Garlic grows underneath the soil in the form of a bulb. This bulb has long green shoots that come out from the top while its roots extend downward. Garlic (Allium sativum) is a perennial plant of the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae), a class of bulb-shaped plants, which include chives, leeks, onions and scallions.
The garlic plant is native to central Asia but grows wild in Italy as well as southern France. The bulb of the plant is what we all know as garlic, the vegetable. What is a garlic clove? The garlic bulb is covered with several layers of inedible papery skin that when peeled away reveal up to 20 edible bulblets called cloves inside.
Garlic contains countless vital nutrients — flavonoids, oligosaccharides, amino acids, allicin and high levels of sulfur (just to name a few) — and eating garlic regularly has been proven to provide unbelievable health benefits. Raw garlic also contains approximately 0.1 percent essential oil of which the main components include allyl propyl disulfide, diallyl disulfide and diallyl trisulfide.
Raw garlic is conventionally measured for cooking and medicinal purposes by the clove. Each garlic clove is packed with health-promoting components.
A clove of raw garlic contains about:
- 4 calories
- 1 gram carbohydrates
- 0.2 gram protein
- 0.1 gram fiber
- 0.1 milligram manganese (3 percent DV)
- 0.9 milligram vitamin C (2 percent DV)
- 5.4 milligrams calcium (1 percent DV)
- 0.4 micrograms selenium (1 percent DV)
These are just some of the top nutrients found in garlic. Garlic also contains alliin and allicin, which are both health-promoting sulfur compounds. Garlic’s allicin benefits are especially well-researched in studies. Scientists are interested in the potential for these sulfur compounds derived from garlic to prevent and treat chronic and deadly diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, among other garlic benefits.