Ginger is among the healthiest and most delicious spices on the planet. Ginger, with its strong and spicy aroma, has its own place in cuisine world. It may be used fresh or dried, powdered or pickled or in the form of juice or oil. Ginger tea, the classic way, is the most commonly used form of ginger.
It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain. Ginger has anti-nausea, anti-spasmodic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-tussive (cough suppressant) properties that can do wonders for your health. Also, ginger is a good source of vitamins A, C, E, and B-complex, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, iron, zinc, calcium and beta-carotene.
Numerous studies have been conducted on the medicinal benefits of this wonder spice for over 100 health conditions. It has a long history of use, and as a testimony to its numerous benefits, it remains a component of more than 50% of all traditional herbal remedies. Under its hard surface it contains a number of health benefits; I have tried to uncover the best ones, some of the best out of which are listed below:
- Digestive Aid:
Ginger has been used as a digestive aid for thousands of years by ancient cultures. Its carminative properties promote the elimination of intestinal gas to prevent bloating and flatulence, while its intestinal spasmolytic properties relax the gastrointestinal muscles to soothe an upset stomach. Eating slices of ginger sprinkled with salt before meals can increase saliva flow to aid digestion and prevent stomach issues.
- Reduce Muscle Pain & Soreness:
Ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain. In one study, consuming 2 grams of ginger per day, for 11 days, significantly reduced muscle pain in people performing elbow exercises. Ginger does not have an immediate impact, but may be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain. Many studies have also claimed that it is an effective agent to fight against arthritis pain also.
- Keeps Respiratory Problems at Bay:
Ginger’s antihistamine property helps in treating allergies — a common cause for respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis. It is also known to inhibit airway contraction and help stimulate the secretion of mucus.
- Soothes Migraine:
Research has shown that ginger can provide pain relief from migraine headaches. Ginger works on migraines by blocking prostaglandins, which stimulate muscle contractions, control inflammation in the blood vessels, and impact some hormones. Drinking ginger tea at the onset of a migraine attack stifles prostaglandins to block the unbearable pain, and stop the associated nausea and dizziness.
- Provides Relief in Menstrual Pain:
Ginger can also help women effectively reduce the pain associated with dysmenorrheal (painful menstruation). A research study in Iran divided 70 female students into two groups. One group was administered ginger capsules and the other was given a placebo – each for the first three days of their menstrual cycles. The researchers found that 82.85% of the women taking ginger capsules reported improvements in pain symptoms, compared to 47.05% of those on placebo.
In the case of diabetes, studies have shown ginger to be effective both preventively and therapeutically. Ginger works on diabetes by increasing insulin release and sensitivity, inhibiting enzymes in carbohydrate metabolism, and improving lipid profiles. Ginger also has a very low glycemic index (GI), which means it breaks down slowly to form glucose, and therefore does not trigger a spike in blood sugar levels like high GI foods do.
Several studies have also established ginger to have a preventive effect against diabetes complications. Ginger can protect a diabetic’s liver, kidneys, and central nervous system, and reduce the risk of cataracts – a common side-effect of the disease.
- Heals Heart:
High in potassium, manganese, chromium, magnesium and zinc, and famous for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger has been used for years to treat heart conditions. Modern studies indicate that the herb’s compounds go to work by lowering cholesterol, regulating blood pressure, improving blood flow, and preventing blocked arteries and blood clots – all of which help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Slows DNA Damage:
Many worldwide studies have found ginger to contain potent antioxidant properties, which help protect lipids from peroxidation (rancidity) and DNA damage. Antioxidants are extremely important as they provide protection against free radicals, which helps reduce the various types of degenerative diseases that come with aging, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and more. While all spices are known to be powerful antioxidants, ginger seems to be extra-potent. It contains 25 different antioxidant properties on its own. This makes it effective at fighting a variety of free radicals, and in different areas of the body.
Cancer is a very serious disease that is characterized by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. 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. Specifically ginger is found to be effective against breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.
The use of natural remedies like ginger that are safe and can suppress growth of breast cancer cells is highly desirable. The other advantages of using ginger are that it is easy to administer in capsule form, it has few reported side effects, and it’s a low-cost alternative to conventional drugs.
- Fights Cold & Flu:
Ginger is a well-known treatment for colds and flu. Ginger clears the micro-circulatory channels of the body, including the pesky sinuses that flare up during colds. Ginger also has thermo-genic properties, so it can warm up the body in the cold and, more importantly, can promote healthy sweating. This type of sweating, which helps to detoxify the body and assist in releasing cold symptoms, has also been shown to fight off bacterial and fungal infections.
Withstanding all these benefits for health, I can say that ginger is must for everyone. If you haven’t used it earlier it might taste odd, but fast you’ll develop the taste for ginger and would love it. But here are a few precautions that I would like you to take with ginger. Ginger should not be given to children under the age of two And ginger can interact with other medications, including blood thinners, so always consult a doctor for ginger dosage information and potential side effects for specific issues.
Eat Healthy…!! Stay Healthy…!!
Latest posts by Ankit Jain (see all)
- Sapota – The Gift for Health - May 17, 2016
- Online Yoga “A Revolutionary New Way to stay Healthy at Home” - April 27, 2016
- Healthy Oats, Healthier Benefits - April 12, 2016