Eat More Garlic (Here’s Why)

By: Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN

Garlic is a delicious white vegetable that not only adds wonderful flavor to many different recipes, but it also adds major nutritional value. By consuming garlic on a regular basis it can help promote overall health, boost immune system, up your antioxidant intake, and lower risks for various diseases. Find out why this white veggie should become a staple in your kitchen for more reasons than just adding it to the saute pan!



Garlic contains these major nutrients:

  • Allicin: Allicin is a powerful sulfur-based nutrient that contains antiviral and antibacterial properties.
  • Flavonoids: Flavonoids are a group of nutrients that contain antioxidants that help to battle damage that occurs every day inside our bodies.
  • Selenium: Selenium is involved in inflammatory processes in the body and may help to prevent inflammation. Some research suggests that selenium may be beneficial to joint health and may also help to reduce risk for prostate cancer.
  • Garlic also contains small amounts of vitamin C, calcium, manganese, and vitamins B1 and B6.

 The health benefits of garlic:

  • Heart health: Garlic contains antioxidant-rich flavonoids that may help to promote heart health along with other nutrients. Some research suggests that garlic may help to prevent heart disease.
  • Immune health: Some preliminary research suggests it may help prevent colds and other similar viruses.
  • Anti-inflammation: Garlic contains both flavonoids and selenium that both contain anti-inflammatory properties and may help to fight inflammation in the body that can contribute to disease and disease risk.
  • Anti-cancer: Some research suggests that garlic may be helpful in reducing risk for colon and stomach cancer; other research suggests garlic may help reduce risk for esophageal, pancreatic, breast and prostate cancers.

Note: Garlic acts as a blood thinner, so if you have questions about any medication regimen you’re on please consult your MD.

 Frequently asked question: Garlic pill vs. garlic clove?

One of the major questions that I get about consuming garlic is regarding whether a pill is as good as eating garlic when it comes to benefit. Some research has found garlic supplements to be beneficial while others have not. Across the research it appears that unanimously there is lots of benefit to eating garlic, and because supplements in the U.S. are not regulated, (as with most things when possible), I recommend loading up on this flavorful item in your food before taking a pill.

Key cooking tip: To reap the benefits from a powerful nutrient in garlic called allicin, the garlic needs to be chopped or crushed then allowed to sit for about 10 minutes before being cooked.

Here’s a few ways to add more garlic to your daily diet: 

Roasted Garlic (See my step by step instructions!)

Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup

Garlic Flaxseed Sesame Crackers

Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes

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Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN

Isabel is a Registered Dietitian, wellness expert and fitness coach. Isabel has her own nutrition and wellness practice based in New York City, Isabel Smith Nutrition, but she works with clients and corporations both nationwide and worldwide in a variety of areas including skin health, weight loss, gastrointestinal issues and allergies, sports nutrition, general wellness and more. As a Guided Reboot coach, Isabel has helped hundreds juice their way to better health. When she isn’t helping clients achieve optimal nutrition and wellness, she can be found trying and creating new juices and making other healthy recipes, running, cooking, spinning, practicing yoga, and enjoying time with her two Yorkshire terriers. Isabel is also one of the nutritionists who runs our Guided Reboot programs.

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