Ginger is a common ingredient in Asian and Indian cuisine. The root or underground stem (rhizome) of the ginger plant can be consumed fresh, powdered, dried as a spice, in oil form or as juice. Ginger is part of the Zingiberaceae family, alongside cardamom and turmeric.
For thousands of years, Arabic, Indian, and Asian healers prized ginger as food and medicine. This tropical plant, is in the same botanical family as turmeric and cardamom, and has a long history of use for relieving digestive problems such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain.
Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like ginger decreases the risk ofobesity, diabetes,heart diseaseand overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy and overall lower weight. Ginger does contain numerous other anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds beneficial to health such as gingerols,beta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, curcumin and salicylate.
Ginger is among the healthiest spices on the planet. It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.
Here are few health benefits of ginger that are supported by scientific research.
Ginger Contains Gingerol, a Substance with Powerful Medicinal Properties- Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Gingerol, the bioactive substance in fresh ginger, can help lower the risk of infections. In fact, ginger extract can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria. It is very effective against the oral bacteria linked to inflammatory diseases in the gums, such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
Ginger Can Treat Many Forms of Nausea, Especially Morning Sickness- Chewing raw ginger or drinking ginger tea is a common home remedy for nausea during cancer treatment. Pregnant women experiencing morning sickness can safely use ginger to relieve nausea and vomiting, often in the form of ginger lozenges or candies.
Ginger May Reduce Soreness and Muscle Pain-Ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain. A study involving 74 volunteers carried out at the University of Georgia found that daily ginger supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by 25%.
Ginger has Anti-Inflammatory Effects that Can Help with Osteoarthritis-Ginger has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and treat inflammatory conditions like Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritisis a common health problem which involves degeneration of the joints in the body, leading to symptoms like joint pain and stiffness.
Ginger May Lower Blood Sugars and Improve Heart Disease Risk Factors- Ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve various heart disease risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes. This area of research is relatively new, but ginger may have powerful anti-diabetic properties that can help lowered fasting blood sugar by 12%. It also dramatically improved HBA1C and reduction in ApoB/ApoA-I ratio, which are the major risk factors for heart disease.
Ginger Can Help Treat Chronic Indigestion-Chronic indigestion(Dyspepsia) is characterized by recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach caused by delayed in emptying of the stomach. Ginger has been shown to speed up emptying of the stomach in people with this condition. In a study of 24 healthy individuals, 1.2 grams of ginger powder before a meal accelerated emptying of the stomach by 50%.
Ginger May Reduce Menstrual Pain- One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain. In one study, 150 women were instructed to take 1 gram of ginger powder per day, for the first 3 days of the menstrual period.
Ginger May Lower Cholesterol Levels- High levels of LDLlipoproteins(the “bad” cholesterol) are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. In a 45-day study of 85 individuals with high cholesterol, 3 grams of ginger powder caused significant reductions in most cholesterol markers.
Ginger Contains a Substance That May Help Prevent Cancer- Ginger extract has been studied as an alternative treatment for several forms of cancer. The anti-cancer properties are attributed to 6-gingerol, a substance that is found in large amounts in raw ginger. In a study of 30 individuals, 2 grams of ginger extract per day significantly reduced pro-inflammatory signaling molecules in the colon.
Ginger May Improve Brain Function and Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease-Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can accelerate the aging process and are the key drivers of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. Some studies in animals suggest that the antioxidants and bioactive compounds in ginger can inhibit inflammatory responses that occur in the brain.There is also some evidence that ginger can enhance brain function directly. In a study of 60 middle-aged women, ginger extract was shown to improve reaction time and working memory.
Ginger provides a variety ofvitaminsand minerals: (Figures below are per 100g of ginger.)
- Carbohydrate - 17.77 g
- Dietary Fiber - 2 g
- Protein - 1.82 g
- Dietary Fiber - 2 g
- Sugars - 1.7 g
- Sodium - 13 mg
- Vitamin B6 - 0.16 mg
- Calcium- 16 mg
- Iron - 0.6 mg
- Vitamin C - 5 mg
- Potassium- 415 mg
- Magnesium- 43 mg
- Phosphorus - 34 mg
- Zinc - 0.34 mg
- Folate- 11 mcg
- Riboflavin - 0.034 mg
- Niacin - 0.75 mg
- Iron - 0.6 mg
Ginger is easy to take. You can add it to your food or tea. It has great flavor and amazing health benefits.