Many people know Ginger Benefits our bodies in many ways, but how much do you really know about this ancient food.
Ginger is one of the oldest and most used spices globally; let us take a look at the health benefits your body can receive by consuming it every day.
It is believed ginger originated in southeast Asia and has been used in Chinese medicine for at least 3000 years, and maybe even as much as 5000.
Originating from the Sanskrit word srngaveram, which means horn root, this powerful little herb has been around for a long time. The Greeks called it zingibers, and the Latin name is Zinziber.
It was widely used all over Asia from India to China and across Europe, and now globally for both cooking and medicinal purposes.
In fact, in the 16th century, Europe was already receiving 2000 tonnes of ginger from the east indies. This super herb has been used for ailments and health for as long as records began.
So, there must be some truth in its magical powers, right?!
Ginger is actually a flowering plant that grows up to 1meter tall. The tubers called rhizomes ( The Root ) grows and spreads under the ground. This is the good part that it is responsible for all the ginger benefits we will study today.
The main compound gingerol is responsible for many of its medicinal compounds.
It has a very high content of antioxidants, only surpassed by a few berries and Pomegranate.
The leading commercial growers are India, Jamaica, Indonesia, and Australia. Although it’s mainly cultivated in these tropical countries, Jamaican is still regarded as the best for culinary uses.
Culinary Uses and Tips
Ginger is a real gold star superfood and is one of the most commonly consumed condiments on the planet!!
Raw fresh ginger is the best for getting results as it can lose some health benefits during processing and cooking.
That said, dried or ground ginger is obviously better for cooking. In contrast, fresh is suitable for salads, teas, and tinctures. 2 Teaspoons of ginger only contain 4 calories. Therefore, there is no need to worry about the waste line if you are upping your daily dosage.
Although commonly used in teas and curries, ginger comes in many different forms including-Ginger beer, crystallized, stem, candied and pickled. It is also used a lot in baking cakes, cookies, and obviously the famous gingerbread man. ( a name which was apparently coined by the greeks ). Ginger is also commonly pickled in sweet vinegar for use in sushi.
It’s fair to say there are so many uses for this potent and powerful herb, and that’s before we get onto how ginger benefits our health!
Fresh ginger can be stored in a fridge for 3 weeks if left unpeeled, dried can be stored in an airtight container for 6 months in a cool dark place.
Remember always choose fresh when possible as it has a far superior taste and is much more beneficial as it contains higher levels of gingerol.
Top 10 Ginger Benefits
1. Ginger Benefits – Powerful Anti-inflammatory
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidant properties. Its anti-inflammatory benefits are particularly good with arthritis as it reduces swelling.
2. Oxidative Stress
Ginger may help to reduce oxidative stress as it removes free radicals from the system.
Free radicals are harmful toxins we take in every day from pollutants in the air and on our food etc.
3. Combat Nausea
Research indicates that another of ginger benefits is that it can can alleviate morning sickness during pregnancy.
It can also give relief after chemotherapy and cancer treatments, as well as general sickness and nausea.
4. Weight Loss – Ginger Benefits
Studies show that supplementing using ginger can significantly help reduce weight in obese and generally overweight people by stabilizing insulin levels, which are linked to obesity…. pass me a ginger tea!!!
Using ginger as a supplement is shown to speed up the stomach’s emptying, which is a key factor in indigestion. There are enzymes in ginger that can help the body expel this gas, giving relief to discomfort.
Ginger speeds up the movement through the digestive tract to keep things flowing better.
This suggests it can help with constipation and aid digestion (this works on the same principle that alleviates sickness).
6. Osteoarthritis (a degenerative joint disorder) – Ginger Benefits
Ginger helps to reduce the pain of stiffness typically associated with osteoarthritis because of its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Tests show when ginger is taken with sesame oil and cinnamon, it can be more efficient, especially on the knees.
7. Ginger Benefits – Menstrual pain
In studies, ginger is shown to reduce menstrual pain as effectively as traditional pain killers. Taking ginger in the first two days of menstruation is incredibly beneficial. It reduces the length and severity of menstrual cramps – I can vouch for this one; it helps me immensely.
8. Brain Function – Ginger Benefits
Ginger reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are shown to accelerate the aging process. These are believed to be the key drivers of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
It is shown ginger supplementation can improve reaction time in memory. It also helps to improve brain function, especially in middle age women.
9. Diabetes (Blood sugar levels)
Recent tests show ginger may lower fasting blood sugar levels by over 10 percent, reducing heart disease risk factors. The chemical compounds in ginger increase the uptake of glucose into the muscle cells without using insulin.
Ginger also has a very low glycaemic index; therefore, it does not cause a spike in blood sugar levels when consumed.
10. Cancer Prevention
At present, there are studies using ginger as an alternative remedy for several forms of cancer. It appears gingerol has protective effects against cancer.
Studies show the molecules in ginger may slow down the growth of some cancers.
Much more research is needed into this subject of ginger benefits, but there is certainly no harm in upping your intake in the meantime.
Summary – Ginger Benefits
There are many more uses for ginger! It is perfect for oral health as it fights off infections and bacterial growth in the mouth. It fights viruses and eases the symptoms of colds and flu.
It is also very good for your pores and skin.
Wow, the list goes on!! Oh, and black ginger is particularly good for erectile dysfunction (ED) in men… worth a try 🙂
This is why it is considered by many to be the healthiest spice on the planet. There is no doubt that, in many ways, ginger is good for our health. From colds to cancers, this little root shows a lot of promise.
Let ginger warm you from the inside out!!
Remember, if pregnant or have underlying health issues, consult your doctor before consuming any ginger dosage over a prolonged period or using it for medicinal purposes.