Ginger has been used for thousands of years in cooking to enhance the flavor of meals as well as in medicine all over the world. It is a plant that is rich in natural chemicals that promote health, wellness and not forgetting that bit of yumminess in food.
Ginger can be bought fresh in its root form, dried and powdered, and also crystallized. To add onto that, ginger water is also quite commonly used as herbal medicine.
To best enjoy the benefits of ginger, adding it in food preparation such as in curries and stir-fries produces a flavor that will completely change the taste of your meals. It can also be juiced and used in baking. The fan favorite of course being ginger biscuits. Possibly, the simplest way ginger can be consumed is by infusing it with hot water to make a refreshing tea that is guaranteed to clear your itchy throat when you feel a cold creeping through.
Ginger has a unique fragrance and flavor which come from its naturals oils the most important one being, gingerol. Gingerol is the main compound in ginger responsible for majority of its medicinal properties.
This article explores some of the health benefits that this wonderful spice has to offer.
Ginger is commonly used to help ease symptoms of nausea in conditions such as motion sickness, morning sickness, and nausea experienced by patients following chemotherapy.
Certain compounds found in ginger root can be effective in helping to improve blood flow and relax the intestinal tract thus alleviating symptoms of nausea. Measuring a gram or gram and a half of ginger into your tea or just simply warm water will do the trick.
Anti-inflammatory and Pain Relief
Inflammation has become a common experience for a number of people therefore diet and lifestyle changes are required to fight this inflammation. Ginger has anti-inflammatory and some analgesic properties that would do just that.
It is believed that the anti-inflammatory characteristic of ginger can help to soothe joint pain associated with osteoarthritis. Studies show that those who consume supplements of ginger daily, experience less muscle pain after working out. Some research also suggests that ginger may also help with pain caused by menstrual cramps and migraine. Consuming 2 grams of ginger daily is enough to reduce pain and inflammation.
However, it’s important to remember that ginger doesn’t have an immediate effect on pain but may have an impact to reducing the progression pain when consumed day by day.
Perhaps the most common medicinal use for ginger is to promote healthy digestion. The compounds found in ginger can help to reduce intestinal gas and improve the absorption of nutrients from food.
It is believed that the delayed emptying of the stomach is the major cause of chronic indigestion. Ginger is known to be the driver in speeding up the process of emptying the stomach to help relieve the uncomfortable feeling of indigestion. If you are a victim of chronic indigestion, consuming a gram of ginger before meals will accelerate emptying of the stomach by 50%.
A Remedy for Fungal Infections
The compound gingerol is also a strong antioxidant. The antioxidant properties of ginger can help to destroy and inhibit the growth of fungus, which makes this powerful root an effective treatment for some fungal infections.
Lowering cholesterol levels
High levels of cholesterol increase the chances of heart disease. Consuming ginger in your diet can reduce the levels of ‘bad cholesterol’ and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases as well as others such as cancer. Studies show that 3 grams of ginger powder a day significantly reduces the bad cholesterol in our bodies.
The possible health benefits of ginger are vast, and there is more research needed in order to establish the full medicinal potential of this super spice.
The beneficial properties of ginger may be the perfect natural antidote to many common health conditions. If you are experiencing pain or nausea, try including ginger in your next meal, snack or even drinks. You may be surprised at the powerful effects this wonderful spice can have on your health as you make that stride into to becoming a healthier and better you