Garlic is best known as a flavorful spice. However, throughout history, many different cultures have used garlic to prevent and treat different diseases. Garlic powder benefits health thanks to its array of nutrients and varied beneficial bioactive compounds.
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Nutritional Benefits of Garlic Powder
Garlic powder has a very strong flavor, so most recipes use it in moderation. In general, you'll find that most recipes that call for garlic powder use just a teaspoon or so.
However, there are exceptions. For instance, our recipe for Parmesan Garlic Fries goes heavy on the garlic powder, using 2 tablespoons of garlic as well as garlic salt.
Garlic is very rich in nutrients. However, you won't usually obtain large amounts of them from garlic powder, as it's usually consumed in such small quantities.
However, if you were to eat those Parmesan Garlic Fries, the USDA says that this recipes's garlic powder content would provide you with 64 calories, 14.1 grams of carbohydrates (1.7 grams come from dietary fiber) and 3.2 grams of protein. You'll also find the following nutrients in every 2 tablespoons of garlic powder:
- 6 percent of the daily value (DV) for iron
- 5 percent of the DV for potassium
- 6 percent of the DV for phosphorus
- 5 percent of the DV for zinc
- 11 percent of the DV for copper
- 8 percent of the DV for manganese
- 8 percent of the DV for selenium
- 7 percent of the DV for vitamin B1 (thiamin)
- 19 percent of the DV for vitamin B6
Garlic also has trace amounts (between 1 and 4 percent of the DV) for most other essential vitamins and minerals, including B-complex vitamins, vitamin E, calcium and magnesium. According to a September 2013 study in the International Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences, garlic is also rich in antioxidants and sulfur-based compounds. These beneficial bioactive compounds are thought to be the main source of garlic's health benefits.
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Garlic Powder Benefits for Health
According to the study in the International Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences, garlic has been used to prevent and treat different diseases since 1500 BC. This study and a February 2014 study in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine reported that garlic was incorporated into treatments for many different diseases, including arthritis, respiratory infections, digestive disorders, snake and insect bites, gynecologic diseases and infectious diseases.
Garlic isn't used to treat such a wide variety of diseases any longer, but it does have quite a few potential health benefits. Both of these studies stated that garlic may be able to help:
- Support the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease
- Reduce high blood pressure
- Reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Support the prevention and progression of cancer
- Reduce blood glucose levels and support the prevention of diabetes
- Support liver health
- Support immune system function
Garlic is also known to have beneficial antimicrobial properties and is being considered as a component of treatments for various viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic diseases.
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Despite the many potential health benefits of garlic, you shouldn't assume that garlic powder benefits are all the same. Garlic powder, which is produced as both a supplement and as a cooking spice, can vary substantially.
According to the Linus Pauling Institute, garlic powder supplements are processed in a way that focuses on garlic's beneficial sulfuric compounds. These sulfur-based bioactive compounds are one of the main components behind garlic powder's benefits. However, varied compounds are likely to be present in garlic powder supplements and seasonings since these products are created in different ways.
Additionally, some of garlic's beneficial bioactive compounds won't benefit you if you're consuming plain garlic powder. This is because those compounds tend to be degraded by your stomach acid.
If you're planning to consume powdered garlic and want to maximize its benefits on your health, try to consume garlic powder supplements with enteric coatings. Otherwise, fresh garlic's benefits are likely to be better than garlic powder benefits for your health.
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