Garlic: Nutritional Value, Benefits, Precautions, How To Use

Dr. Rajkumar Vinod Desai

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rajkumar Vinod Desai

General Physician

11 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Garlic is a rich source of essential nutrients that boost the immune system
  • It offers a punch of immunity power against colds and other viral infections
  • Garlic boosts immunity best when it is not cooked at high temperatures

Garlic is one of the popular immunity booster vegetables that not only adds flavor to your dishes but is also beneficial for your health. Packed with essential nutrients, garlic can help you boost the immune system when you have it regularly. While some of us love the smell of roasting garlic, others find its smell pungent. No matter which camp you belong to, garlic gives your body the immunity power it needs to fight certain illnesses. It is not necessary to consume raw garlic to enjoy its potential health benefits. You can use it in different ways in your daily recipes. To have a closer look at how garlic boosts immunity and how you can prepare it, read on.

Nutritional Value Of Garlic

Garlic Nutritional Chart

The following chart shows how much nutritional content is carried by 3 to 8 grams of garlic clove.

Amount per 100g raw garlic

Percentage of recommended daily intake





33.1 g



2.1 g








Vitamin B6



Vitamin C









Also contains vitamins A, E, K, Niacin, Folate, Pantothenic acid, and Choline




















Also contains Zinc, Magnesium, and sodium

Garlic Health Benefits

Eliminates cough and cold

Raw garlic is known to treat cough and cold, and this has been an age-old remedy. Eating garlic on an empty stomach gives you the highest benefits. In addition, it is believed that wearing a thread of garlic cloves on the neck will help kids and young infants to get rid of chest congestion. 

Activates brain functioning

Garlic protects your brain with its anti-oxidant properties, which prevent inflammation in the body. As a result, it is helpful for nervous system-related diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's. 

Promotes digestion

Raw garlic helps treat digestive issues by nurturing the intestines and preventing inflammation. It is also used to deal with worms. The best part about garlic is that it eliminates bad bacteria and restores the healthy bacteria in the stomach. 

Controls blood sugar

Raw garlic stabilizes the blood sugar level in the body.

Increases immunity

Garlic reduces the effects of free radicals in the body by preventing them from damaging the cell structure. Garlic contains zinc which is required for the immune system to function well. Vitamin c contained in garlic protects against various infections. Garlic is also beneficial for those suffering from ear and eye infections. It is very beneficial against eye and ear infections as it stops bacteria growth in the body. 

Promotes the skin

Garlic prevents the growth of acne and minimizes the visibility of scars. Garlic juice is recommended for people with psoriasis, rashes, or blisters. Most importantly, garlic minimizes the effects of harmful UV rays of the sun, and it is considered an anti-ageing agent as it minimizes the effects of wrinkles on the skin. 

Reduces the risk of certain cancers

Garlic possesses high anti-oxidant substances, which reduce the risks of prostate, lung, liver, bladder, stomach, and colon cancer. The antibacterial compound of garlic prevents peptic ulcers by reducing the contagious elements from the stomach. 

Offers more nutrients with fewer calories

The calorie content of garlic is quite low when compared to the nutrients it contains. It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber and manganese. It also has traces of various other vital nutrients. All these benefits make garlic one of the best immunity booster vegetables.

Flushes harmful toxins from your body

Garlic not only contains antibacterial, antibiotic, and antiviral properties but is also known to help get rid of toxins. Allicin, a chemical found in garlic helps increase the production of white blood cells. These cells help in eliminating harmful toxins from your body. Garlic also contains a mineral called selenium that triggers liver enzymes to flush out toxins.

Boosts T cells of your body

The other reason why garlic boosts immunity is that it increases the number of T cells in your blood. These cells provide immunity by fighting viruses that can cause cold and flu. Consume garlic regularly and get rid of your cold and flu symptoms!

Additional Read: What is T Cell Immunity

ways to boost immunity

Acts as a stress buster

When you are stressed, you are prone to infections as your immune system becomes weak. Using garlic in such cases helps a lot as it reduces the production of stress hormones. This reduces your stress levels.

Helps lower cholesterol

Regular consumption of garlic has an effect on the cholesterol levels of your body. It reduces the total and LDL cholesterol of your body [1]. However, it does not have any significant effect on HDL or triglycerides. This way garlic helps in reducing the risk of heart ailments caused by high cholesterol.

How To Use Garlic For Boosting Immunity?

Garlic itself cannot automatically help you to shed extra kilos. But it can be incorporated into your weight loss diet to make it tastier and offer numerous health benefits. Following are some ways you can include garlic into your regular diet:

  • You can include garlic in your morning omelets or chilla
  • You can use it as a dressing on your daily salad
  • You can put it in your lemon tea 
  • Add chopped garlic to your morning toast 
  • You can take it with other veggies by simply tossing it on a pan 

 If you need to add it to your cooking, leave it for a few minutes after cutting it. This will preserve its value and offer benefits to your health.

Uses Of Garlic

The number of benefits you get from garlic depends on how you consume it. Heating it too much can deactivate some components of garlic. Here are a few ways in which you can maximize its benefits.

  • Crush or slice garlic before you eat it. This helps in activating its allicin content.

  • Let the crushed or sliced garlic stand for 10 minutes before you cook it. This helps its allicin content remain active even when you cook it.

  • If you can, use more than one clove of garlic per meal to make the most of its immunity power.

Ways Of Having Garlic To Utilize Its Immunity Power

Apart from cooking garlic, you can eat it in different forms. Some of these are as follows.

Garlic oil

Generally consumed in the form of capsules, garlic oil is different from garlic-flavored oil that is used in cooking. While garlic oil is prepared using a steam distillation method, garlic-flavored oil is made by infusing raw garlic in cooking oil. To make homemade garlic oil, follow the right preservation methods.


Powdered garlic is prepared by slicing and drying fresh garlic. It is processed at low heat and then put into capsules or jars. This method ensures that its allicin chemical remains intact.

Aged garlic extract

Aged garlic extract contains raw garlic that is sliced and stored in 15-20% ethanol for more than 1.5 years. This supplement does not contain allicin but has other medicinal properties of garlic.

Additional read: Immunity Booster Vegetables

Garlic Healthy Recipes

Some traditional garlic recipes help in weight reduction. 

Garlic with lime juice

It combines ingredients like a few garlic cloves, one spoonful of lemon juice, and a glass of lukewarm water. You should consume it in a warm state. Besides weight loss, it will eradicate free radicals and boost your immune system by containing vitamin C.

Raw garlic and honey

It includes ingredients like garlic cloves and two spoons of honey. Leave this mixture for around 15 minutes, and then you can consume it. It strengthens immunity and minimizes the occurrence of colds and coughs due to seasonal changes. 

Ginger, garlic, and lemon tea

This drink combines ingredients like a few slices of garlic cloves, a little ginger, two glasses of water, one spoonful of lemon juice, and honey. You must put all the ingredients except lemon juice and honey into the boiled water. Lemon juice should be added later after you submerge the ingredients and strain them. Honey is added to enhance the taste. This recipe helps in digestion and eliminates harmful toxins from the system. 

Unpeeled garlic cloves covered in honey

It combines ingredients like a few slices of unpeeled garlic cloves and half cup of honey. Put the mixture into the refrigerator for a few days. Doing this let them infuse together properly, and you can consume them on an empty stomach. This recipe will boost your immunity and benefits your heart and skin. 

Garlic Milk with Benefits

It is prepared with a few slices of garlic cloves, one cup of milk, one spoonful of turmeric powder, one pinch of black pepper powder, and half a spoon of organic honey. First, you need to cut the garlic into small pieces and leave it for a few minutes so that it can release enzymes that increase the health benefits. Next, boil the milk, add garlic, and then put turmeric and black pepper powder. Stir it in low heat and then strain the mixture. You should drink it with honey as it is a taste enhancer. This formula helps in weight reduction and keeps your stomach healthy. Additionally, it promotes digestion and minimizes migraine. 

Precautions To Take While Consuming Garlic

You should be slightly careful while consuming garlic. The recommended dosage is one or two raw cloves. Excessive consumption could cause heartburn, sensation in the throat or mouth, nausea, gas, diarrhoea etc. conditions. In addition, it could lead to bad breath and body odour in some instances. 

Side Effects Of Garlic

Garlic is usually safe and a regular household ingredient. It can be stored for up to seven years. However, when consumed orally, in some instances, it could cause gas deposition, heartburn, nausea and bad breath, as mentioned already. Mostly the side effects are noticed with raw garlic. Garlic can also elevate the risk of bleeding and allergic reactions sometimes. 

Garlic is used in skin products as well, and they are safe. Garlic is also present in products such as gel, toothpaste and mouthwashes, and they often come with three months validity. But if you apply raw garlic to the skin in excessive amounts, it could cause skin burns or irritation. 

Pregnant and lactating mothers can take garlic as included in their food. But while taking it in medicinal amounts, it could cause side effects to them. Moreover, no authentic information is found about whether pregnant and lactating mothers should apply garlic on their skin. So they should avoid it. 

Children can take garlic in smaller doses in their medicines. However, there is no proper information available about its usage in larger doses. Garlic is possibly safe when children take doses of up to 300 mg three times daily for up to 8 weeks. Moreover, they should not apply raw garlic on the skin as it might cause a burning sensation. 

Garlic presents a bleeding risk if taken in excessive amounts.

Garlic is also believed to cause blood pressure complications and prolonged bleeding after surgery. It could also affect blood sugar levels. So doctors usually recommend not to take garlic two weeks before surgery. 

How Much Garlic Is Required By Your Body?

There is no standard dosage of garlic as it depends on your body type. According to a study, 100mg of crushed raw garlic was effective in reducing components of metabolic syndrome. This dosage was calculated per kg of the body weight [2]. Take care not to increase your intake of garlic supplements as it can be harmful for your health.

Now that you know garlic offers some of the best vitamins and essential nutrients, have it to be healthier. Apart from garlic, consume fresh vegetables regularly, drink plenty of water and do yoga for immunity-building. While doing all that you can, do not overlook the signals of your body when there is a problem. Consult a doctor if you have any health-related concerns. Connect to experts in seconds on Bajaj Finserv Health. Book an appointment online doctor consultation for or an in-person or a teleconsultation with a top nutritionist or other specialist. This way you can not only ease your worries but also get the best advice on how to boost the immune system.


Is it OK to eat raw garlic every day?

Garlic is a nutritious ingredient in food and offers many health benefits, as discussed above. But eating it in excessive amounts could lead to various digestive problems, bad breath, and bleeding risks. 

Is garlic good for you?

Garlic has been a traditional home remedy for treating colds, coughs, and elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This is because it contains several necessary vitamins and minerals like vitamins C and B6, selenium, manganese, etc. In addition, garlic contains allicin, which is an antioxidant and it offers the highest benefits to your health.  

Is it better to eat raw or cooked garlic?

Raw garlic offers better benefits. While cooking, you should not heat it to more than 60 degrees Celsius. Higher temperatures neutralize the effects of antioxidant properties. So, it is advisable to add to your dish when you have almost finished cooking.  

What can garlic cure?

Garlic has antioxidant properties that safeguard you against oxidative damage to the tissues. Garlic supplements are known to be effective in increasing the level of antioxidants in the body and minimizing oxidative stress, a chemical change that damages the structure of the cells in people suffering from high blood pressure. 

How much garlic should I eat in a day?

Studies recommend you eat one or two cloves every day. Eating extra amounts than this would cause various side effects mentioned above.

Can garlic reduce belly fat?

Garlic contains a range of beneficial elements like protein, calcium, fibre, vitamins B6 and C, and manganese which help in burning unwanted calories which otherwise harmful to your body. Additionally, it strengthens your immunity level, boosts energy, and helps maintain a good metabolism in people. If your metabolism is good, you can burn fats easily. 

Published on 3 Dec 2021Last updated on 27 Apr 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Rajkumar Vinod Desai

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rajkumar Vinod Desai

, MBBS 1


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