It is not uncommon to find ginger lurking around somewhere in a typical kitchen. Ginger is part of the Zingiberaceae family, just like cardamom and turmeric. This Rhizome has won its way to the hearts of many because of its amazing health benefits. Even several consumer goods manufacturers have found a way to introduce ginger into their product variance which is why we have products like ginger teas, ginger biscuits, ginger juices, smoothies, to mention a few.
So what makes ginger so awesome? According to recent research, here are some of the health benefits of ginger.
Health Benefits Of Ginger
#.Ginger Fights Infections
The bioactive substance in fresh ginger root is called gingerol, and studies have shown that it can help to lower the risk of infections and even inhibit the growth of various types of bacteria. When used as a mouth rinse, ginger has been shown to be super effective at fighting the oral bacteria that causes inflammatory disease of the gums including periodontitis or gingivitis.
#.Potent Medicinal Compounds
Ginger can be used dried, powdered, fresh, in an oil form, or as a juice, and is commonly used in not only food dishes, but in cosmetics as well. Gingerol is the active compound in this root and it’s this compound that is thought to be responsible for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Ginger helps improve the immune system. Consuming a little bit ginger a day can help foil potential risk of a stroke by inhibiting fatty deposits from the arteries. It also decreases bacterial infections in the stomach, and helps battle a bad cough and throat irritation.
#.Helps with Heartburn and Acid Reflux Management
Countless people afflicted with heartburn and indigestion ought to give ginger a try as a treatment, rather than having to resort to the many expensive acid-blockers. These drugs have been notorious for raising risks of bone fractures, malabsorption problems, pneumonia, cancer, as well as Clostridum difficile.
Recent research compared ginger to acid blockers and astonishingly, ginger was found to be six to eight times better than the drugs. Instead of interfering with or eliminating stomach acid barrier, ginger constrains acid reflux and manages strong proteolytic enzymes.
Having high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol has been linked in numerous studies to an increased risk of heart disease. One study that involved 85 persons with high cholesterol over a 45 day period showed that the consumption of 3 grams of powdered ginger significantly lowered all markers of cholesterol levels. Studies done involving hypothyroid rats showed that ginger extract lowered LDL cholesterol just as well as the prescription drug atorvastatin.
#.Cold and Flu Prevention
Ginger root has been used for thousands of years as a means of treating and preventing colds and flu infection all over Asia. Even research shows that you can shorten the duration of colds and flusby drinking a fresh ginger root tea two or three times each day. Many home remedies call for drinking a cup of fresh ginger tea every morning and evening during the flu season with the belief that it can prevent you from catching one of these annoying winter bugs, however, there are currently no studies showing if this folk prevention method is effective.
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. It is a serious problem all over the world, including in the US and other western countries. Ginger extract has been shown in several studies to be an alternative treatment for several different types of cancer. The active cancer fighting compound, 6-gingerol, is found in large amounts of raw ginger root.
One study involving 30 people showed that 2 grams of ginger extract each day significantly reduced their inflammatory signaling molecules in the colon. Other studies show that ginger can be effective against ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer. Although more studies need to be done in this area, ginger shows tremendous promise in becoming a super cancer preventative.
#.Reduces Sore Muscles and Muscle Pain
One study showed that the consumption of 2 grams of ginger per day, over the 11 day study period, significantly reduces muscle pain in subjects that were told to perform strenuous elbow exercises. Although ginger does not have an immediate impact, regular consumption of ginger can be effective at reducing the day to day ebb and flow of muscle pain. It’s believed that these effects occur due to the anti-inflammatory properties.
#.Lowers Blood Sugar
It appears that ginger also has powerful anti-diabetic compounds. One study, done in early 2015, involved 41 subjects with type 2 diabetes. Results showed that the consumption of 2 grams of powdered ginger each day decreased fasting blood sugar levels by 12 percent. Ginger was also shown to improve dramatically the markers for the long-term blood sugar levels. Levels of HbA1c were lowered by 10 percent over the 12 week study period.
#.Reduces Menstrual Pain
Dysmenorrhea, known more commonly as cramps, during a woman’s menstrual cycle have been found in studies to be greatly reduced by the consumption of ginger. One study instructed 150 women to consume 1 gram of powdered ginger each day for the first 3 days of their menstrual cycle. All subjects stated that ginger appeared to reduce their pain just as effectively as ibuprofen or the prescription drug mefenamic acid.
#.Alleviates Sore Throat
Ginger is a natural pain killer or analgesic, which is why it is often used to treat a sore throat. Since it also has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, it may help fight whatever infection is causing the sore throat in the first place. According to ayurvedic medicine, ginger is considered a universal medicine used on all tissues.
#.Prevent Bacterial-Induced Diarrhea
In developing countries, bacterial-induced diarrhea is a serious problem due to the limited availability of potable water in some areas. In some cases, it has even caused death due to toxins released by bacteria. However, the compound zingerone which is found in ginger, binds to the toxins, thereby preventing them from interacting with the gut. This prevents the bacterial-induced diarrhea and resultant death.
Ginger can be helpful in the management of migraines and headaches. It is particularly beneficial for fighting nausea that typically accompanies migraine headaches.
Mix a one inch slice of ginger with a tsp. of dried peppermint and a squeeze of cayenne in boiling water. Allow to boil for 15 minutes prior to drinking.
#.Combats Stomach Discomfort
Ginger is ideal in assisting digestion, thereby improving food absorption and avoiding possible stomach ache. Ginger appears to reduce inflammation in a similar way to aspirin and ibuprofen.
Ginger is high in many elements which all help treat heart conditions. Ginger has an anti-blood clotting ability which helps in reducing stroke and heart diseases. Studies have shown how ginger has other health benefits. It has helped in reducing cholesterol, regulating blood pressure, and improving blood flow.
Note : There are many other great benefits of ginger. Be sure to consult a doctor if in doubt about if to take ginger or not for certain conditions. Don’t forget to like and share.