Health Benefits of Ginger – Zingiber officinale or Ginger, as it’s more commonly known, is a rhizome whose name is derived from singabera which means horn shaped. Ginger can be yellow, white or red in color depending on the variety. Raw ginger by itself may not be the best tasting thing, and neither are those chunks of ginger that you often stumble upon in your meal.
But before you proceed to forcibly remove those chunks, read this post. Because the multitude of health benefits that ginger has to offer are sure to change your mind about them.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Ginger
1. As a Popular Digestive Aid
Ginger has been used as a digestive aid in ancient cultures for hundreds of years now. The carminative properties of it promotes the elimination of intestinal gas, thereby preventing bloating and flatulence. Gastrointestinal muscles are also relaxed due to the intestinal spasmolytic properties present in this rhizome.
Consuming slices of ginger sprinkled with salt right before major meals helps to increase saliva flow which aids in digestion and thus preventing stomach issues. Consuming ginger tea after meals is equally helpful in the reduction of flatulence and bloating. It also helps to alleviate the symptoms of food poisoning and chronic indigestion.
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2. To Treat Morning Sickness
Ginger is highly effective in the treatment of nausea generally, and vomiting in patients who undergo surgery and chemotherapy. Consume around one or two grams of ginger daily to alleviate nausea, including that of morning sickness. However, take note that pregnant women should consult a doctor before consuming large amounts of ginger as it can raise the risk of miscarriages.
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3. As an Anti Inflammatory Agent
Ginger contains an anti-inflammatory compound called gingerol that is helpful to alleviate joint and muscle pain. It can also be used in the treatment of acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. Even rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are easier to deal wit, thanks to the analgesic properties present in ginger. That’s not all. Apparently, ginger is also good to ease short term stiffness and pain in the knee.
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4.Prevents the Onset of Cancer
Ginger extract can be used as an alternative treatment for several forms of cancer. The anti-cancer properties of ginger are attributed to the presence of 6-gingerol which is found in large amounts in raw ginger. Two grams of ginger extract everyday can reduce pro inflammatory signalling molecules in the colon. Ginger is also effective in fighting against pancreatic, breast and ovarian cancer.
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5. To Fight Cholesterol
If your cholesterol levels have spiked up, then you can find a remedy in ginger. A major cause of heart disease is high levels of LDL lipoproteins which are strongly influenced by the food you consume. Three grams of ginger powder each day can bring a reduction in cholesterol and blood triglycerides.
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6. As an Anti-diabetic Compound
Ginger is effective both therapeutically and preventively in the case of diabetes. It is helpful in glycemic control for people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Ginger extracts increases the uptake of glucose into muscle cells without the use of insulin. It also aids in the increase of insulin release and sensitivity thereby improving lipid profiles. Another health benefit that ginger has to offer is in the protection against diabetic liver.
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7. Treats Asthma
The compounds in ginger have also been effective in treating respiratory disorders. Patients suffering from asthma should totally to the health benefits of ginger for respite. Asthma occurs when the muscles in the oxygen channels of the lungs swell up. Ginger as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and an analgesic agent works well to reducing the swelling, thus providing relief for asthma.
For asthma, ginger works in two ways:
- It inhibits the enzymes that constrict airway muscles.
- It activates another enzyme which relaxes the airways.
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8. For Coughs and Colds
Ginger is an immune booster, no wonder it’s always used in the treatment of colds and flu. An added health benefit of ginger is that it helps to calm symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections thereby working on coughs, sore throats and bronchitis. The micro-circulatory channels of the body will also be cleared out, which includes sinuses as well.
- Consume this wonder rhizome with lemon and honey.
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9.Slows Down DNA Damage
Ginger has antioxidant properties which helps to protect lipids from peroxidation and DNA damage. Antioxidants are important as they provide protection against free radicals. This helps to reduce various types of degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and arthritis. There are 25 different antioxidant properties that ginger possesses which makes it effective in fighting free radicals in different areas of the body.
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10. Combats Migraines and Menstrual Pain
A less known health benefit of ginger happens to be the ability of this wonder root to provide relief from migraine headaches. Ginger powder can even treat the symptoms of a migraine. Drinking ginger tea at the start of a migraine attack helps to stop the nausea and dizziness. Painful menstruation can also be eased by ginger. Ginger oil when applied to the body, eliminates joint and back pain.
Other benefits that ginger has to offer include:
- It has a warming effect which stimulates overall circulation.
- It inhibits rhinovirus which is responsible for common cold.
- It inhibits the growth of Salmonella which causes diarrhea.
- It reduces gas in the intestinal tract.
- It can help to prevent stomach ulcers.
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Best Ways to Use Ginger
- Raw Ginger: Place raw sliced ginger in your beverage (smoothie, tea, plain water) every morning or try adding it to your regular vegetable juice.
- Ginger Essential Oil: Ginger oil has the highest levels of gingerol which can be applied topically on areas of pain.
- Ginger Tea: Ginger tea can be used to relieve nausea, relax the body and settle an upset stomach.
- Ginger Powder: Incorporate this into your cooking to take full advantage of ginger.
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Wish you knew these facts beforehand, right? Ginger indeed is one of the best natural remedies for most ailments that you might suffer from. Incorporate the use of this rhizome in your everyday cooking and you will see a marked improvement in your overall health.