Calories in Garlic

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Wondering if there are calories in garlic is a common question for chefs and food lovers alike, particularly if they like to cook with this potent ingredient.

Calories in a Bulb of Garlic

Garlic is remarkably nutrient dense and offers an impressive range of health benefits, but when it comes to calories, there are only 5 calories in garlic (per clove). Considering that most recipes hardly ever call for more than 5-6 cloves, you could happily munch on garlic all day without any fear of upsetting your calorie intake for the day.

Sliced garlic, garlic clove, garlic bulb in a wooden bowl placed on a chopping board

For those who are worried about other aspects of garlic nutrition, there are 0 grams of fat and 0 mg of cholesterol, making this an extremely heart-healthy spice. Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a protein content in garlic, only 0.2 mg per clove.

The real value of garlic doesn’t lie in its proteins, fats, carbs or calories, but in the minerals and vitamins that are found in such dense supply. Garlic is high in magnesium, vitamin C, copper, and vitamin B6. You need to eat quite a bit of garlic for them to make a dent in your daily intake of those nutrients, but garlic also offers volatile compounds and antioxidants. The active ingredient in garlic is allicin, a powerful antioxidant that can have a positive impact on your gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, circulatory, and immune systems. The other sulfuric compounds found in garlic can have similarly impressive effects on overall health.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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