12 Health Benefits of Ginger!

Ginger’s health benefits are largely due to its antioxidants , anti-inflammatory properties, and content of therapeutic compounds like gingerol, shogaol, paradol, and zingerone.

While these benefits  go far beyond fighting infections to lowering cholesterol and increasing  weight loss , it’s clear that adding ginger root to your diet can have a powerful health effect.

What is ginger ?

Ginger, also known as Zingiber officinale, is a plant that is closely related to turmeric and cardamom . The underground stem, or rhizome, of the plant is commonly known as the ginger root and is well known for its medicinal properties.

It can be found in fresh, ground or capsule form – or even as ginger essential oil – and is associated with an extensive list of health benefits. Research is just beginning to address the multitude of benefits associated with the root.

Nutritional value of ginger:      

Ginger contains a diverse range of many important vitamins and minerals. It also contains gingerol, a compound with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that has been linked to many unique health benefits.

In addition to the nutrients listed above, ginger also contains a small amount of calcium , zinc , pantothenic acid , riboflavin , and thiamine.

However, keep in mind that most people consume a very small serving of ginger , so it should be paired with a variety of other nutrient-dense foods to meet your micronutrient needs.

Health benefits of ginger: 

1. Help treat nausea:

Historically used as a natural remedy for sea sickness and morning sickness, ginger is perhaps best known for its ability to treat nausea and vomiting.

A review analyzed the results of 12 studies comprised of 1,278 pregnant women and found that ginger was effective in decreasing symptoms of nausea with minimal risk of side effects. Also, another study showed that it helped in decreasing the severity of nausea in patients who received chemotherapy.

2. Fighting fungal infections:

Yeast infections cause a wide variety of problems, from yeast infections to itchiness and athlete’s foot . Fortunately, ginger helps in eliminating disease-causing fungi due to its powerful antifungal properties.

In a 2016 study in Iran, ginger extract was found to be effective against two types of yeast that commonly cause yeast infections in the mouth. Another study measured the antifungal effects of 29 plant species and found that ginger was the most effective at killing fungi.

3. Protects against stomach ulcers: 

Stomach ulcers are painful sores that form on the lining of the stomach and cause symptoms such as indigestion, fatigue, heartburn, and abdominal discomfort.

Several studies have found that ginger can prevent stomach ulcers from forming. In fact, a 2011 animal study showed that ginger powder protects against aspirin -induced stomach ulcers by decreasing levels of inflammatory proteins and blocking the activity of enzymes related to ulcer development .

4. Against menstrual pain: 

Unfortunately, adverse side effects such as pain, menstrual cramps ( dysmenorrhea ), and headaches are commonly associated with menstruation for many women. While some turn to medication that provides relief from symptoms, natural remedies such as ginger can be helpful in relieving menstrual pain.

One study showed that ginger reduces menstrual pain as effectively as medications like ibuprofen and mephanamic acid. Another study in 2009 had similar findings, reporting that ginger reduces the intensity and duration of pain.

5. Inhibit cancer growth:

One of the most impressive benefits of ginger is its anti-cancer properties , thanks to the presence of a powerful compound called 6-gingerol.

Studies show that ginger and its components can be effective in blocking the growth and development of cancer cells for ovarian , pancreas and prostate cancer . However, more research is needed to determine how ginger’s properties inhibit cancer and how it might translate in humans.

6. Regulate blood sugar:  

High blood sugar can cause many negative symptoms, from frequent urination to headaches (including migraines ) and increased thirst. When left unchecked, it can even cause more serious problems such as nerve damage and impaired healing.

Research has shown that ginger helps with blood sugar regulation to avoid these serious side effects. In a 2015 study, supplementation actually reduced fasting blood sugar by 12% and improved long-term blood sugar control by 10%.

7. Relieve joint and muscle pain: 

Due to its ability to reduce inflammation, adding ginger to your diet can help treat muscle pain and arthritis -related joint pain .

One study showed that daily consumption of ginger resulted in reductions in muscle soreness caused by exercise-induced muscle damage. Another study found that ginger extract helped decrease knee pain and the need for pain medication in individuals with osteoarthritis .

8. Lower cholesterol levels: 

From bile production to hormone production, cholesterol is essential for the health of the body. However, high levels of cholesterol can build up in the blood, causing blockages and increasing the risk of heart disease .

One of the biggest health benefits of ginger   is its ability to naturally lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels to lower the risk of heart problems. One study found that ginger was able to significantly reduce bad LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol compared to a placebo.

An animal study also showed that ginger was almost as effective at lowering cholesterol (improving cholesterol markers) as atorvastatin, a commonly prescribed medication for high blood cholesterol.

9. Improve brain function: 

Neurodegenerative problems such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson ‘s have been linked to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation in the brain. With its wealth of antioxidants and potent anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is believed to play an important role in brain health.

Several animal studies have found that ginger extract may protect against brain aging and cognitive decline. Not only that, but a 2012 study also found that ginger extract helped improve cognitive function and attention in middle-aged women.

10. Against bacterial infections:

In addition to its antifungal properties, it has the ability to fight bacterial infections as well. Pathogenic bacteria are the causative agents behind diseases like urinary tract infections, pneumonia and bronchitis .

According to one study, compounds found in ginger can inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that cause gum disease. Another study showed that the extract was also effective against several drug-resistant bacteria.

11. Against inflammation:

While inflammation can be a normal, healthy immune response to injury and infection, chronic inflammation is believed to be a major contributor to heart disease , obesity , diabetes , and cancer .

One review noted that ginger extract may inhibit the synthesis of certain markers of inflammation. In addition to gingerol, it also contains other anti-inflammatory compounds like shogaol, paradol and zingerone.

There is also the possibility that ginger’s  health benefits  include preventing blood clots (thus reducing the risk of heart attack) due to its natural blood-thinning acids. But studies so far are inconclusive.

12. Promote proper digestion: 

One of the most powerful benefits of ginger is its ability to support digestive health and prevent problems like dyspepsia , a common digestion problem characterized by symptoms such as pain, heartburn, satiety, and discomfort.

According to one study, ginger helps speed up stomach emptying by 25%, compared to a placebo in people with indigestion. Another study found that taking ginger capsules when consumed with a meal actually doubled the speed of stomach emptying.

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