While ginger is commonly used for culinary purposes, it has been long used for its healing properties too. It provides a wide range of health benefits, such as relieving nausea, digestive ailments, and pain. The rhizome, the underground stem, is the most commonly used part for medicinal purposes. This plant is quite versatile too, and it can be used in the form of an oil, fresh, dried as a spice, powdered, or as juice. If you are not using it already, here are a few reasons why you should incorporate it in your daily diet right away!
1. Ginger May Improve Brain Function
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are known to speed up the aging process and contribute to Alzheimer`s and similar cognitive impairments. According to some studies, the bioactive compounds and the antioxidants in ginger are capable of inhibiting inflammatory responses that take place in the brain. In one study done on 60 middle-aged women, ginger extract improved working memory and reaction time.
2. Ginger Relieves Digestive Issues
Ginger contains phenolic compounds that relieve irritation in the gastrointestinal tract by stimulating bile production and saliva while allowing fluids and food to move through the GI tract easier. In a study involving 24 people, taking .2 grams of ginger powder before a meal reduces indigestion by up to 50 percent.
3. Ginger May Have Anti-Cancer Properties
6-gingerol, a substance in ginger, has been studied as a potential treatment for various types of cancer. While additional research on the topic is needed, one study has found that as little as two grams of ginger extract daily reduced pro-inflammatory signaling molecules in the colon.
4. Ginger May Lower Cholesterol Levels
A 45-day study done on 85 people with high cholesterol found that three grams of ginger powder daily led to notable reductions in cholesterol levels. According to the researchers, ginger can be an effective tool for lowering both cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
5. Ginger May Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
According to a recent study, two grams of ginger powder daily lowered blood sugar and caused a 10 percent reduction over the course of 12 weeks. Given that high blood pressure is a contributing factor to heart disease, with the effects of ginger on sugar levels, the risk of the disease can be reduced by at least 10 percent.
6. Ginger Reduces Inflammation
Osteoarthritis is a health problem that involves degeneration of the joints, which in turn causes joint stiffness and pain. According to a trial involving 247 people with osteoarthritis, those who receive ginger extract regularly experienced less pain.
7. Ginger Can Relieve Pain
A study done at the University of Georgia found that regular supplementation with ginger reduces muscle pain by up to 25 percent. It was also found that ginger reduces pain during menstrual cycles.
8. Ginger Relieves Nausea
Consuming raw ginger or drinking ginger tea is a safe way to treat nausea, particularly during pregnancy and morning sickness as well during cancer treatments. A review of more than 12 studies has found that that 1.1-1.5 grams of ginger significantly reduced nausea.