A flowering plant native to South Asia, ginger is available in yellow, red, and white varieties. Contrary to popular belief, the part that humans eat is the stem that grows underground. GInger has a unique pungent taste and smell. And, the spice is added to many Asian dishes and traditional medicines. You may be familiar with the flavor it adds to your cuisine and will be surprised to know about the health benefits of ginger. Eaten in both powder and fresh form, it contains shogaols and gingerols as the main compounds that are excellent for overall wellness.
Health Benefits of Ginger You Never Knew
Promotes Effective Digestion
Ginger contains phenolic compounds that help move food along the digestive tract. It is also known for easing gastrointestinal irritation and helps digestion by stimulating the release of saliva and bile. Thanks to the pancreatic lipase and trypsin enzymes, ginger prevents heartburn, ulcers, and constipation. By keeping your colon clean, ginger prevents the incidence of colon cancer.
Eases the Symptoms of Colds and Flu
Ginger is especially good for you in winters because the diaphoretic it contains helps raise body temperature internally. Make a tea with ginger and honey and drink it for the vitamin C and disease-fighting abilities that help relieve colds and the flu. That’s because ginger can loosen the mucus in your air passages and lungs so you cough it up more easily. In this way, the spice is a natural decongestant and is excellent for helping patients with asthma and allergies.
The gingerol component of ginger helps in soothing inflammation in the joints caused by arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers have found that ginger can prevent the buildup of compounds like cytokines and chemokines in the joints that cause swelling. For this reason, it is effective in lowering the pain and difficulty in movement. Aside from pain in the joints, ginger can help relieve inflammation anywhere in the body.
Keeps Your Heart Healthy
By lowering cholesterol levels in the body, ginger can prevent the formation of blood clots. It is also known to help in the lowering LDL and triglycerides and raising HDL. For this reason, by including it in your daily diet, you can keep your heart strong and healthy. Remember you can also get the complete health benefits of ginger by consuming it in powder or capsule form.
Improves Response to Insulin in Diabetics
The main cause of Type 2 Diabetes is the body’s resistance to insulin. Ginger can help improve insulin response and lower glucose levels in the body. It also enhances the effects of medications for controlling the disease. In addition, the spice can help prevent related diseases that result from diabetes like damage to the eyes, weight gain, and metabolic syndrome.
Prevents Infections Caused by Bacteria and Fungi
The gingerol content of ginger is a powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent. This property makes the spice excellent for preventing diseases and boosting your immune system. If you’re just home from an extended hospital stay, consider taking ginger supplements to avoid the possibility of staph infections. You can also use ginger for protection from dental problems like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Additional Health Benefits of Ginger
You can take ginger in various forms like making teas, chewing on a piece, capsules, or lozenges. And, aside from the major health benefits of ginger, you can also use the spice for other positives like:
- Recovering from workouts because the spice helps lower pain levels by dulling the body’s pain receptors and lowering inflammation in the muscles
- Relieving menstrual cramps
- Alleviating feelings of nausea caused by the side effects of certain medications, pregnancy, or motion sickness
- Maintaining brain function, memory, and cognitive abilities. Ginger helps by lowering oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain caused by aging
These are only some of the positives of ginger for overall health. Introduce it into your daily diet and watch your health and fitness levels improve.