Ginger is a herb with yellowish-green flowers and leafy stems that comes from the root. Ginger is indigenous to hotter areas of Asia, such as China, Japan, and India, but is now cultivated in parts of South America and Africa. It is also now cultivated in the Middle East to be used as a medication and also for food. There are various benefits to ginger.
Health benefits of ginger:
Ginger is widely used to relieve different forms of gastrointestinal symptoms, including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, gastrointestinal problems, gas, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fatigue, nausea caused by cancer therapy, nausea caused by HIV/AIDS care, nausea and vomiting following surgery, as well as lack of appetite.
- Prevents the damages of cells
Ginger root contains one of the largest antioxidant levels relative to other herbs. Just pomegranates and other antioxidant-rich berries exceed it.
Antioxidants prevent oxidative stress, a condition associated with diseases such as cancer, diabetes and stroke. Oxidative stress arises when too many free radicals—molecules normally generated by metabolic processes are found in the body. Antioxidants stabilise free radicals and avoid oxidative stress, thereby shielding the body from disease.
- Contains medicinal properties
Ginger has a long tradition of use in various forms of conventional and alternative medicine. It has been used to assist digestion, alleviate fatigue and help combat fever and the common cold, to name a few of its uses.
The distinctive scent and taste of ginger come from its natural oils, the most significant of which is gingerol. Gingerol is the most bioactive component in ginger. It is responsible for many healing properties of ginger. Gingerol has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, according to studies. For example, it can help to mitigate oxidative stress, which is the product of excess free radicals in the body.
- Treats Inflammation
Inflammation is said to be a mechanism in which white blood cells shield us from infection and viruses. But often this can go wrong and inflict extreme joint pain, and so on.
Throughout this cycle, the body’s immune system starts to inflict damage to its tissues, resulting in inflammation. Ginger is made up of anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants that can cure inflammation.
Usually, the pain will go down until the body heals itself. But when you have oxidative stress, it can cause systemic inflammation. This allows the body to destroy healthy cells, muscles, and organs. Chronic inflammation can lead to diseases such as heart attacks or chronic arthritis.
- Remedy for nausea
One of the most well-established properties of ginger is to assist with the effects of nausea and vomiting. Ginger is a compound called gingerol. Gingerol is believed to enhance gastric motility—the flow of food through the body—and to reduce muscle spasms. This will help to control the appetite and reduce the effects of nausea and vomiting.
Ginger is also a healthy and powerful natural treatment for pregnant women with morning sickness. A small 2009 study tested the efficacy of ginger capsules in pregnant women with nausea and vomiting. Pregnant women who took four 250 mg ginger capsules daily for four days had less nausea and less vomiting than people who received a placebo.
- Could treat indigestion
Ginger activates the digestive enzymes responsible for transferring food more efficiently through the body, which removes gas.
Small European journal research in 2008 tested the impact of ginger on healthy individuals. Researchers concluded that taking three 1,200 mg ginger capsules accelerated gastric emptying—a mechanism in which food exits the stomach and reaches the small intestine—and facilitated further antral contractions required to break up and digest food.
- Possible chances of weight loss
Ginger may play a role in weight loss based on research studies performed on humans and animals. Ginger’s capacity to affect weight loss can be attributed to such mechanisms, such as its propensity to help maximise the number of calories consumed or minimise inflammation.
Uses of ginger
1.Reduces cardiovascular issues
There is some evidence that ginger extract can assist with cardiovascular disease. For example, one study showed that a dose of 5 g or more can induce major, beneficial antiplatelet activity. The authors admit that many of the inquiries used in their study did not include human witnesses or that the number of participants was too limited to ensure accurate outcomes.
However, they propose that, with more study, ginger could prove to be a safe type of treatment for cardiovascular disease.
2.Lowers risk of cancer
Ginger does not contain protein or other carbohydrates but is an excellent source of antioxidants. Studies have shown that ginger can minimise different forms of oxidative stress for this purpose. Oxidative stress arises as too many free radicals build up in the body. Free radicals are radioactive compounds caused by metabolism and other causes.
The body has to remove free radicals to prevent them from causing cell damage that can lead to a wide variety of diseases, including cancer. Dietary antioxidants allow the body to get rid of free radicals.
3.Could regulate blood sugar levels
There is also some evidence to show that ginger can help regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes by raising glucose absorption in muscle cells without insulin.
How to include more ginger in your diet?
According to Anekwe, you can conveniently add ginger to your diet by:
- Apply a few bits of fresh ginger to hot water to make tea.
- Add freshly chopped ginger or powdered ginger to curries or stir-fry
- Mixing a little ginger into your morning smoothie.
- Baking ginger cookies, cakes or pastries
You can buy ginger capsules from your nearest pharmacy if you don’t like the taste of ginger. Although ginger is very healthy, it is better not to eat more than one gramme of ginger a day, otherwise, you may feel burning your throat, heartburn, or gas.
Now that you know the benefits of ginger, the uses of them as well, and how to add more ginger in your diet, what’s stopping you from attaining all these health benefits?