What Is Ginger? Health Benefits, Uses, and More

Ginger not only gives meals a great flavor, but it is also packed with nutrients. The root has been used by humans for thousands of years in both cooking and medicine.

Ancient medical texts from Rome, Greece, China, and the Arab world all discuss the benefits of ginger. In Asian medicine, it was particularly well-liked as a remedy for digestive problems like nausea and diarrhea. Ginger is also traditionally used to treat burns, stomach pain, menstrual cramps, cold and flu symptoms, and muscular and joint pain.

What is Ginger?

One of the world’s healthiest (and most tasty) spices is ginger. It is a member of the Zingiberaceae family and is related to galangal, cardamom, and turmeric.

The subterranean, or rhizome, portion of the stem is what is most frequently used as a spice. It is frequently referred to as ginger root or just ginger.

Fresh, dried, powdered, oil, juice, and other forms of ginger can all be employed. It appears in recipes quite frequently. It is occasionally included in cosmetics and processed meals.

Health Benefits

More than 400 chemical components are found in ginger, but experts think the gingerol molecules are what give the root its medicinal properties. They are also in charge of its flavor and aroma. The body can benefit from gingerol’s potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in a variety of ways.

Relieves Menstrual Cramps

Ginger might really rank right up there with painkillers like ibuprofen when it comes to relieving period discomfort. (Advil). According to one study, women who took 250 mg of ginger capsules four times a day experienced the same level of pain alleviation as those who took 400 mg of ibuprofen or 250 mg of mefenamic acid four times a day.

Reduces Cancer Risk

The root could be an effective tool in the war against cancer. The main ingredient in ginger, gingerol, has been shown to have anti-cancer properties by researchers. In particular, it could be beneficial for the treatment and prevention of gastrointestinal malignancies. Its strong antioxidant concentration is probably to blame for inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells. In fact, ginger’s antioxidants may even aid to slow down the effects of aging.

Lowers Blood Sugar

Your blood sugar levels may be improved and your risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes may be decreased by including ginger in your diet. Researchers showed that those who took 1,600 mg of ginger powder for 12 weeks had greater insulin sensitivity, reduced triglycerides, and lower total cholesterol when compared to the control group in one trial on people with type 2 diabetes.

In a different trial, type 2 diabetics who took 2 g of powdered ginger daily saw a significant reduction in their fasting blood sugar.

Reduces Inflammation

Some people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis take ginger as a supplement. (two painful conditions causing joint damage). Since ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, it might also be helpful to reduce joint discomfort brought on by arthritis-related inflammation.

An earlier study discovered that using ginger extract helped persons with knee osteoarthritis experience less pain and require fewer painkillers. The larger dosage of ginger extract, however, did cause them to experience some mild stomach discomfort.

Soothes an Upset Stomach

Ginger is thought to contain chemical components that help with digestion and reduce stomach discomfort. There is evidence in current study that it may be beneficial.

Studies have indicated that ginger is a safe and potentially effective method of reducing nausea, which has led to it being long recommended as a treatment to improve morning sickness during pregnancy.

However, it can also aid with gastrointestinal problems outside of pregnancy. Ginger may also lessen nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and after surgery.

By promoting faster stomach emptying, eating ginger may reduce the symptoms of indigestion. One tiny study discovered that giving indigestion sufferers 1.2 g of ginger capsules before a meal sped up the digestive process.

Eases Arthritis Symptoms

Since ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, it lessens edema. That could be especially beneficial for treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. By eating ginger orally or applying a ginger compress or patch to your skin, you may be able to reduce discomfort and swelling.

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Lowers Cholesterol

Taking ginger on a daily basis could aid in the fight against high LDL cholesterol. In a recent study, consuming 5 grams of ginger daily for three months resulted in an average 30 point reduction in LDL cholesterol.

Protects Against Disease

Antioxidants, which save your body’s DNA from stress and oxidative damage, are abundant in ginger. They may also support healthy aging and aid your body in the fight against chronic conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, and lung illnesses.

Relieves Indigestion

Ginger may provide some help if you experience dyspepsia, or persistent indigestion. Ginger before meals may help your body empty more quickly, reducing the amount of time food can sit and produce issues.

Is ginger safe to eat during pregnancy?

Most studies show that ginger can be used safely to treat morning sickness when pregnant. However, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor if you’re thinking about using ginger extract or pills rather than fresh ginger in meals or tea.

Bottom Line

Ginger is a powerhouse of nutrients and bioactive substances that are great for your body and brain.

One of the very few superfoods that is genuinely deserving of the moniker.

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