Along with its delicious flavor, ginger is one of the healthiest spices in the world. Originally from Asia, ginger has been used for its medicinal purposes for nearly 2,000 years by various cultures. Today, the beneficial spice is making quite a name for itself here in the U.S. and rightfully so. Below is our list of the top 22 health benefits of ginger root.
Prevention & Treatment
1. Fights Cancer
Today, most people are affected by cancer in one way or another. Chances are you know someone who is battling cancer or you may be fighting it yourself. If that’s the case, add ginger into your daily diet. Several studies have found it beneficial in fighting lung, prostate, ovarian, colon, breast, skin, and pancreatic cancers.
According to researchers, ginger’s anti-cancer properties are a result of the compound 6-gingerol, which is found in large amounts in raw ginger. 6-gingerol has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activities.
Adding ginger to your diet can help prevent new cancer cells from forming and destroy active ones. It’s also beneficial for people who are already on cancer treatments since ginger has been known to prevent the toxic effects of cancer drugs. In a study with 744 cancer patients, ginger supplementation significantly reduced chemotherapy-induced nausea.
2. Protects Against Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system. It accounts for nearly 60–70 percent of dementia cases in people over 65 years old worldwide. If Alzheimer’s runs in your family or you are worried you may one day suffer from the disease, you should think about incorporating more ginger into your current diet and daily routine.
Research shows ginger can help slow down the loss of brain cells, which typically leads to Alzheimer’s Disease. Additionally, some studies done on animals suggest the antioxidants and other powerful compounds found in ginger can fight inflammatory responses that occur in the brain. Other animal studies show that consuming ginger can protect against age-related decline in brain function.
These findings weren’t only reached in animal studies, though. In one study, researchers gave 60 middle-aged women ginger extract or a placebo. Researchers then evaluated the women’s memory and brain function. They found women who consumed ginger displayed “enhanced working memory.”
3. Helps with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is a common disorder that affects nearly 25-45 million Americans. Some symptoms include cramps, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and mucus in the stool. People who suffer from painful IBS will be happy to hear ginger can offer some relief. That’s because ginger can help relax the intestines during a flair up.
There are several ways you can consume ginger – add ginger root in your cooked dishes, take ginger supplements, or brew ginger tea. The good news is they all seem to have a calming effect on the digestive system.
4. Relieves Gas
Gas can be embarrassing at the wrong times. While there are a wide variety of anti-gas products on the market, it’s always best to try the natural route first. Ginger tea is easy enough to make and has been proven effective at relieving gas. Drink a cup of ginger tea before you go to sleep to let it work its magic overnight while you’re sleeping. It should act to clear out your digestive system and neutralize the problem from inside.
You can make your own ginger tea by adding one two-inch slice of fresh ginger root to two cups of water. On your stove, bring the ginger water to a boil and then let steep for about half an hour.
5. Relieves Heartburn
Heartburn is the main symptom of acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a common condition that affects nearly 50 percent of Americans. Today, approximately 20 million Americans are taking an acid inhibiting drug to treat painful heartburn. There’s a problem with that statistic, though. Studies show certain heartburn drugs do more harm than good. Instead of turning to drugs, drink ginger tea.
According to doctors, ginger has been found to have a gastroprotective effect, meaning it prevents the loosening of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and blocks acid from regurgitating back into the esophagus. It also kills off harmful bacteria, such as helicobacter pylori. This type of bacteria is linked to acid reflux.
For best results, it’s recommended you drink one cup of ginger tea 20 minutes before a meal.
6. Aids Weight Loss
Losing weight is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Did you know being overweight can lead to heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some cancers? To help aid your weight loss efforts, incorporate ginger into your diet.
Ginger is a natural ingredient that’s found in many “fat-burning” supplements. It can speed up the metabolism, leading to calorie-burning. It can also help keep you feeling full for longer, reducing your overall calorie intake.
7. Suppresses Appetite
Ginger may help keep you feeling full, suppressing your appetite and ultimately reducing your daily calorie intake. A 2012 study published in the journal Metabolism found people who drank a hot ginger beverage containing 2 grams of ginger powder after meals reduced feelings of hunger for up to six hours.
8. Helps Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Research out of Australia suggests that ginger can help keep blood glucose levels in check. This is important because these levels have a direct impact on weight loss and weight gain, as well as how energetic or lethargic you feel throughout the day. If you’ve noticed that you’re feeling a mid-day crash it’s likely due to your blood sugar levels. Adding ginger to your lunch might help you stay focused and on task. Think of ginger as an all-natural alternative to products like 5 Hour “Energy.”
9. Relieves Tired Muscles
When you workout, your muscles naturally get tired. One way to help speed up muscle recovery is to munch on ginger root. Studies have shown people who eat ginger experience a significant reduction in muscle pain, allowing people to get back to the gym in a shorter amount of time. More workouts lead to increased lean muscle mass, which generally equates to natural weight loss as you burn calories around the clock.
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