Garlic is a food that nutrition-conscious eaters either love or hate. But if you’re trying to watch your waistline or improve your diet, garlic nutrition can give you a boost. Find out how to prepare garlic and why you should add this low-calorie food to your meals.
The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one medium clove (3g) of raw garlic.1
- Calories: 4.5
- Fat: 0g
- Sodium: .5mg
- Carbohydrates: 1g
- Fiber: .1g
- Sugars: 0g
- Protein: .2g
Calories in Garlic
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.1 Because you are likely to eat so little of the food, garlic calories are not likely to make a noticeable difference in your daily food intake.
Carbs in Garlic
The calories in garlic come from carbohydrate, but again because the calories are so low, the carbs in garlic are also very low.
Fats in Garlic
There is no fat in garlic.
Protein in Garlic
Garlic provides no protein.
Micronutrients in Garlic
There are few vitamins and minerals in garlic, although a single clove does provide a small amount of vitamin C and manganese.1
Garlic can support your healthy eating or weight loss program. Because it is so flavorful, a tiny amount can add a delicious savory flavor to your food without providing any fat or 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.
Garlic has been used to treat illness and disease for thousands of years.2 In fact, there are biblical references to the use of garlic in medicine. According to some sources, Hippocrates prescribed garlic for a variety of illnesses and early Olympic athletes used garlic as the first “performance enhancing” drug.
So how can garlic help you today? Some people believe that consuming garlic can help cure your common cold faster, help to reduce cold sores, aid in the treatment of acne, banish mosquitos and even improve the texture of your hair. None of these benefits have been proven, however.3
Some researchers who have studied garlic have found some positive associations between the consumption of this food and positive outcomes. Potential benefits include:4
- Immune enhancement
- Anti-cancer properties
- Antioxidative benefits
- Cholesterol-lowering benefits
- Improved blood pressure
Can you expect to experience all of these benefits if you boost your garlic consumption? No. Scientists have not established a direct cause and effect relationship between garlic and these benefits. In fact, some studies have concluded that the benefits of garlic have been overstated.5
But since garlic is inexpensive and can benefit your diet in other ways, there is usually no harm in adding it to your diet. According to the National Institutes of Health, garlic is probably safe for most people.