I have a confession to make.
I didn’t know about ginger until a few years ago!
How did I live without ginger? I use it all the time now. I LOVE the taste it gives dishes, and in drinks.
And, as I get older, I’m counting on ginger to help me with my memory and keeping all my teeth healthy!
Did you know that ginger is closely related to turmeric?
And did you know that there are at least 10 health benefits of including ginger in your diet?
Ginger helps with nausea
Ginger has a long history in being used to help with sea sickness, and relieves nausea and vomiting after surgery, and especially great when undergoing cancer treatment.
But it is most effective in treating morning sickness. According to a review of 12 studies that included a total of 1,278 pregnant women, 1.1-1.5 grams of ginger can significantly reduce symptoms of nausea.
Ginger may reduce muscle pain and soreness
Ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain. In one study, consuming 2 grams of ginger per day, for 11 days, significantly reduced muscle pain in people performing elbow exercises.
Ginger does not have an immediate impact, but may be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties can help with osteoarthritis. In a controlled trial of 247 people with osteoarthritis of the knee, those who took ginger extract had less pain and required less pain medication.
Ginger may have powerful anti-diabetic properties
Ginger may drastically lower blood sugars and improve heart disease risk factors.
Ginger can help treat chronic indigestion
Chronic indigestion (dyspepsia) is characterized by recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach. It is believed that delayed emptying of the stomach is a major driver of indigestion.
Interestingly, ginger has been shown to speed up emptying of the stomach in people with this condition. After eating soup, ginger reduced the time it took for the stomach to empty from 16 to 12 minutes. In a study of 24 healthy individuals, 1.2 grams of ginger powder before a meal accelerated emptying of the stomach by 50%.
Ginger powder may significantly reduce menstrual pain
One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain.
Ginger appears to be very effective against menstrual pain when taken at the beginning of the menstrual period. In one study, 150 women were instructed to take 1 gram of ginger powder per day, for the first 3 days of the menstrual period. Ginger managed to reduce pain as effectively as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.
Ginger may lower cholesterol levels
High levels of LDL lipoproteins (the "bad" cholesterol) are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. In a 45-day study of 85 individuals with high cholesterol, 3 grams of ginger powder caused significant reductions in most cholesterol markers.
Ginger contains a substance that may help prevent cancer
Ginger contains a substance called 6-gingerol, which may have protective effects against cancer. However, this needs to be studied a lot more.
Ginger may improve brain function and protect against Alzheimer's Disease
Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can accelerate the aging process. They are believed to be among the key drivers of Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline.
Studies suggest that ginger can protect against age-related damage to the brain. It can also improve brain function in elderly women. In a study of 60 middle-aged women, ginger extract was shown to improve reaction time and working memory.
Ginger can help lower the risk of infections
Gingerol, the bioactive substance in fresh ginger, can help lower the risk of infections. In fact, ginger extract can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria.
It is very effective against the oral bacteria linked to inflammatory diseases in the gums, such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
With all these benefits, it makes sense to use it as often as you can in your diet!