Ginger has many health benefits.
And I am not referring to the age old question: “Ginger or Mary Ann”?
People have used different herbs and spices as home remedies for thousands of years.
Some solutions, like the use of garlic to ward off vampires, are purely fictionally.
The benefits for other plants are well-documented.
According to a recent Healthline article titled “11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger,” ginger has many uses and is heralded as one of the healthiest spices in the world.
Hailing from Southeast Asia, the plant is related to cardamom, galangal, and turmeric.
When you think of ginger, you are thinking of the rhizome — or the ginger root.
Whether dried, fresh, powdered, oiled, or juiced; the plant is helpful.
In fact, there are at least 11 proven benefits to this spice.
What are they?
Benefits from medicinal properties.
The component gingerol is commonly used in both alternative and traditional medicines.
With antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, the plant can combat the common cold or flu, decrease nausea, and improve digestion.
Decrease morning sickness or other nausea.
As previously mentioned, ginger can reduce vomiting and nausea.
This is helpful in a variety or circumstances, such as chemotherapy, surgery, and pregnancy.
Not every pregnant person should consume this spice.
Those who are have had miscarriages or are close to labor should not consume or use this plant.
Also, those with clotting disorders or vaginal bleeding should avoid the spice.
Consult your physician and do not rely on this blog post for medical advice!
Improve weight loss.
Studies on animals and humans demonstrate ginger can be a positive factor in weight loss.
Although a literature review conducted in 2019 found this food to combat obesity and help with weight loss, additional research should be conducted.
Help with osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the joints in the body degenerate.
Joints then become painful and stiff.
Another literature review found ginger as a treatment reduced disability and pain from osteoarthritis.
Lower blood sugars and improve heart disease risk factors.
Although research is fairly new in these realms, ginger could benefit those at risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
A single study of 41 individuals with type 2 diabetes in 2015 showed fasting blood sugar was reduced by 12 percent in those who took two grams of ginger powder each day.
Also, hemoglobin Alc (HbA1c) was reduced by 10 percent over a 12 week period.
This is important because it is a marker for long-term low blood sugar.
Additionally, the Apolipoprotein B/Apolipoprotein A-I ratio was reduced by 28 percent and malondialdehyde (MDA) was reduced by 23 percent.
Why is his important?
Both high ApoB/ApoA-I ratio and high MDA levels are significant heart disease risk factors and MDA is a byproduct of oxidative stress.
Treat chronic indigestion.
If food stays in the stomach for an extended period of time, the likelihood of indigestion increase.
Ginger has been shown to decreases the time it takes for the stomach to empty.
A study in 2011 separated those with dyspepsia into two groups.
One group was given ginger capsules and the other a placebo.
Both groups were given soup an hour after taking the pill.
The stomachs of those with the ginger emptied in just over 12 minutes while the stomach emptying took more than 16 minutes for those with the placebo.
Reduce menstrual pain.
Although I have not experienced it personally, I hear “periods” can be quite uncomfortable.
This pain during menstruation is called dysmenorrhea.
Ginger can provide pain relief, even menstrual pain.
Lower cholesterol levels.
Having high levels of LDL cholesterol is not ideal.
These have been connected to a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease.
The foods people consume can either help raise or reduce LDL levels.
In a study of 60 individuals with hyperlipidemia in 2018, 30 individuals who received five grams of ginger-pasted power daily reduced their LDL cholesterol levels by 17.4 percent over three months.
The doses used in the study are considered high.
May help prevent cancer.
As previously mentioned, the gingerol component of ginger can have medicinal qualities.
One of these seems to be an anti-cancer property, especially -gingerol.
In one study, the intake of two-grams of ginger extract daily significantly reduced the inflammatory signaling molecules found in the colon of those with normal risk of colorectal cancer.
Those with high-risk of colorectal cancer; however, did not have the same results.
Despite this, there is limited evidence of effectiveness on other cancers like liver or pancreatic cancer.
May improve brain function and protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress can expedite aging and are also markers for age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies on animals again demonstrate that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of ginger reduce these key drivers of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
Additionly, certain studies on animals demonstrated that the bioactive and antioxidant components of ginger reduce inflammatory responses in the functioning of the brain.
Gingerol can decrease the risk of developing infections.
Extract from ginger can also minimize the growth of certain bacteria.
With these positive benefits, how do you add ginger to your diet?
You can cook chicken dishes with the spice as an ingredient or drink ginger tea or juice.
By doing so, you could unleash a variety of health benefits as you age.
Reference: Healthline (March 19, 2021) “11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger”