Since ancient times, ginger has been used both as a culinary and medicinal staple. It’s still commonly used as a home treatment for things like nausea and stomach pain. Some people take ginger supplements in addition to using fresh or dried ginger in cooking or herbal teas because of possible health benefits.
Ginger root comes from the plant Zingiber officinale. It has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for a very long time. Ginger can help with both nausea and vomiting, and it also aids in digestion. There is hope that the antioxidants and other nutrients found in ginger root can be used to treat or prevent arthritis, inflammation, and even some infections. There’s some evidence that ginger can lower your danger of developing diabetes, cancer, and other diseases.
Texts from ancient Rome, Greece, China, and the Arab world talk about how ginger can be used as a medicine. Because of its effectiveness in treating gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea, it has become a staple in traditional Asian medicine. Ginger has been used in traditional medicine for a long time to treat aches and pains in muscles, joints, the stomach, during menstruation, and on the skin.
There is scientific evidence supporting ginger health benefits, and many people still use it today as a natural remedy for gastrointestinal distress. Many contemporary dishes also feature ginger.
Origin of ginger
Although it was originally native to Southeast Asia, today you can find ginger growing all over the world. As a Zingiberaceae member, it is related to turmeric. Ginger’s scientific name is Zingiber officinale. It is thought that this name comes from the Sanskrit word for spice, which is Singabera.
A cluster of greenish-purple flowers tops the three-foot-tall plant’s lush foliage. The root, also called the rhizome, of the ginger plant, is what is typically harvested and used for culinary and medicinal purposes. The fleshy part of the root can be yellow, red, or white, depending on the cultivar. To gather it, farmers dig up the entire plant, shake off the dirt, then strip off the leaves and wash the root.
Ginger comes in many forms, from fresh to dried, and stored as a spice to tablets, capsules, and liquid extracts. About 2% of the essential oil in soaps and other personal care products comes from the root.
The Nutritional Information
Ginger is an excellent source of many essential nutrients.
One tablespoon of fresh ginger has:
- 5 calories
- 1 g of carbohydrate
- 0.1 g of protein
- 0.1 g of dietary fiber
- 0.1 g of sugar
- 0 g fat
Fresh ginger contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B6
Concentrated supplements may cause unwanted side effects like indigestion, flatulence, or diarrhea.
Benefits of Ginger
Many people consider ginger to be a superfood, but why exactly does it have such a strong impact? In a nutshell, this awn packs the following eight wonders.
1. Activates the digestive process
That heavy, full feeling you get after eating? You start to wonder if your food is actually being digested or if it’s just going to sit in your stomach forever. What about heartburn, bloating, and a sour taste in your mouth? Indigestion is a real and uncomfortable condition.
When it comes to digestion, ginger is your new best friend. Upper abdominal pain, such as acid reflux, that is thought to be related to a sluggish digestive system is medically referred to as functional dyspepsia. It has been demonstrated that ginger can alleviate these symptoms.
Ginger helps with a process called rapid gastric emptying. This is how the stomach gets rid of food quickly. More active digestion means a lower chance of stomach problems like heartburn and indigestion. The gastric emptying rate was found to be increased by 50% in healthy individuals who took ginger capsules (1200 mg) with meals. Imagine how much better you’d feel if folate passed through your digestive system twice as quickly.
Since about 60% of your body’s energy goes to metabolism, improving digestion is a great way to boost your energy levels. If ginger helps you digest your food better, it may also speed up your metabolism and give you more stamina. This is because the faster you digest your food, the more quickly your body will be able to absorb the nutrients from those foods.
There will be less food in your digestive tract that needs to be digested and thus less energy used for digestion. Ginger relieves the pain of dyspepsia because it speeds up digestion. It also speeds up the emptying of the stomach, which gives you more energy.
2. Improves blood cholesterol
As was previously mentioned, ginger is beneficial for both blood pressure and cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is particularly susceptible to reduction by ginger (LDL). “LDL cholesterol is called “bad” cholesterol,” the American Heart Association says.
It’s like bad cholesterol in that it helps build up fatty deposits in the arteries. Atherosclerosis is a condition characterized by a buildup of fatty deposits that raises blood pressure and increases the possibility of cardiovascular problems like a heart attack or stroke.
3. Decreases blood pressure
Common side effects of the typical American diet, which is heavy on processed foods, include hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension can cause damage to your arteries, heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes if it is not treated, according to the Mayo Clinic. Medication to lower blood pressure is commonly prescribed by doctors, but what if there was another way?
As a vasodilator, ginger can help lower blood pressure in addition to medication. Lower blood pressure is the result of improved circulation throughout the body. Research has found that the mineral potassium, which is present in ginger, can have a beneficial effect on blood pressure. The USDA reports that for every 100 grams of ginger, there are milligrams of potassium. That’s more than the 358 mg per 100 g found in a banana, which is recognized and used as a high-potassium food.
4. Ginger helps in reducing nausea
It’s no fun to be sick with nausea. Nausea is something no one wishes to experience, whether it be due to motion sickness, morning sickness, postoperative side effects, chemotherapy, or pregnancy. Of course, when you do have an upset stomach, you’ll do just about anything to get rid of it. Ginger is introduced. In clinical tests, ginger was found to reduce nausea from chemotherapy and morning sickness by a lot.
A study found that people who ate ginger before getting seasick had a smaller decrease in their nausea afterward. Some people often feel sick after surgery. Ginger has been found to be an “effective means for reducing postoperative nausea and vomiting,” which is good news. Cancer patients can benefit from ginger, and not just because it helps them feel better after surgery. Studies on both children and adults found that ginger helped reduce nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. The scientific literature says that people who feel sick should give ginger a try.
5. Ginger may aid in weight loss
Most studies on ginger and weight loss have been conducted on animals or on very small groups of people, making generalizations about their effects difficult. A 2018 review of ginger’s effect on weight and body size (which can lead to Type 2 diabetes) found that it lowers body weight, waist-to-hip ratio, fasting glucose levels, and insulin resistance.
Some studies have also shown that eating ginger can make you feel fuller and more satisfied after a meal. Male participants in a 2013 study who drank 2 grams of dissolved in hot water with breakfast reported fewer hunger pangs than the control group.
From these studies, we don’t have enough information to know if taking ginger supplements is a good long-term way to keep your weight stable.
6 Lowers inflammation
Even in healthy people, inflammation is a normal bodily process. It is normal and healthy for people to try to keep themselves safe from harm, whether that harm is physical or mental. However, inflammation can cause significant harm when it is excessive or persistent. Many studies have shown that chronic inflammation is a key factor in the development of a wide range of diseases, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, and heart disease.
Ginger’s active ingredients, such as gingerol, shogaol, and paradol, are responsible for some of its natural anti-inflammatory effects. All three of these ingredients can be found in raw ginger. Studies have shown that ginger can reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines (small proteins released by cells to communicate with other cells in the body). Pro-inflammatory cytokines are to blame for the fact that the body’s inflammatory responses are happening more often.
Rising levels of inflammation in the body are directly linked to this. InGinger has been shown to lower the levels of inflammation caused by pro-inflammatory cytokines, which makes inflammation go away on its own. n other words, this is a major development.
Because inflammation can spread so quickly through the body, especially when combined with a poor diet, ginger is an excellent way to help lower overall inflammation levels. Ginger is a natural and potent anti-inflammatory remedy that you can try if you’re suffering from an inflammatory condition.
7. Ginger for headaches and migraine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MigraineThe effectiveness of ginger in alleviating migraine pain is debatable. Due to the prevalence of nausea and pain in migraines, it stands to reason that this would be beneficial. There is some evidence that people who take ginger at the first sign of a headache are more likely to be headache-free two hours later, according to a single small study.
A different study found that the combination of ginger and an NSAID (in this case, an intravenous (IV) form of ibuprofen) was more effective in the treatment of migraines than either component alone. More extensive research is needed to determine if ginger is an effective treatment for migraines. Ginger is not yet a go-to remedy.
8. Antibacterial Properties
If you weren’t already, you should consider ginger health benefits seriously. Clinical studies have shown that ginger has antibacterial effects against a wide variety of bacteria, including some that are resistant to multiple antibiotics. According to the results of their study, “ginger has great potential in the treatment of many microbial diseases [such as Bacillus and E. coli].”
Its antibacterial properties don’t end there. In terms of oral health, it has been shown that two types of ginger can stop the growth of bacteria that cause periodontitis, which is gum inflammation caused by gum bacteria. With its antibacterial properties, ginger is a prime example of how food can serve as medicine.
9. Ginger Controls blood sugar
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is the most prevalent endocrine disorder. Statistics show that type 2 diabetes is the predominant form of the disease. High blood sugar that lasts for a long time, called chronic hyperglycemia, can lead to diabetes. Controlling blood sugar levels lowers the chance of getting diabetes and other problems caused by long-term high blood sugar. According to one study, taking a ginger supplement lowered both fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c.
As long as your A1c stays below 5.7%, you’re considered healthy. Since both blood sugar and A1c go down when ginger is eaten, it can be said that it helps the mind and body work together to fight chronic hyperglycemia.
10. Reduces Menstrual Pain
The crippling pain of menstruation is something that many women can attest to. Although there are OTC pain relievers designed specifically for this type of pain, ginger may also be helpful.
In one study, ginger was found to help ease the pain of painful menstruation in women just as well as ibuprofen did. Dysmenorrhea is characterized by severe menstrual cramping, particularly in the lower abdomen and back. Fantastic news for the ladies! Try some ginger the next time your period causes cramping.
Ginger: How to Use It
It’s great to learn about ginger health benefits, but the question then becomes how to incorporate ginger into your regular routine. You might not care for the flavor of ginger because of its spiciness. Ginger fans who have been eating it for a long time and people who have never tried it before can all find something they like.
The most potent and versatile form of ginger is fresh ginger root. You can eat it raw, cook with it, drink it, put it in your smoothies, or even just suck on a piece of it like gum. A midday snack of dried ginger or ginger juice is refreshing and energizing.
Similar to fresh ginger, ground ginger has many uses. It’s great for making tea (by steeping it in hot water) or seasoning food. Baking with powdered ginger is a fantastic idea.
If you don’t like the taste of ginger, taking ginger capsules may be the best option for you. An easy way to get the health benefits of ginger is in capsule form. The powdered ginger is then put into a capsule so that it can be taken whenever it is most convenient for the user.
For the tea, you can use either fresh ginger or ground ginger, as was previously mentioned. Tea bags infused with ginger extract are also available in stores for convenience. If you get queasy easily or need something to calm your stomach after a meal, these are handy to have on hand.
Chewing ginger is a convenient and discreet alternative to eating ginger candy. If you want to avoid eating things like corn syrup, it’s important to read the label. As a pain reliever, you can take oil made from the ginger root or rub it on your skin. Ginger essential oil is often used in massages, but it is also known for its ability to make people feel calm.
Ginger may help with digestion, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain, according to early research. Evidence suggests that ginger can help alleviate motion sickness. Studies have shown that it may also help reduce inflammation and the pain of menstrual cramps.
However, extremely high doses of extracts are typically used in scientific testing. Simply increasing one’s ginger consumption may not have a beneficial effect on health.
The majority of studies looking into ginger health benefits have been either small in size or unable to draw any firm conclusions. More research is needed to fully understand the effects and safety of ginger supplements.
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