Ginger is a superfood used as a common ingredient in Asian cuisines. In Eastern countries, Ginger benefits do not only extend in the culinary world but also in the health and wellness field. Ginger is a healing ingredient in the field of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It is also a spice with powerful anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties loaded with nutrients and bio-active compounds. These strong and healthy compounds in ginger, benefit your body and brain in the most natural way.
I remember as a child, every time I suffered from a cold or cough, my mother would give me a spoon of ginger juice mixed with honey twice a day. This brought comfort to my throat and cured me of a cold. Ginger benefits are widely effective in home-remedies for curing various ailments.
11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger
1. Eating Ginger Relieves Nausea
Nausea and vomiting are usually cases of motion-sickness or sea-sickness. People suffering from migraine and headaches often experience nausea as well. Having ginger for motion sickness seems to reduce feelings of nausea, but it does not appear to prevent vomiting. It especially cures morning sickness in pregnant women and nausea post-surgery without any side-effects. Because the therapeutic chemical compound found in ginger – it works on the brain and nervous system to control the effect of nausea.
It is safe to use during pregnancy, in the form of ginger lozenges or candies. However, speak to your doctor before taking large amounts of ginger during pregnancy as some believe it can cause miscarriage. Even though there no studies to support this. Moreover, sipping on ginger tea helps to cure headaches and migraines effectively.
2. Aids in Digestion and Removes Excess Gas
Chronic indigestion and built up gas causes discomfort and pain in the upper part of the stomach. Mostly, after meals, the sugar levels rise and reduces the speed of the digestive process. Ginger benefits in regulating the sugar levels, curing the digestive process, and giving a soothing effect to the stomach. Ginger is also carminative in nature (helps in eliminating gas from the body).
Therefore, ginger is frequently used as an appetizer or an aperitif as it stimulates the appetite while preparing the digestive system for an influx of food. For example, Pickled Ginger is eaten with Sushi as a palate cleanser. Chewing on a small piece of ginger benefits in releasing excess gas in a healthy way and prevents from building it up.
Studies prove that after drinking soup that contains ginger, it reduced the time for the stomach to empty from 16 to 12 minutes.
In another study, 24 healthy individuals consumed 1.2 grams of ginger powder before a meal. As a result, it accelerated the speed of emptying the stomach by 50%.
3. Ginger brings Pain relief to Arthritis Pain
Ginger contains a chemical compound called Gingerol, that has anti-inflammatory properties. This compound is known to improve conditions associated with joints such as osteoarthritis, knee inflammation, and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a common health problem today, ginger benefits in boosting bone health and relieve joint pain associated with arthritis.
According to a study conducted on 247 people with knee arthritis, took ginger extract twice daily and experienced less pain and required less pain medication. In another study, a mixture of ginger, mastic (a kind of resin), cinnamon and sesame oil was made to apply topically. This helped in reducing pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients.
4. Ginger Prevents Cancer
Due to environmental and lifestyle change, we as individuals come in contact with inflammatory compounds that turn the cells in our body into cancerous cells. It has high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties protecting from inflammation of the cells.
Ginger has anti-angiogenic, anti-cancer, and antitumor properties that help to prevent cancer of any type especially of gastric, ovarian and pancreatic cancer. It benefits in the prevention of breast, skin and colon cancer due to the presence of gingerol. Ginger is used as a preventive measure for cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy.
The ginger root benefits in relieving symptoms of nausea and vomiting post chemotherapy.
Ginger extract has been studied as an alternative treatment for several forms of cancer. In a study of 30 individuals, 2 grams of ginger extract per day significantly reduced the activity of inflammatory compounds in the colon and lowers the risk of colon cancer.
5. Intake of Ginger Controls Diabetes
Ginger has powerful anti-diabetic properties. It helps regulate the blood sugar levels in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Long-term complications in diabetics are usually because of glycemic and lipid abnormalities. Therefore, consuming ginger roots, will improve your insulin resistance, control diabetes and improve your lipid profile.
On the other hand, a study in 2015 was conducted with 41 participants with type 2 diabetes. They took 2 grams of ginger powder per day and saw a decrease in fasting blood sugar by 12%.
6. Relieves Asthma and Common Cold
Ginger is an excellent immunity booster especially when you are feeling under the weather. Suffering from a cold, cough or flu, ginger benefits in warming the body from within. Due to its diaphoretic nature it helps you to sweat it out on a cold day. Consuming ginger helps the lungs to expand and loosen up the accumulated phlegm. It naturally breaks down and removes mucus from the human body.
Ginger also fights infection in the respiratory system. It can also protect and treat asthma as it inhibits an enzyme that narrow airway muscle. This activates the enzyme that relaxes the airways and makes it easier to breathe for an asthmatic patient.
Ginger tea is the best home remedy for curing a cold and cough. Adding lemon and honey will give you more energy and flavor since it contains vitamin C and antibacterial properties.
7. Prevents Menstrual Cramps
Ginger has effectively been successful in reducing menstrual pain or cramp especially when taken at the beginning of the cycle period. In one study, 150 women were taking 1 gram of ginger powder per day, for the first 3 days of the menstrual period. As a result, there was a decrease in pain during the cycle.
8. Ginger Heals and Protects the Heart
Heart ailments have become a common problem in both young and old people. Ginger benefits the overall health of the heart. It possesses anti-blood-clotting properties that clean up clots in blocked arteries. It improves the blood flow in the heart. This powerful property of ginger protects the heart from a stroke and heart attack. Ginger lowers LDL cholesterol, prevents LDL oxidation and cardiovascular disease.
Along with turmeric and garlic, ginger is a superfood that is an excellent stimulator for your heart. It is healthy if you consume it daily.
9. Increases Sexual Activity
Ginger is known as an aphrodisiac, to arouse desire and enhance sexual activity for many years. The ginger roots help in blood circulation, thus, allowing the blood to flow to the middle section of the body, an important area for sexual performance. The fragrance of ginger also has a unique appeal that helps in increasing fertility and establishing a sexual connection. Ginger benefits in boosting testosterone levels in men, and increase sperm count and sperm motility as well.
10. Ginger – Prevents Infection
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that help to fight all kinds of infections. Due to the presence of gingerol, it is known to inhibit bacterial, viral, and fungal infection. Ginger also helps in maintaining oral health by killing the pathogens in the mouth, keeping the teeth and gums intact. Antibacterial properties in ginger benefit in curing urinary tract infection, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
11. Boosts Brain Health
Inflammatory compounds and oxidative stress cause an increase in the rate of aging. This increases the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline. Gingerol with its anti-inflammatory properties is known to slow down the process of aging. They prevent from damaging the neurons caused due to an inflammatory compound. This prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s in older people.
Consuming ginger extract can improve reaction time and working memory in middle-aged women. Studies suggest that ginger can protect against age-related damage to the brain. It can also improve brain function in elderly women. In a study of 60 middle-aged women, ginger extract was shown to improve reaction time and working memory.
Enjoy ginger in all its form and reap the desired benefits. Stay fit! Stay healthy!