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Garlic vs Ginger - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Christelle  Tchakerian by Christelle Tchakerian | Last updated on April 16, 2021
Education: Institute for Integrative Nutrition New York
Garlic
vs
Ginger

Summary

Garlic is higher in calories, carbohydrates, and proteins.

Ginger has a higher antioxidant capacity. It also has antiemetic actions while garlic does not.

Garlic has been associated with some allergies, while ginger has antiallergic properties. Garlic has been shown to promote hair growth, while ginger has been shown to do the opposite.

Introduction

In this article, we will explore the differences between garlic and ginger, focusing on their nutritional composition and health benefit variations.

General Information

Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, which also includes turmeric and cardamom (1).

Meanwhile, garlic belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family, which includes onions, chives, and leeks (2).

Ginger is lower in price.

The active biological compounds in ginger include gingerols, shogaols, and paradols (3). Meanwhile, the sulfur compounds of garlic are of great chemical importance (4).

Garlic tastes pungent, while ginger is warmly spicy.

Historical Use

Garlic has been used since ancient times to treat a variety of ailments. Historically speaking, garlic was given to Egyptian laborers to increase their strength and productivity (5). It was also given to the Olympic athletes before the games to boost performance (6).

Meanwhile, ginger has been used in ancient Chinese, Ayurvedic, and Unani medicine to treat ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatism, pains, cramps, constipation, indigestion, vomiting, dementia, fever, and infectious diseases (7, 8, 9).

Weight Loss

A meta-analysis conducted in 2019 showed that the intake of ginger reduced weight, waist-hip ratio, hip ratio, and fasting glucose while increasing HDL-cholesterol (the good cholesterol) in overweight and obese individuals. However, it did not affect body mass index or insulin (10).

On the other hand, another meta-analysis showed that garlic supplementation reduces waist circumference but not body weight nor body mass index (11).

Nutrition

Have a look at the charts and infographics below better to understand the nutritional comparison between garlic and ginger.

Minerals

In terms of minerals, garlic is higher in calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and phosphorus.

On the other hand, ginger contains more magnesium and less sodium compared to garlic.

Both food items are equal in potassium.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Garlic
5
:
3
Ginger
Contains more Calcium +1031.3%
Contains more Iron +183.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +350%
Contains more Zinc +241.2%
Contains more Copper +32.3%
Contains more Magnesium +72%
Contains less Sodium -23.5%
Equal in Potassium - 415
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 55% 64% 18% 66% 36% 3% 32% 100%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 5% 23% 31% 15% 37% 2% 10% 76%
Contains more Calcium +1031.3%
Contains more Iron +183.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +350%
Contains more Zinc +241.2%
Contains more Copper +32.3%
Contains more Magnesium +72%
Contains less Sodium -23.5%
Equal in Potassium - 415

Vitamins

Regarding vitamins, garlic is richer in vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and vitamin K. Garlic contains vitamin A while ginger lacks it.

In contrast, ginger is richer in vitamin E and folate. Both foods are equal in vitamin B3 content.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Garlic
7
:
3
Ginger
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin C +524%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +700%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +223.5%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +193.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +671.9%
Contains more Vitamin K +1600%
Contains more Vitamin E +225%
Contains more Folate +266.7%
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 0.75
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 1% 2% 0% 105% 50% 26% 14% 36% 285% 3% 0% 5%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 6% 0% 17% 7% 8% 15% 13% 37% 9% 0% 1%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin C +524%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +700%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +223.5%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +193.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +671.9%
Contains more Vitamin K +1600%
Contains more Vitamin E +225%
Contains more Folate +266.7%
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 0.75

Calories

Garlic is around 1.86 times higher in calories compared to ginger.

Carbohydrates

Garlic is also 1.86 times higher in carbohydrates compared to ginger. Garlic contains fewer sugars; the difference is 0.7g.

Fats

Both foods are very low or devoid of saturated fats and cholesterol. Garlic is higher in polyunsaturated fats.

Protein

Garlic is 3.49 times higher in protein than ginger.

Health Benefits

Cardiovascular Health

Garlic is known to be beneficial for cardiovascular diseases. Studies suggest that garlic extract is helpful in lowering blood pressure and may be used as a hypertension treatment (12).

Garlic also has antilipidemic effects (13, 14). Moreover, garlic has antithrombotic effects (15).

Ginger is also known to have cardioprotective properties. It has anti-hypertensive, anti-hyperlipidemia, and anti-platelet effects (16).

Compared to garlic, and in addition to these cardiovascular effects, it has been shown that ginger may reduce abnormalities in diabetic cardiomyopathic patients (17). Moreover, ginger acts as a cardiotonic that increases the efficiency of the heart contraction and improves blood flow throughout the body (16).

Cancer

Studies showed that garlic has an anti-tumor effect primarily attributed to its bioactive compounds (18, 19). Heating destroys the active compound in garlic which is responsible for its anti-cancer effects (20).

In “Iowa Women’s Health Study,” garlic was the only food out of 127 food items that showed a significant association with decreased colon cancer risk (21).

Gingerol, an active ingredient in ginger, also inhibited the growth of human colorectal cancer cells (22).

Gingerol showed to inhibit skin tumor promotion (23). Meanwhile, a study mentioned the importance of considering the application of garlic in the chemoprevention of skin cancer (24).

Antioxidant Effect

Antioxidants are scavengers of free radicals found in the body that protect the body from cell damage. Both ginger and garlic have antioxidant effects. However, ginger was found to have the highest antioxidant potency, followed by dry garlic and fresh garlic (25). The antioxidant capacity was comparable to that of vitamin C (25).

Diabetes

A study showed that ginger and garlic are insulinotropic and not hypoglycemic and that the anti-diabetic effects of ginger are much higher than those of garlic (26). The study suggests that higher anti-diabetic effects may be obtained when consuming a normal diet instead of a high-fat diet (26).

On the other hand, the active ingredient in garlic may be beneficial in treating erectile dysfunction in diabetic patients (27).

Gastrointestinal Tract

Ginger has antiemetic effects. It has implications in the treatment of nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy and chemotherapy (28).

Meanwhile, garlic consumption is viewed as a possible cause of gastrointestinal adverse effects and mild nausea (29).

Hair Loss

A study showed that garlic is a fast, cheap, and efficient topical treatment for a type of hair loss called alopecia areata (30). Moreover, the study mentioned that this treatment has no side effects (30).

A lot of shampoos containing ginger extracts are being produced nowadays. These shampoos claim to induce hair growth and stop hair loss. However, scientific evidence revealed that 6-gingerol, an active compound in ginger, can suppress human hair shaft elongation (31).

Allergy

The topical application of raw garlic may be associated with adverse effects (32). The most common adverse effects include burns, contact dermatitis, and asthma, although they are rare (32, 33). On the other hand, ginger has been shown to suppress symptoms of rhinitis due to its anti-inflammatory and antiallergic properties (34).

Downsides and Risks

The most common side effects of garlic topical use and consumption are the pungent smell in the breath and body odor, indigestion, and flatulence (35). Meanwhile, no side effects related to ginger have been documented (36).

References

  1. Phytochemistry and pharmacology of plants from the ginger family, Zingiberaceae
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/092552149600018X
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11880572/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23196104/
  5. https://worldveg.tind.io/record/23425/
  6. Garlic: A Review of Its Medicinal Effects and Indicated Active Compounds
  7. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-59259-020-9_11
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16422532/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1702243
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29393665/
  11. https://econtent.hogrefe.com/doi/abs/10.1024/0300-9831/a000607?journalCode=vit
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3561616/
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11788172/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5400934/
  15. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/095232789090060
  16. https://europepmc.org/article/med/33297926
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4768050/
  18. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23859039/
  19. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/acamc/2011/00000011/00000003/art00002
  20. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/131/3/1054S/4687116?login=true
  21. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8296768/
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4369959/
  23. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9719454
  24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3499657/
  25. https://www.phytojournal.com/vol2Issue3/Issue_sep_2013/39.1.pdf
  26. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2007.634
  27. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23427186/
  28. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5887721
  29. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mnfr.200700072
  30. https://www.iasj.net/iasj/article/51929
  31. https://europepmc.org/article/med/24624885
  32. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17040429/
  33. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14713923/
  34. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0955286315002260
  35. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mnfr.200700072
  36. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/037887419090037T
Article author photo Christelle  Tchakerian
Education: Institute for Integrative Nutrition New York
Last updated: April 16, 2021

Infographic

Garlic vs Ginger infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Garlic Ginger
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Garlic Ginger Opinion
Net carbs 30.96g 15.77g Garlic
Protein 6.36g 1.82g Garlic
Fats 0.5g 0.75g Ginger
Carbs 33.06g 17.77g Garlic
Calories 149kcal 80kcal Garlic
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar 1g 1.7g Garlic
Fiber 2.1g 2g Garlic
Calcium 181mg 16mg Garlic
Iron 1.7mg 0.6mg Garlic
Magnesium 25mg 43mg Ginger
Phosphorus 153mg 34mg Garlic
Potassium 401mg 415mg Ginger
Sodium 17mg 13mg Ginger
Zinc 1.16mg 0.34mg Garlic
Copper 0.299mg 0.226mg Garlic
Vitamin A 9IU 0IU Garlic
Vitamin E 0.08mg 0.26mg Ginger
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 31.2mg 5mg Garlic
Vitamin B1 0.2mg 0.025mg Garlic
Vitamin B2 0.11mg 0.034mg Garlic
Vitamin B3 0.7mg 0.75mg Ginger
Vitamin B5 0.596mg 0.203mg Garlic
Vitamin B6 1.235mg 0.16mg Garlic
Folate 3µg 11µg Ginger
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 1.7µg 0.1µg Garlic
Tryptophan 0.066mg 0.012mg Garlic
Threonine 0.157mg 0.036mg Garlic
Isoleucine 0.217mg 0.051mg Garlic
Leucine 0.308mg 0.074mg Garlic
Lysine 0.273mg 0.057mg Garlic
Methionine 0.076mg 0.013mg Garlic
Phenylalanine 0.183mg 0.045mg Garlic
Valine 0.291mg 0.073mg Garlic
Histidine 0.113mg 0.03mg Garlic
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.089g 0.203g Garlic
Monounsaturated Fat 0.011g 0.154g Ginger
Polyunsaturated fat 0.249g 0.154g Garlic

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Garlic Ginger
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
43
Garlic
9
Ginger
Mineral Summary Score
46
Garlic
24
Ginger

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
38%
Garlic
11%
Ginger
Carbohydrates
33%
Garlic
18%
Ginger
Fats
2%
Garlic
3%
Ginger

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Ginger
Ginger contains less Sodium (difference - 4mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Ginger
Ginger is lower in glycemic index (difference - 20)
Which food is cheaper?
Ginger
Ginger is cheaper (difference - $0.1)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Garlic
Garlic is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.7g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Garlic
Garlic is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.114g)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Garlic
Garlic is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Garlic
Garlic is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Garlic - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169230/nutrients
  2. Ginger - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169231/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.