13 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is known as a kitchen staple used to cook some of your favorite dishes. But not everyone knows that it also has amazing health benefits. Ginger is considered as a flowering plant, which originally came from China. It has long been used in alternative medicine, because of its dominant medicinal properties that can reduce the symptoms of some health problems.
Scientists have discovered that, indeed, the use of ginger in traditional medicine has basis in fact. Ginger has been shown to contain a wide range of metabolites and compounds , many of which may aid in healing and health. Of these compounds, gingerols and shogaols show the most promise in this regard.
Here are 13 benefits of ginger that you, too, can enjoy when you add ginger to your healthy diet..
1.Relief of Nausea and Vomiting
It can help you fight nausea. It originally functioned as a sea sickness remedy. Some pieces of evidence showed that it can also be effective when used as a prescription medication.
If you are pregnant and are experiencing morning sickness, ginger is found to be very effective in relieving its symptoms. In a study that involved 1,278 pregnant women, results showed that an intake of 1.1-1.5 grams of ginger has been found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of morning sickness, or pregnancy-related nausea.
It is also found to be effective in relieving the symptoms of vomiting and nausea after surgery. There were also studies that showed that it could reduce nausea symptoms in cancer patients enduring chemotherapy .
It is generally safe because of its medicinal properties; but if you’re pregnant take a little precaution and ask your doctor about the exact amount of ginger that you can take.
It can be taken as an herbal medication to reduce, if not prevent, nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, travel, and pregnancy. It will not reduce the efficacy of medications, if these are taken along with ginger tea or lozenges.
2. Can Help With Osteoarthritis
If you are suffering from osteoarthritis, you can also rely on ginger’s medicinal properties. Aging is inevitable, and as a person ages, his joints in the body degenerate which can lead to stiffness and joint pain—which in turn, can lead to osteoarthritis.
In a trial that involved 247 people suffering from osteoarthritis, results showed that those who had an intake of ginger extract experienced less pain, and needed less pain medication.
One more study showed that when combined and applied topically, sesame oil, mastic, cinnamon and ginger could also reduce stiffness and pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
3. Treat Chronic Indigestion
If lately, you have been experiencing pain or any discomfort in the upper part of your stomach, you must be suffering from chronic indigestion or dyspepsia. But don’t worry, because it is also found to be effective in treating it.
The common cause of chronic indigestion is not eating on time, leaving your stomach empty for quite a long period of time. In a very interesting study, ginger was shown to be also effective in emptying one’s stomach quicker.
For example, after you have eaten a soup, it is found to be effective in reducing the time it usually takes before you can empty your stomach.
One study including 24 individuals showed that taking 1.2 grams of ginger powder speeds up the emptying process of the stomach by 50%.
4. Reduce Menstrual Pain
Women usually suffer from menstrual pain, more known as dysmenorrhea every time they get their period. It has been found out that ginger can also be used as a pain relief medicine for any kind of pain, including menstrual pain.
One study involving 150 women took 1 gram of ginger powder every day for the first 3 days of their menstrual period, and showed reduced pain.
According to further studies, it can ease pain just as effective as ibuprofen and mefenamic acid.
If you want to go natural and don’t rely on drugs, studies showed that ginger is safe to take whenever menstrual pain hits you. Just follow the exact instructions on how you can use ginger to reduce your menstrual pain.
5. Lower Cholesterol Levels
Lipoproteins or LDL are known as the bad cholesterol. If the levels of LDL go high, there is a possibility that you can acquire a heart disease—which of course, you don’t want to happen. You do everything that you need to do to lower your cholesterol levels by eating the right kinds of food. Studies showed that the kind of food that you eat has a direct effect on your health and levels of your LDL.
So in a study conducted within 45 days involving 85 people with high cholesterol levels, it showed that 3 grams of ginger powder added to their meals caused major reductions in several cholesterol markers.
This was also backed up by a study made in hypothyroid rats that showed that ginger extract reducedLDL cholesterol in a similar way that the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin does.
The above mentioned studies both revealed reductions in total cholesterol and blood triglycerides.
Ginger is so easy to combine with your meals, so make it a habit to mix it with your food as a companion to your healthy diet.
6. Help Prevent Cancer
Anyone who is suffering from any type of cancer has surely found every way to treat his or her condition. It is a serious disease, manipulated by uninhibited growth of abnormal cells.
A cancer patient will try even the strangest way to treat his condition. So it is highly recommended that cancer patients try ginger extract as an alternative and natural form of healing method. Many have resorted to this method and have experienced positive results.
In a few studies, it has been discovered that ginger extract could function as an alternative treatment for some forms of cancer.
It is found to have anti-cancer properties called 6-gingerol which can be found in huge amounts of raw ginger.
In a study conducted with 30 people, it showed that an intake of 2 grams of ginger extract every day could drastically reduce pro-inflammatory indicating molecules in the colon. Though no valid confirmation yet when a follow-up study was conducted, many still believe in the possibility. It is mainly because of the gradual improvement that some cancer patients have experienced before.
As of now, there is little evidence that showed that ginger can also be effective in reducing cancer symptoms in patients with ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer and breast cancer. Further studies are being carried out to confirm the effectiveness of ginger in the previously mentioned forms of cancer.
7. Improve Brain Function
Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive decline brought about by aging are caused by chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. As a person ages, his brain function slows down naturally, making him more prone to cognitive-related diseases.
There are studies in animals that state that the bioactive compounds and antioxidants found in ginger can hinder inflammatory responses that transpire in the brain.
Some pieces of evidence were also linked to better brain performance with an intake of ginger. In one study involving 60 middle-aged women who had an intake of ginger extract, it showed that most of the women showed improved working memory and reaction time.
Some studies in animals also showed that an intake of ginger extract can hinder age-related decline in animals’ brain function.
It is the reason why many middle-aged individuals resort to drinking ginger tea to enhance their brain function, and many have expressed satisfaction over the results.
8. Help To Lose Weight
If you are on your way to lose weight, you can very much consider using ginger as one of your natural weight loss remedies.
According to a study, ginger has found to have a thermogenic effect. It means that it can increase one’s metabolism rate and promote satiety.
According to a further study, intake of foods with thermogenic effect can help one lose weight.
Another study involving overweight men who consumed a breakfast with 2 grams of powder dissolved in hot water showed increased feelings of satiety.
So in any part of the world, it has been widely used by people who want to lose weight naturally. It really works, according to those who have already tried it.
Weight loss products are very abundant now, but you’re not really sure if it’s safe to use. Some would risk and try their luck, because they want immediate results. But you can always choose the safer route—and it is to use ginger as an alternative weight loss remedy. Although it will not give you immediate results, it is 100% safe. Concrete studies also backed up claims that ginger as a weight loss remedy is indeed effective, plus the people who have witnessed amazing results upon using it.
9. Help with Bacterial Infections
If you have any bacterial infection, you can always rely on the active ingredients found in ginger.
Studies showed that gingerol, the bioactive substance in fresh ginger, can help reduce the risk of infections.
Furthermore, ginger extract can actually hinder many types of bacteria from growing.
It is found to be more effective in treating oral bacteria in connection with inflammatory gum diseases,like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Ginger, being used to treat bacterial infections, has also been widely recognized because of positive feedback from those who have already tried it.
10. Combats Stomach Discomfort
According to medical professionals, ginger can help you combat stomach discomfort.
In order to do this, you can make your own ginger tea or ginger lemonade. If you prefer salad dressing, you can combine 1/4 teaspoon of grated ginger, 1 smashed clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar,4 tablespoons of raw sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of tamari. All of these have been proven to settle your stomach and avoid discomfort. All these ingredients can be found easily, so you won’t have a hard time making any of these recipes. The bonus is all of these are recommended by doctors.
11. Reduce Muscle Pain and Soreness
If you are physically active and are engaged in some sports, it is likely that you will experience muscle pain and soreness afterwards. There are indeed muscle pain medications that are also effective, but you can also reduce muscle pain and soreness naturally by a mere intake of ginger.
Many studies showed that ginger is effective in dealing with muscle pain brought about by various forms of exercise and other physical activities.
One study involving a few individuals doing elbow exercises who consumed 2 grams of ginger per day for 11 straight days showed a drastic improvement when it comes to the severity of their muscle pain.
It might not be an immediate result, but the study showed that there is an improvement every day. These results are believed to be caused by ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties.
There were stories wherein athletes drank ginger tea to combat muscle pain and soreness. Until now, many athletes have been resorting to this natural remedy.
12. Fights Common Respiratory Problems
Ginger is also known to be effective in treating common respiratory problems like cough. It helps in expanding your lungs and relaxing up phlegm, because it can break down and remove mucus as it is a natural expectorant.
This superfood also helps you recover from breathing difficulties.
In addition to this, a fresh ginger can also be an effective remedy against the RSV virus, a common cause of respiratory infections.
Some alternative medicine practitioners usually recommend the use of ginger to combat respiratory problems. If you have cough, you can always drink ginger tea to soothe your lungs.
13. Improves Your Breath
It can also be used to improve your breath, and neutralize bad breath. Apart from being an effective remedy in treating an upset stomach, it can also help you improve the smell and overall health of your breath.
You can do this by combining pressed ginger lemon juice and warm water. You can use this as your daily oral rinse.
There’s a myth that this natural food can actually give you a bad breath. There’s no truth about it. This superfood has certain properties that can truly make your breath smell good. With proper rinsing, ginger can definitely improve the smell of your breath.
Now that you have already learned about the health benefits of ginger, you can now apply it to your daily lives. Whenever you have cough, menstrual pain, muscle pain, stomach discomfort, you may want to lose weight or have a fresh breath, you can now drink ginger tea or combine ginger extract with lemon to give you the result that you want. Concrete studies and previous users have attested to its efficiency, so it is okay to try it as well. Anyway, going natural is always a good and healthy option.