Ginger is one of those groceries that rarely anyone notices when shopping for food. A small, brown, and plain looking, it is not something that you find appealing right away. Yet, if you just knew how many health benefits are lurking inside a ginger plant, you won’t be so quick to miss out on buying ginger the next time you go to your local supermarket.
The truth is that ginger has been used for centuries, especially in Eastern cuisine and medicine. Often a part of alternative treatments and homemade remedies, the ginger root has been a staple in Asian households thanks to the multitude of health benefits it was known to provide. Nowadays, ginger has also found its way into Western cuisine and its popularity has been growing at a rapid pace all over the globe.
Thanks to its widespread popularity, ginger has become mass produced and not only as a plain root but also in various other forms. You can find it fresh in a supermarket, as a dried dietary supplement, as well as in the form of oil and juice extract.
It has likewise been adopted by producers of beauty products mainly due to its inexpensive price and the unquestionable benefit it can provide to the preservation of healthy skin, nails, and hair. Even as a spice, it can be put to great use to add rich flavor to any type of cuisine.
One of the main ingredients of ginger is gingerol – a natural oil that contains plenty of medicinal properties. Gingerol is also what gives ginger its peculiar smell and the strong, spicy flavor, that has put off many from introducing the plant into their everyday diet. But underneath that strong smell and taste hide plenty of health benefits that have lead many doctors and nutritionists to recommend ginger.
The Benefits of Using Ginger
Ginger can bring many health benefits to your body, the most important ones being that it can relieve bloating in your stomach, regulate your appetite, improve your food absorption by stimulating your intestines, as well as decrease gasses. Regular consumption of ginger also helps improve and renew your intestinal flora which subsequently has a positive effect on both diarrhea as well as constipation.
Nausea and Stomach Problems
Thus, if you’re having trouble with stomach problems, like feeling pain in your stomach or feeling nauseated, you only need take some ginger. It is particularly helpful for anyone who feels sea-sick or pregnant women who feel morning sickness. Instead of having to use medicine, you can just use ginger instead.
This is exactly why ginger is recommended for people who are going through chemotherapy. And not only has ginger been found to help with the vomiting and feelings of nausea caused by chemotherapy but there have been studies that have also shown that ginger has the power to stop the spread of cancer cells with people who suffered from colon cancer.
Ginger can also be used to alleviate muscle pains. If you’ve been through a high-intensity workout and are feeling excessive muscle pain, all it takes is only 2g of ginger per day to stop your aches. However, it is not an instant solution for this problem. Thus, you will need to take it regularly in order for it to work.
You can also use ginger to treat stiff and sore joints. Studies have shown that ginger has a positive effect in patients suffering from osteoarthritis, a condition that is becoming more and more common lately. By introducing ginger into their diets, osteoarthritis patients have been able to lower their joint soreness and thus their need for special medication. It is especially beneficial when combined with sesame oil and cinnamon into a topical solution that you can apply on your joints directly.
Blood Sugar and Cholesterol
There is only but a small amount of research on ginger’s effects on diabetes prevention but the plant was nevertheless shown to help with lowering the risk of developing diabetes. The recommended daily dose is again 2 g per day, used as a preventive medicine.
Ginger can also help you lower your cholesterol levels, especially the dangerous LDL (bad) cholesterol, which means that it can also help you preserve your heart health and prevent heard coronary diseases. A small daily intake of ginger, approximately 3 grams each day, has been shown to have a significant effect on lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, much like the most common pharmaceutical – statin.
Ginger is one potent anti-inflammatory agent that also contains plenty of antioxidants. As such, it can be a great boost to your body’s immune system. Not only can it help improve your body’s immunity system, but it can likewise help you fight allergies. It is particularly useful during cold winters and flu season as a preventive medicine but also a treatment for any of these conditions.
Stress and Infertility
It’s no surprise to see ginger as a recommended dietary addition for those suffering from psychological problems. Ginger is a stress reliever that can also help with migraine relief and treatment of headaches. The reason why it is so effective against these predicaments is that it has a significant effect on improving blood flow and boosting strength and vigor of those who use it.
Men can particularly benefit from using ginger as it can help them relieve stress as well as increase their fertility. Drinking ginger tea has been known to help increase the number of spermatozoids and their mobility as well as treat erectile dysfunction.
The Bottom Line
Introducing ginger into your diet can have a significant effect on your health and well-being. Just make sure that when you buy ginger you always buy it fresh. Fresh ginger can provide you with more health benefits that a dried or old root. Also, if you want to start taking ginger tea, make sure to consult a doctor first if you suffer from lower blood pressure, hypoglycemia, gallstones, or if you are taking anticoagulant medication.