Garlic is used to season many foods and has some proven and unproven medical implications. When garlic is crushed or finely chopped it yields allicin, a powerful antibiotic and antifungal compound. It benefits atherosclerosis. A few animal studies indicate that garlic may have anti-inflammatory benefits, primarily due to the antiarthritic action of diallyl sulfide (DAS) and thiacremonone. Evidence is mixed about the benefits for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and in preventing certain types of cancer.
A garlic bulb is composed of about 65% water, 28% carbohydrates, 2% protein, 1.5% fiber and only 0.15% fats. According to analysis by the USDA, an average clove of raw garlic has just under 5 calories, 12 mg potassium, over 5 mg calcium, 4.59 mg of phosphorus, .94 mg of vitamin C, plus small amounts of a variety of other vitamins and minerals.
Although garlic is loaded with nutritional value and health promoting effects, it should be given only "sparingly” and with “caution” to small children since it can irritate their sensitive digestive tracts. Some sources also caution use while breastfeeding since garlic is excreted into breast milk. Large doses of garlic may cause gastrointestinal distress in some individuals, and those allergic to garlic may need to avoid it altogether. Most adults can use garlic safely, but the use of anticoagulants with garlic could increase the risk of bleeding.
Food safety warning - If you are preparing a garlic-oil combination, it is important to store properly—not at room temperature—and to always add acid to prevent botulism spores from growing.
Try adding garlic to recipes to add flavor for individuals with poor intake or needing stronger flavors.