11 Health Benefits Of Ginger

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Ginger is one of the most healthiest and tasty spices in the world.woman-holding-fresh-ginger
It has a lot of nutrients and bio active compounds that are beneficial to the brain and body.
These are eleven health benefits of ginger that are scientifically proven.

1. Gingerol Found in Ginger Has Amazing Medicinal Properties

Ginger has its origin from China.
It is classified under the zingberaceae family which is closely related to galangal, turmeric and cardomon.
The lower part of the stem is what is used as spice. It is known as ginger root or just ginger.
Ginger has been used for a long time as a traditional medicine. It is used to help digestion, relive flu and common cold as well as reduce nausea.
Ginger can be used fresh, powdered, dried or as juice. Sometimes it is added to cosmetics and

processed foods. It is common ingredient in most recipes.

fresh-sliced-and-ground-ginger
The unique flavor and smell of ginger comes from its natural oils.
Gingerol is responsible for most of its medicinal properties. It has amazing antioxidant and anti inflammatory effects.(1).
Bottom Line: Ginger is a well known spice that contains gingerol which is a substance with powerful antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties.

2. Ginger Can Treat Morning Sickness and Other Forms of Nauseafresh-ginger

Ginger is very effective against nausea. (2)
It has been used for a long time as a remedy to sea sickness and there is evidence that it is as good as prescription medication. (3)
After a surgical procedure or for cancer patients who are going through chemotherapy, it can be used to relive vomiting and nausea. (4, 5)

From a review of twelve studies that included a total of 1,278 pregnant women, 1.1-1.5 grams of ginger can reduce the symptoms of nausea. (6).

On this study, it had no effect on vomiting.
Despite the fact that ginger is deemed safe, consult your doctor before taking large amounts when pregnant. There are people who believe that large amount will cause miscarriage although there are no studies on this.
Bottom Line: 1.1-1.5 of ginger can assist to prevent some types of nausea. These are nausea related to sea sickness, after surgery procedures, morning sickness and chemotherapy.

3. Ginger Relives Muscles Soreness and Paindumbbells

Dumbbells
Ginger is effective against muscle pain that has been caused by exercise
In a study, consuming 2 grams of ginger everyday for 11 days reduces muscle pain in people who performed elbow workouts. (7).
Although it does not have an immediate impact, it will reduce the daily progression of the muscle pain.(8).
Bottom Line: Ginger reduces daily development of muscle pain and soreness.

4. Anti Inflammatory Effects Helps With Osteoarthritisfresh-and-sliced-ginger

Fresh and sliced ginger
Osteoarthritis is a common health issue.
This condition involves the degeneration of joints in the body leading to stiffness and joint pains.
In a controlled experiment of 247 people with this condition of the knee, those who took ginger felt less pain and they needed less pain medication.(9).
Another study showed that a combination of ginger, sesame oil and cinnamon can reduce pain and stiffness in patients with osteoarthritis who applied it daily. (10).
Bottom Line: There are studies which indicate that ginger is effective in reducing osteoarthritis symptoms.

5. Ginger Lowers Blood Sugar and Improves Risk Factors of Heart Disease

Although this area of research is still new, ginger has powerful anti diabetic properties.
In a 2015 study conducted with 41 participants with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of ginger every day lowered fasting sugars by 12%. (11).
There was a 28% reduction in ApoB/ApoA-1 ratio and a 23% reduction in markers for oxidized lipoproteins. These are risk factors for heart disease.
Take into account that this only one small study and there is still need for larger studies to be done before making any recommendations.

khandouzi-et-al-2015

Bottom Line: Ginger reduces blood sugar and it improves different risk factors for heart disease in patients that have type 2 diabetes.

6. Ginger Treats Chronic Indigestionpile-of-ground-ginger

Pile of ground ginger
Chronic indigestion is distinguished by recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the abdomen.
The major driver of indigestion is delaying to empty the stomach.
After eating soup, ginger reduced the time it took the stomach to empty it from 16 to 12 minutes. (12).
A study of 24 healthy individuals was done where they took 1.2 grams of ginger before a meal which accelerated emptying the stomach by 50%. (13).
Bottom Line: Ginger speeds up the time it takes to empty the stomach. This is ideal for people who suffer from indigestion.

7. Ginger Reduces Menstrual Pain

young-woman-with-bloated-stomach

Menstrual pain is the discomfort that one feels during menstruation.
A traditional use of ginger is to relive menstrual pain.
In one study, 150 women were told to take 1 gram of ginger powder per day for the first three days of their periods.(14).
Ginger reduced the pain as effective as ibuprofen.
Bottom Line: When ginger is taken at the start of menstrual period, it will reduce cramps

8. Ginger Lowers the Level of Cholesterolheart-and-stethoscope

Stethoscope and heart
A high level of bad proteins is linked to an increase in risk of heart disease.
A 25 day study of 85 people with high cholesterol, 3grams of ginger powder caused a reduction in cholesterol makers.(15).
This has been supported by a study in rats where ginger reduced LDL cholesterol the same way atorvastatin does(16).
Bottom Line: In both humans and animals, ginger can lead to a significant reduction in the levels of cholesterol.

9. Ginger Prevents Cancerginger-tea

Ginger tea
Cancer is a deadly disease whereby there is uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.
Ginger is an alternative treatment to some forms of cancer.
Anti cancer properties are linked to 6-gingerol. This is a substance found in large amounts of raw ginger.(17, 18).
In a study of 30 people, 2 grams of ginger daily reduced pro inflammatory signaling molecules in the colon.(19).
A follow up of people with high risk of colon cancer did not support these findings.(20).
There is some small evidence that ginger is effectual against breast, pancreatic and ovarian cancer. However, more research is required. (21, 22, 23).
Bottom Line: Ginger contains 6-gingerol a substance with protective effects from cancer. More studies on this is required.

10. Ginger Improves Brain Function and Protects From Alzheimer’s Disease.

woman-with-whole-ginger-root

Whole ginger root.
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress can speed up the process of aging.
These two are among the main drivers of Alzheimer’s disease and other age related cognitive decline.
Some studies in animals show that antioxidants and bioactive compounds in ginger can stop inflammatory response that occurs in the brain.(24).
There is further evidence that ginger can increase brain function. (25).
There are studies in animals which show that ginger protects from age related decline in the brain. (26, 27, 28).
Bottom Line: Ginger prevents damage to the brain that is age related.

11. Ginger Helps to Fight Infections.

ground-ginger-in-wooden-spoon

Ground ginger in wooden spoon
Gingerol in fresh ginger helps to prevent infections.
Ginger can stop the growth of different types of bacteria(29, 30).
It is effective against the oral bacterium that is linked to inflammatory diseases in the gums like gingivitis and periodontitis.(31).
Fresh ginger is also effective against RSV virus which is a common cause of respiratory infections. (32).

12. Any other thing?

Ginger is one of the few superfoods that is worthy of that name.

 

By Joe Leech, Dietitian

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