Ginger is a tasty rhizome that originated in Southeast Asia. This pungent spice is used in dishes around the world. It has also been used for thousands of years in alternative medicine, and now is embraced by conventional medicine. Ginger provides a number of health benefits, including inflammation reduction, immunity support, and nausea relief. Ginger is available as fresh rhizomes, powders, oils, juices, or supplements. Let’s take a look at the top eight ways you can use ginger to improve your overall health and well-being.
1. Ginger reduces inflammation and supports health
Ginger has been shown to provide a plethora of health benefits, including helping the body fight the flu and other viral illnesses, relieves digestive woes, and much more. The main bioactive compound in ginger is gingerol. Gingerol is a naturally occurring oil that gives ginger its unique fragrance, flavor, and numerous health benefits. Gingerol helps reduce free radical damage by reducing inflammation and providing antioxidant protection to sweep free radicals, toxins, bacteria, viruses, and other health damaging compounds from the body.
2, Ginger helps relieve many types of nausea, including morning sickness
Ginger has been used for centuries as an effective treatment for nausea. It can help reduce nausea and vomiting experienced after certain types of surgeries. It can also be used to help reduce or eliminate the nausea caused by chemotherapy drugs. Ginger may also help relieve motion sickness and seasickness better than over the counter motion sickness medications. However, ginger is most effective in relieving pregnancy related nausea, including morning sickness. Taking as little as 1.5 grams of ginger can greatly reduce morning sickness. Ginger is considered safe; however, you should avoid taking large amounts of ginger if you are pregnant. Women who are near full term and those who have had miscarriages in the past should avoid ginger. Finally, those with clotting disorders or a history of vaginal bleeding should speak with their physician before consuming ginger or taking a ginger supplement.
3. Ginger helps reduce glucose levels
Ginger provides powerful anti-diabetic protection. Consuming 2 grams of ginger daily can lower fasting glucose levels by as much as twelve percent. Furthermore, it can decrease A1c readings by ten percent when taken for 12 weeks. Ginger works by increasing the uptake of blood sugar into your muscle cells without the need for insulin, which can help manage high blood sugar levels. It also interacts with the serotonin receptors in the body to improve glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Finally, the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger can help protect against a variety of health complications associated with diabetes, including heart problems and cataracts.
4. Ginger helps relieve indigestion
Chronic indigestion is uncomfortable and causes recurrent pain in your upper stomach. One of the main causes of indigestion is delayed emptying of the stomach. Ginger has been shown to speed up the emptying, which can relieve indigestion and upset stomach. Ginger can also be used to neutralize stomach acid to relieve indigestion. Consuming a cup of ginger tea, sucking on a piece of ginger candy, or drinking some ginger ale can help relieve your indigestion. Ginger also helps the body break up gas, enhance gut motility, and increase the number of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas, which helps improves digestion.
5. Ginger may improve heart health
High readings of LDL cholesterol have been linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. There are many ways to lower your cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of developing heart disease, including changing your diet. Consuming 5 grams of ginger or taking a ginger supplement can decrease your cholesterol levels by as much as 18 percent over a three month period. If you are unable to take a five gram dose, taking 3 grams of ginger can reduce bad cholesterol levels by 10 percent within 45 days. Ginger has been shown to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol readings, total cholesterol levels, and blood triglycerides, reducing these can help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and other heart problems.
6. Ginger may protect against age-related cognitive decline
Chronic inflammation along with oxidative stress (damage caused by free radicals) can accelerate the effects of aging on the body. Studies have shown that the bioactive compounds in ginger along with ginger’s antioxidants can inhibit your body’s inflammatory response in the brain. Ginger shields brain cells and protects against Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive issues. It also helps to improve serotonin and dopamine production to improve mood and reduce the risk of depression. The bioactive compounds in ginger can also increase attention span, improve reaction times, and help combat the effects of stress on the brain.
7. Ginger improves immunity naturally
Ginger can support your immune system and reduce your risk of viral, bacterial, or fungal illnesses. Ginger is naturally antibacterial and antiparasitic. It can help enhance immunity, decrease the effects of stress on the body and assist with DNA reconstruction. Furthermore, ginger contains powerful antioxidants to rid the body of free radical damage. It also provides antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory protection to improve your immune system naturally.
8. Ginger may help you lose weight
Ginger supplementation may help reduce your waist to hip ratio and reduce body mass index thanks to its effects on blood insulin levels. Taking two grams of ginger powder for 12 weeks along with a healthy diet and exercise program can reduce systemic inflammation, improve weight loss efforts, and enhance metabolism.
Ginger is available in both supplements and food. You can find fresh ginger in the produce section of most grocery stores. You can also find grated ginger in a jar, pickled ginger, ginger juice, powdered ginger, ginger ale, ginger tea, and ginger candies. Ginger supplements are available in capsules, essential oils, tinctures, extracts, crystals, and loose powder.
Ginger is one of the oldest culinary spices that is used around the world. It has been used for more than 5,000 years to help improve health, enhance well-being, and promote longevity in both traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Indian Ayurvedic medicine. It provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection and can be used to relieve nausea, improve glucose readings, reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues and boost immunity.