Garlic vs Shallot - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
Garlic and onions are widely used in many dishes, but do they have any health benefits? We are going to explore all nutritional aspects of these herbs focusing on their differences. Garlic is an herb that is grown worldwide. Shallot was classified as a separate species, however, now it is considered as a botanical variety of the onion.
Garlic, the Latin name Allium sativum belongs to the Allium genus. Garlic is very close to onion and leek, it’s a seasoning herb, which is native to Central Asia. There are hundreds of varieties or cultivars, of which the most famous are: hard-necked garlic (Ophioscorodon) and soft-necked garlic. Shallot also belongs to the Allium genus, it is probably native to Southwest Asia. Yellow shallot (Golden shallot) and French Gray shallots are the most known shallot types.
Shallot is a small, bulb-like onion, with a distinct tapered shape. Shallot has brown or copper-colored skin with purple-hued inner layers. In contrast, garlic is bigger than shallot, with the irregularly shaped cloves, the bulb has very thin skin in color from red to brown.
Nutritionally the two herbs are rather alike. However, to better understand the main differences between garlic and shallot, please find a nutrition infographic at the bottom of this page.
Garlic is richer in protein, fats, carbs and contains fewer sugars. On the other hand, shallot contains more fiber than garlic. Both herbs contain no cholesterol.
The number of calories is 2 times higher in garlic than in shallot. Garlic contains 149 calories per 100 g, whereas shallot contains only 72 calories per 100 g.
The glycemic indexes of garlic and shallot are equal. Bot herbs have a GI of 30.
On average, both garlic and shallot are alkaline, however, the acidity of shallot is higher than that of garlic. It has a pH equal to 4.6 (alkaline), while garlic has a pH equal to 2.6 (alkaline).
Garlic is richer in minerals than shallot. It has 3 times more calcium, 2 times more magnesium, and zinc. The amounts of iron, phosphorus, and copper are also higher in garlic. On the other hand, shallot contains less sodium than garlic.
Potassium is a mineral, which has important functions in the body. It can help reduce the risk of kidney stones and normalize water balance and blood pressure. Garlic has relatively more potassium than shallot. It contains 401 µg potassium per 100 g, whereas shallot has 334 µg of this mineral.
In comparison, the amount of vitamins is higher in garlic. Garlic is a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B5. Also, it contains 4 times higher Vitamin B2, and 2 times higher Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6 than shallot. On the other hand, shallot has 10 times more Folate than garlic.
The health benefits of garlic and shallot have been associated with their wide range of physicochemical applications.
Both garlic and shallot contain strong antioxidants, such as quercetin, kaempferol, and allicin that may protect your cells from the damage of free radicals. By reducing the risk of free radicals, these herbs can help you to avoid oxidative stress and several brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia .
Besides, the antioxidants of garlic and shallot have been associated with reducing inflammation and other chronic diseases .
Garlic has a great property boosting energy levels in the body and by that burn all the calories. Garlic is great for your metabolism and appetite, it can keep you fuller for longer and prevent you from overeating.
Based on some studies, shallot may prevent excess fat accumulation and lower total body fat percentage.
Besides, shallot contains fewer calories, fats, and carbs than garlic, and in comparison, it is more preferable in the case of low calories and carbs diets .
According to studies, garlic supplements may lower the LDL cholesterol level by about 10-15 %. In fact, elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad cholesterol” is a major cause of heart disease. Moreover, garlic contains hydrogen sulfide gas, which has been shown to protect the heart from damage .
Shallot contains thiosulfinates, which may prevent the formation of dangerous blood clots which can lead to heart attacks. Besides, allicin, the other organosulfur compound of shallot, has been associated with lowering blood pressure and improving total cholesterol levels .
Organosulfur in garlic has been identified as effective in reducing the risk of deadly brain tumors. Garlic contains 3 organosulfur; DAS, DADS, and DATS of which the strongest anticancer impact has DATS. It has demonstrated efficacy in eradicating brain cancer cells .
According to the study, the aqueous extract of shallot has the most anti-growth activity on the cancer cell. Quercetin, kaempferol, and allicin are the powerful anticancer compounds of shallot, which are connected to lower the risk of oral and lung cancers .
Research recommends using garlic in the management of type 2 diabetes only under doctors’ guidance, however, it still has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels. Garlic contains allici, allyl propyl disulfide, and S-allyl cysteine sulfoxide which can raise insulin levels in the blood. The beneficial effects on blood sugars have both raw and cooked garlic .
One study found that consuming shallots significantly reduced LDL-C, TG, and TC levels in women with diabetes. However, more research is needed .
Boosting Immune System
Both shallot and garlic are packed with immune-boosting nutrients like sulfur compounds, zinc, and vitamin C. Besides, they are great sources of several antioxidants, such as quercetin, a potent flavonoid, which have antiviral properties to protect the body from inflammation .
The sulfur compounds in both of these herbs have properties to protect the body from heavy metal toxicity. According to the study, garlic can reduce lead levels in the blood by 19%. It also can reduce several clinical signs of toxicity, including headaches and blood pressure .
Side effects of using garlic generally are uncommon. Overall, garlic appears to not affect drug metabolism. Research recommends it prudent to stop taking high doses of garlic seven to 10 days before surgery because garlic can prolong bleeding time.
Shallot is likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in food. However, side effects might include stomach distress or pain after eating shallot .
Garlic is richer in minerals and vitamins than shallot. It contains 4 times more Vitamin B2, and calcium, 2 times more Vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium. It also has more carbs and protein. On the other hand, shallot has less saturated fat, sodium, and more folate than garlic.
Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Rich in minerals|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Lower in glycemic index||Equal|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low glycemic index diet||Equal|
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