Ginger, known by the scientific name Zingiber officinale, is a flowering plant long known for its healing, medicinal properties. Most commonly thought of a spice that can treat nausea and stimulate digestion, it also has many more impressive qualities.
Incorporating ginger into your diet is an amazing way to experience its potential healing powers while delivering a powerful kick to ordinary dishes. Below are 10 amazing ways ginger benefits the body.
1. Effectively Treats Nausea
Ginger Elixir: An Ayurvedic Digestive Drink/One Green Planet
Using ginger to treat stomach complaints has long been used since ancient times. This is because of the pharmacologically active ingredients gingerol and shogaols. They help ginger produce antiemetic qualities to dispel vomiting, nausea, and even motion sickness by working within the gastrointestinal tract to increase gastric emptying.
If you are troubled by an upset stomach, try this Ginger Elixir, pictured above.
2. Possess Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Ginger Root/One Green Planet
Ginger can help combat inflammation, especially caused by osteoarthritis. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Miami deemed ginger extract very effective at combatting knee pain for patients with arthritis. It is so powerful because ginger works at a cellular level within the inflammatory process and contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic properties.
To naturally relieve inflammation and joint pain, try these Raw Ginger Energy Bites!
3. Helps with Menstrual Pain and Cramping
Crisp and Refreshing Ginger Beer Mocktail/One Green Planet
Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger, it can also work well at relieving period pain caused by persistent cramping. A study conducted by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that ginger was just as effective as ibuprofen in patients with severe period pain. Since ibuprofen can cause damage to the gastrointestinal system over time, ginger may be a better option!
4. Decreases Bad Cholesterol
Healing Turmeric Golden Juice/One Green Planet
When consuming ginger, it activates an enzyme in your body responsible for controlling and monitoring cholesterol levels. This occurs because this enzyme increases your body’s cholesterol use, lowering it in the process. Investigations have also shown that ginger has significant lipid-lowering abilities.
Take control of your cholesterol levels by incorporating ginger into your diet. Try this fiber-filled Turmeric Ginger Oatmeal to help you start your day the right way.
5. Enhances Cognitive Abilities
Healthy Ginger Raisin Biscuits/One Green Planet
Ginger is a powerful antioxidant with the ability to improve oxidative stress-related cognitive impairment. In a trial conducted to prove the effectiveness of ginger on cognitive function, sixty healthy participants were administered doses of this plant daily for two months. After the trial period, it was found that the groups who were given ginger experienced an enhanced working memory!
Boost your brain health by trying this Pumpkin Ginger Chickpea Soup!
6. Anti-bacterial Agent
Gingerol, an active ingredient in ginger, possesses strong anti-bacterial advantages. In a study to prove the effectiveness of ginger paste on bacterial agents, ginger was heated and then inoculated with a mixture of E.coli cultures. Commercial ginger paste completely inactivated the E.coli in a matter of 3 days.
This anti-bacterial powerhouse can be consumed to reduce your chances of developing bacterial infections.
7. Strengthens the Immune System
Flu Fighter Immunity-Boosting Lemon Ginger Turmeric Tonic/One Green Planet
Ginger is important to the immune system because it activates the proliferation of t-cells. T-cells are a type of white blood cell that plays a huge role in the immune system and adaptive immunity. T-cells essentially search for and destroy all invading pathogens to keep the immune system functioning properly so we can feel our best.
8. Can Lower Blood Sugar
Ginger Coconut Slice/One Green Planet
The effectiveness of ginger was tested by researchers at Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences to see how it controlled blood sugar levels. The participants that took part in the study had type 2 diabetes, and saw a decrease in blood sugar levels from 171 mg/dl to 150 mg/dl when administered ginger capsules.
Ginger is believed to lower blood sugar because it may inhibit hepatic phosphorylase, an enzyme responsible for breaking down glycogen. Blood sugar levels rise when glycogen is broken down, so the inhibition of this enzyme could control the rise of sugar levels.
For a dessert that won’t spike your blood sugar, try these raw Ginger Coconut Slices, pictured above.
9. Protects Against Oxidative Stress
Comforting Miso and Ginger Soup/One Green Planet
Ginger is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients and can protect the body from the damage of free radicals that leads to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress plays a part in the development of diseases such as heart disease, cancer, premature aging, and neurodegenerative diseases. The bioactive molecules in ginger, or gingerols, possess these antioxidant qualities.
10. Fights Fungal Infections
Ginger Root/One Green Planet
Along with its antioxidant and antibacterial qualities, ginger root also has anti-fungal properties. Ginger has the potential to fight off fungal infections, such as yeast infections, candida, and athlete’s foot!
Taking ginger capsules is a great remedy to fight against fungal infections!
For more ginger recipes, we recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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