 gm
Calories4 Kcal
Protein0.18 gm
Fat0.01 gm
Carbohydrates0.93 gm
Fibre0.1 gm
Natural sugars0.03 gm
Calcium5 mg
Iron0.05 mg
Magnesium1 mg
Potassium11 mg
Vitamin C0.9 mg

Vitamins and minerals contained in garlic

Garlic includes a variety of vitamins and minerals, yet because of the small serving size, a single clove doesn’t supply much. According to the USDA, each clove includes a little quantity of vitamin C, zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin K, and manganese.

Garlic Calories

A 3-gram garlic clove contains nearly no calories. If you eat the whole clove, it will only contribute four calories to your total intake. Garlic calories are unlikely to make a significant difference in your daily food intake because you are likely to eat so little of it.

Ever wondered what if can you eat raw garlic?

Garlic has always been sauteed, baked, or roasted before adding them to our recipe, but viewing potential garlic benefits it can also be eaten raw.

Raw garlic rather intensifies the benefits and uses when compared to cooked ones. Garlic uses are numerous, we can expect a faster and better result when eaten raw. Allicin; a chemical component of garlic that is responsible for boosting immunity, degrades when cooked or roasted, so eating raw garlic benefits you to a greater extent.

What is the use of garlic?

After knowing how to use garlic let us try to figure out how garlic benefits us and its uses. The phytoconstituents of garlic are of great importance and provide immense medicinal activities which are listed below-

Top Health Benefits of Eating Garlic/Lahsun

1. Garlic benefits in maintaining blood pressure

Hypertension is the most prevalent disorder in today’s era, we see more than 60% of people above 40 years are taking antihypertensive drugs to maintain proper blood pressure.

In the case of hypertension, when one’s blood pressure is above the normal value, garlic benefits by restoring the blood pressure to normal. It works by increasing the production of nitric oxide which in turn dilates the blood vessels and helps to restore blood pressure to normal.

2. Garlic benefits for skin

A potential garlic use is due to the fact that garlic benefits skin, it helps to cure acne and other skin conditions as well. Acne occurs when skin pores have been clogged by dead cells and bacteria, garlic benefits from acne due to its antibacterial activity due to the presence of allicin.

Allicin helps to kill bacteria or prevents the further growth of bacteria, it also increases blood circulation in the affected area thus helping to deliver larger nutrients to the area affected by acne and helping in faster relief.

Although it is not advisable to apply raw garlic directly to the skin as skin is a sensitive part of our body and garlic can cause skin burns.

3. Garlic benefits to burning fat

Garlic helps you to burn extra kilos! It lowers the blood cholesterol level by simply decreasing cholesterol synthesis in the liver.

The liver is the storehouse of cholesterol, it is responsible for the synthesis and recycling of cholesterol.  Garlic benefits by depleting the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver and thus helps to lower blood cholesterol levels.

4. Garlic benefits diabetic patients

People with diabetes experience an increase in blood glucose level, garlic benefits diabetes when taken in the form of powder before the meal.

It reduces the sudden increase in blood glucose level after meals and benefits type 2 diabetic patients.

5. Garlic benefits in common cold

We all want to get rid of the common cold during winters, here is a simple way – start consuming garlic every morning!

This is believed to be the most common use of garlic in our household for the prevention of the common cold. It helps to fight the common cold and other flu-like symptoms, Garlic also benefits by reducing the chances of catching an illness by improving the immunity of the person.

6. Garlic Benefits for Heart Health

Garlic benefits heart health by reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, and preventing the formation of blood clots. Its active compounds, such as allicin, improve cardiovascular function and protect against atherosclerosis. Regular garlic consumption is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, promoting overall cardiovascular wellness through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

7. Garlic Benefits for the Brain

Garlic benefits the brain by enhancing cognitive function, protecting against neurodegenerative diseases, and reducing the risk of dementia. Rich in antioxidants and sulfur compounds, garlic combats oxidative stress and inflammation, promoting neural health. Additionally, its allicin content improves blood flow, ensuring better oxygen and nutrient delivery to brain cells, which supports overall mental sharpness and memory retention.

8. Garlic Benefits for Weight Loss

Garlic offers numerous benefits for weight loss, including boosting metabolism, reducing appetite, and enhancing fat burning. Rich in allicin, it aids in detoxification and improves digestion, contributing to better weight management. Additionally, garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing body fat, making it a valuable addition to a healthy diet and weight loss regimen.

9. Garlic Benefits for Cancer

Garlic offers numerous benefits for cancer prevention and treatment. Its sulfur compounds, particularly allicin, exhibit strong anti-carcinogenic properties. Regular consumption of garlic is linked to reduced risks of various cancers, including colorectal, stomach, and prostate. Garlic enhances immune function, detoxifies carcinogens, and induces apoptosis in cancer cells, making it a valuable addition to a cancer-preventive diet.

10. Garlic Benefits for Peptic Ulcers

Garlic offers numerous benefits for peptic ulcers due to its antimicrobial properties, which help combat H. pylori, a bacteria linked to ulcer formation. Additionally, garlic’s anti-inflammatory effects can reduce gastric inflammation, promoting healing. Its antioxidant compounds further protect the stomach lining from damage, making garlic a valuable natural remedy for managing and potentially preventing peptic ulcers.

Garlic Benefits for Men

  • Boosts testosterone: Garlic has special substances that might raise testosterone in men, which can make them feel more interested in sex and improve how well they perform sexually.
  • Supports heart health: Garlic is good for your heart because it can lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This helps prevent heart disease and makes your heart stronger and healthier.
  • Enhances immunity: Garlic fights germs and helps your body stay strong against sickness. Its special properties kill bacteria and viruses, keeping you healthy and less likely to get sick.
  • Improves blood circulation: Garlic makes your blood vessels wider, allowing blood to flow better. This helps prevent problems like erectile dysfunction and keeps your body’s circulation running smoothly.
  • Boosts testosterone: Garlic has special substances that might raise testosterone in men, which can make them feel more interested in sex and improve how well they perform sexually.
  • Supports heart health: Garlic is good for your heart because it can lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This helps prevent heart disease and makes your heart stronger and healthier.
  • Enhances immunity: Garlic fights germs and helps your body stay strong against sickness. Its special properties kill bacteria and viruses, keeping you healthy and less likely to get sick.
  • Improves blood circulation: Garlic makes your blood vessels wider, allowing blood to flow better. This helps prevent problems like erectile dysfunction and keeps your body’s circulation running smoothly.

Other uses of garlic

A few more garlic uses include:

  • Taking garlic powder helps in the hardening of the artery.
  • It helps to fight mouth infections.
  • It is a potent agent to cause coagulation.
  • Garlic, when added to food, makes our food taste delicious.

There are numerous other uses of garlic, which help in many recipes due to its rich taste. So let us make a habit to consume garlic and try different recipes in our kitchen.

Undesirable effects of garlic

Everything has pros and cons, the same goes for garlic too. In spite of the many garlic benefits we have come across, there are some side effects of garlic too. People must ensure the following points before consuming them;

  • Even though garlic benefits the skin, some people may be allergic to it, and they may experience hypersensitivity reactions while consuming garlic in any form. Such people must ensure to visit a doctor at the right time to report the allergic reactions and get proper medication,
  • Raw garlic is unsafe for the skin. Garlic when directly applied to the skin can cause skin burns and skin irritation.
  • Consumption of a large quantity of garlic on an empty stomach destroys the intestinal flora which opens up doors for other GIT diseases like- peptic ulcer, and diarrhoea.
  • Sometimes(in very rare cases) garlic can affect drug metabolism. So while taking medications make sure to consult a doctor to avoid any adverse events.

How much garlic should you consume?

After coming across wide garlic benefits, now let us understand what dose you should ensure to consume in a day!

An adult should consume a minimum of 4g of garlic per day, it can be raw garlic, powdered garlic, or any form of garlic extract

It is advised to use garlic supplements as they dissolve in the intestine. Which does not cause any harm to the flora in the stomach and avoids GIT complications like peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, etc.

 Also,  people must ensure an Allium rich diet to meet the desired daily dose of garlic.  

While garlic is generally safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts as part of a balanced diet, it can cause some side effects in some individuals:

  • Breath and body odor: Eating garlic can leave a strong odor on your breath and skin, which some people find unpleasant.
  • Digestive issues: Garlic can sometimes cause digestive discomfort, including bloating, gas, and heartburn, especially when eaten in large amounts or on an empty stomach.
  • Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to garlic, experiencing symptoms like skin rash, itching, or difficulty breathing after consuming it.
  • Bleeding and blood clotting: Garlic has blood-thinning properties, which can increase the risk of bleeding, especially when consumed in large quantities or by people taking blood-thinning medications.
  • Interactions with medications: Garlic supplements may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, HIV/AIDS medications, and some types of birth control pills. This can affect how these medications work and may lead to adverse effects.

It’s essential to consume garlic in moderation and be aware of any potential side effects, especially if you have existing health conditions or are taking medications. If you experience any adverse reactions after consuming garlic, discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional.

Garlic Side Effects

While garlic is generally safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts as part of a balanced diet, it can cause some side effects in some individuals:

  • Breath and body odor: Eating garlic can leave a strong odor on your breath and skin, which some people find unpleasant.
  • Digestive issues: Garlic can sometimes cause digestive discomfort, including bloating, gas, and heartburn, especially when eaten in large amounts or on an empty stomach.
  • Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to garlic, experiencing symptoms like skin rash, itching, or difficulty breathing after consuming it.
  • Bleeding and blood clotting: Garlic has blood-thinning properties, which can increase the risk of bleeding, especially when consumed in large quantities or by people taking blood-thinning medications.
  • Interactions with medications: Garlic supplements may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, HIV/AIDS medications, and some types of birth control pills. This can affect how these medications work and may lead to adverse effects.

It’s essential to consume garlic in moderation and be aware of any potential side effects, especially if you have existing health conditions or are taking medications. If you experience any adverse reactions after consuming garlic, discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens if I eat garlic everyday?

Eating garlic every day can have many health benefits, like boosting your immune system, lowering blood pressure, and reducing the risk of heart disease. Garlic contains natural compounds that help fight infections and keep your heart healthy.

Is it good to eat raw garlic?

Yes, eating raw garlic has many health benefits. Raw garlic contains more of its natural compounds, like allicin, which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds can help boost your immune system, lower cholesterol levels, and even reduce the risk of certain cancers.

What diseases does garlic treat?

Garlic is known for its ability to treat and prevent various health conditions. It has been used for centuries to treat illnesses like the common cold, flu, and infections due to its antimicrobial properties. Garlic also helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.

What is the main benefit of garlic?

The main benefit of garlic is its ability to improve heart health. Garlic helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. It also has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help protect your heart and blood vessels from damage. 

Can too much garlic damage liver?

While garlic is generally safe for most people when consumed in moderation, excessive intake of garlic supplements may lead to liver damage in rare cases. Some studies suggest that high doses of garlic supplements can cause liver toxicity, especially in people with existing liver conditions.

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Our healthcare experts have carefully reviewed and compiled the information presented here to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness. It is important to note that this information serves as a general overview of the topic and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any health problem. This page does not establish a doctor-patient relationship, nor does it replace the advice or consultation of a registered medical practitioner. We recommend seeking guidance from your registered medical practitioner for any questions or concerns regarding your medical condition.

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