15 Health Benefits of consuming Ginger
Ginger is loaded with countless medicinal properties and we have been listening to its health benefits from our grandmothers for years. It contains medicinal properties that may help with nausea, weight loss, osteoarthritis, reducing blood sugars, and countless other properties – ginger is almost a super root. The medicinal use of ginger goes back 5000 years when it was considered a tonic to treat all ailments in ancient China and India.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale), a member of the same plant family as cardamom and turmeric, is the rhizome (underground rootstalk) of the ginger plant. Its teaspoon-sized serving doesn’t pack vitamins and minerals but is big on aromatics, flavor, and many bioactive compounds, most notably, anti-inflammatory gingerols. This powerful anti-inflammatory not only has effective medicinal health benefits, but it’s tasty, too!
You can use this superfood, ginger in any form be it fresh, dried, pickled, preserved, crystallized, candied, powdered, or ground. Fresh ginger is always the best as it contains a higher level of gingerol. Some specialty supermarkets and Asian groceries even sell pickled ginger, as well as candied or crystallized ginger. There are a variety of ways to enjoy ginger—and several reasons why you may want to include more ginger in your diet. Many cultures and people around the world consume ginger daily whether it’s in many of their meals munching on pickled or crystallized ginger grating it and steeping it in hot water and drinking it regularly as a tea blend such as chai tea.
In India, we use fresh ginger to enhance the flavor of cuisines and also add it to tea to add flavor to it. Check out the top 15 health benefits of ginger to find out how and why we make ginger part of our routine.
Health Benefits of Ginger
Cold and Flu Prevention
Ginger is excellent for supporting the immune system against the common cold and other viral infections. Reduces nasal congestion, coughs, and sore throats. People will say that 2 tablespoons of shredded ginger in a cup 2-3 times a day are ideal when you are feeling under the weather. A lot of people will mix ginger and honey to help soothe a cold and drink it many times a day.
Ginger is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory. Consuming ginger boosts your immunity and helps protect your brain function.
Ginger has long been touted as a cure for tummy issues. Travelers, for instance, have used ginger to aid with seasickness and motion sickness from cars.
Reduce Pain and Inflammation
Ginger root contains several compounds such as gingerols that can prevent or reduce immune cell synthesis of cytokines that cause inflammation.
Combats Stomach Discomfort
Helps to reduce bloating, flatulence, intestinal colic, IBS, and poor digestion as it stimulates digestive acids and secretions thus supporting the digestion of food and nutrient absorption and assimilation.
Can help with Osteoarthritis
Ginger may help relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis, which is a bone condition where the cartilage begins to wear down. Its anti-inflammatory properties can benefit those with arthritis by reducing inflammation and joint pain.
Can Lower Blood Sugar
Ginger is effective in managing high blood sugar levels by stimulating the production of insulin in diabetic people. Consuming 4 grams of ginger per day can help you in regulating blood sugar levels.
Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
Your heart will thank you for adding this spice to your diet. Doses up to 2g daily have shown improvements in triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, but no effect on total or HDL cholesterol.
Improve Brain Function
Ginger has antioxidants and bioactive compounds that are believed to prevent inflammatory responses in the brain, which can decrease the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Helps in Respiratory Problems
Ginger extract has previously been used to attack unwanted bacteria in the lungs and bronchial tubes, helping fight respiratory conditions. Ginger may be a therapeutic option for airway diseases such as asthma.
Can Help Fight Infections
Gingerol in ginger helps to lower the risk of infections it is effective in eliminating forms of bacteria associated with problems in many areas of the body.
A human study showed ginger oil self-massage into afflicted knees by osteoarthritis sufferers led to significant pain reduction. The study authors recommend this practice as a complementary method to standard medical treatment.
Ginger could aid in weight loss
The potent spice not only reduces hunger pangs but also enhances calorie burning.
Banish bad breath
ginger tea helped eradicate bad breath within just a matter of seconds
Easing menstrual cramps
Women who are experiencing menstrual cramps may be able to relieve their discomfort by consuming dried ginger within the first three or four days of their periods.
Get Your Ginger!
Now that you know how ginger benefits your health and body, how can you incorporate it into your daily wellness routine? There are so many options! Ginger is versatile and can be eaten fresh or dried. It can also be made into powder, oil, tablets, or liquid extracts. Ginger is used to adding flavor to many different recipes and dishes. Here are some ideas on how you can consume more ginger:
- Use fresh ginger while making tea or grate it in any recipe
- Ground ginger can be used in similar ways as fresh ginger
- You can add ginger to your diet by taking ginger supplements like ginger capsules
- Ginger chews like ginger candies can be taken anytime and anywhere
- Ginger oil is also used because it has many soothing properties and is useful to use for massages
- Add ginger into your sweeter recipes like pancakes and desserts
- Add ginger to your smoothies
Side effects of consuming Ginger
Side effects caused by ginger are very mild and rare when consumed appropriately. Heartburn, diarrhea, burping, and some stomach discomfort are some of the mild side effects of consuming ginger. The application of ginger is safer when applied to the skin effectively and in the short-term. It might lead to irritation in the skin for some.
Suggested Read: Turmeric Health Benefits