Generations of the family have handed down the ginger as the “secret” recipe for nausea, vomiting, and other stomach issues for years. Ginger ale is so effective for soothing the stomach that even hospitals use it for their patients. Ginger root, the foundation of the popular soft drink, is what makes this remedy so popular. What many people don’t realize is that ginger health benefits go far beyond curing an upset stomach.
Ginger health benefits:
Ginger is full of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, iron, potassium, vitamin B6. Niacin, zinc, and magnesium to name just a few. While ginger health benefits list is impressive, so far, we’ve only touched on a few ginger health benefits. Read on for twelve specific ways ginger can keep you healthy.
1. Ginger helps to improve cardiovascular health
Ginger can help to lower LDL, the bad cholesterol while raising HDL, or the good, cholesterol. It also protects blood vessels from suffering the effects of oxidative stress, which can prevent hardening of the arteries and reduce the risk of dangerous blood clots.
2. Fresh ginger can help lessen the effects of the common cold
Ginger can block the cold virus from entering your cells. It is a diuretic, meaning that it causes the body to sweat. So, it can help fight colds or relieve the symptoms of a cold or the flu. Sweat serves two purposes; it helps to pull toxins from your body, and perspiration contains germ-fighting properties.
3. Ginger kills bacteria and prevents fungal growth
Fresh ginger can stop 19 strains of Helicobacter pylori, a leading cause of stomach ulcers. It can also fight many other bacterial infections, including e-coli, salmonella, and several staph infections. Ginger is also a proven antifungal for topical uses such as toenail fungus or yeast infection and eczema.
4. Ginger can help fight cancer
One of the most exciting health benefits of ginger is its cancer-fighting abilities. In fact, research has shown that it is effective in reducing the risk and spread of colorectal and ovarian cancers. It does this using several different paths:
- Inducing apoptosis in cancer cells
- Blocking new cancer cells from growing
- Increasing the cell’s sensitivity to radiation therapy, making it more effective
- Keeping current cancer cells from spreading
5. Ginger can help fight obesity
Ginger has been known for centuries throughout China, India, and the Middle East for its healing medicinal qualities. It works to balance a diet that is high in fat and increases the capacity for endurance for more effective exercise programs.
6. Digestive disorders
Ginger is prized for its ability to protect and restore digestive health. It is an excellent, recognized and effective treatment for nausea and vomiting, morning sickness (always ask your physician before adding any supplement to your diet when pregnant or nursing) and has even been used to treat seasickness or motion sickness.
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7. Joint swelling and pain
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that make it effective for swollen, achy joints. It can be used for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and is also helping to ease the swelling and pain associated with muscle strains and sprains. Research indicates that ginger can be as effective as over-the-counter pain medications.
9. Reduces painful menstrual cramping
Ginger health benefits for women include easing painful menstrual cramping and headaches in intensity and duration. Studies show that ginger can be just as effective as over-the-counter medications, but without any harmful side effects. It has antifungal, antimicrobial and antibiotic properties that can prevent infections of cuts or sores.
10. Ginger has great effects on the skin and hair
Ginger can be used to promote healthy skin cell regeneration, fight wrinkles and aging processes, tone the skin, and fade dark spots and scars. The antimicrobial and antibacterial qualities of ginger make it an effective tool in the fight against acne and blemishes.
Ginger stimulates new hair growth and slows or stops hair loss. It can also repair split ends and strengthen the hair. Its antifungal properties make it a useful dandruff fighter, too.
11. Ginger can help lower and balance blood sugar levels
Research has shown that ginger health benefits for type 2 diabetics an include lowering fasting blood sugar levels and improving blood sugar markers for the long term. Therefore, it can help in maintaining a healthy weight, lower cholesterol, and can help asthma and allergy sufferers to breathe better.
12. Ginger can help improve brain functions
Studies showing that ginger health benefits can help improve brain function, too. Because it seems to protect against inflammation of and degeneration of nerve pathways that can cause Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
How to get the best ginger health benefits?
The medicinal qualities of ginger come from its bioactive compound known as gingerol. Gingerol has been shown to give ginger health benefits such as gastrointestinal relief, anti-inflammatory properties, and high levels of antioxidants. Ginger comes in many forms.
- Fresh: In its freshest form, ginger can be ground into a powder and brewed into a tea or added to hot and cold beverages. It is also a tasty herb to add to many dishes, pairing well with seafood. Fresh ginger stores well in the refrigerator.
- Additive and flavoring: Gingerbread, ginger snap cookies, and ginger ale are just a few examples of ginger’s tasty flavoring used in prepared foods.
- Oil: Ginger oil can be used for ginger health benefits and taken directly out of the bottle or added to foods. It can be taken internally or applied directly to cuts and sores.
- Dried spice: Ginger can be found in the spice section of your grocer and used as a flavoring in dishes. It can be added to teas and juices as well.
- Supplements: Strictly addressing ginger health benefits, the herb can be found as capsules by itself or as part of many other supplements in nutrition stores.
The amount of ginger you need to take will depend on what you are using the herb for. Generally, the daily dosage for ginger will be between two to four grams.
Is ginger safe?
Ginger itself is perfectly safe for consumption and has no side effects on its own. There are a few things that may happen if ginger is taken at too high of a dosage, and it can interact with prescription medications.
- Because of its blood sugar lowering properties, if you are diabetic and on medications make sure to talk to your doctor before using it and monitor your blood glucose regularly.
- Ginger is a blood thinner and should not be used if you have any bleeding disorders or are on pharmaceutical blood thinners.
- Taking too much ginger may lead to stomach irritation or other gastrointestinal upset. Ginger taken at high amounts may lead to heartburn, gas and bloating.
- Use with caution if you are on blood pressure medications; ginger may make your blood pressure drop significantly.
- Always ask your doctor before you add any herb or supplement to your diet if you are pregnant.
Ginger is a safe, vitamin packed and miraculous herb to add flavoring for food, drink as a soothing tea, or to take as a supplement to maximize your ginger health benefits.