Garlic powder is a great seasoning agent, particularly if you like the taste and smell of garlic but don't wish to take the time to peel fresh garlic to include in your dishes all of the time. However, there are a number of reasons why you may wish to consider still using fresh garlic instead of the more convenient garlic powder for this purpose.
Fresh garlic is known to have a wide range of health benefits, many of which will be outlined below. Garlic powder was previously thought to convey many of the same benefits. However, recent studies suggest that garlic powder may be lacking in certain crucial ingredients that are found in fresh garlic and which are responsible for many of the health benefits that fresh garlic is able to provide. Thus, eating garlic powder will not always provide you with the same advantages as eating regular fresh garlic.
Health Benefits of Clove Garlic
Garlic cloves are known to help protect your heart. Fresh garlic contains a substance called hydrogen sulfide. This compound is responsible for relaxing the capillaries and blood vessels around your heart. While this doesn't directly have an impact on the health of your heart, it does allow more oxygen laden blood to enter and pass through the heart. It also makes this process easier, which puts less of a strain on the heart muscle.
As more oxygen rich blood moves through the heart, the heart will likely become stronger. This is also a protective measure against certain heart conditions and cardiovascular diseases which may strike in later years.
Additionally, clove garlic can act as a mild antibacterial agent. It has been shown tohelp reduce the levels of unhealthy bacteria in the stomach. This is a powerful way of naturally reducing your chances of infection, and garlic is oftentimes linked with lower gastrointestinal infection rates.
Differences Betweeen Powder and Clove Garlic
Garlic powder, on the other hand, does not give you the hydrogen sulfide that is necessary for heart health. It may still have some benefits in terms of the antibacterial affects of clove garlic, but these are generally reduced as well.
Garlic powder is comparable in terms of calories with regular garlic. It is otherwise generally full of many of the same nutrients and provides the same nutritional function.
One benefit to powdered garlic over clove garlic is that powdered garlic will keep for much longer. Clove garlic will begin to sprout if left for more than a few days or weeks at a time. However, powdered garlic is much more readily stored and can be used months or even years later with no harmful effects. Many people do find that powdered garlic may lose some of its flavor and smell if left for a long time. Generally speaking, powdered garlic is typically not quite as strong in terms of flavor or smell as clove garlic is anyway.
For more information about the differences in nutritional benefits between these types of garlic, ask a nutritionist.