Ginger is an ancient spice with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. The top health
benefits of ginger include its ability to help with arthritis and osteoarthritis, relieve nausea
and pain, prevent cancer, improve respiratory conditions, and reduce flatulence. It also
helps boost bone health, strengthen the immune system, and increase appetite.
This spicy root is also good for enhancing sexual activity, mitigating obesity, and relieving
the pain related to menstrual disorders.
You’ll be amazed at the many things ginger can do:
- It can reduce your risk of diabetes.
Scientists have linked some active compounds in ginger with improvements in insulin and
metabolism. That said, if you’re at risk for diabetes, adding extra to sugary gingerbread
cookies won’t do you any favors! Keep both dried and fresh ginger on-hand for flavoring
smoothies and veggie-based stir-frys and soups. While some chemical compounds may decrease over time, the drying process enhances other beneficial ones.
- It’s a natural way to relieve period pain.
Out of all of the research done on ginger’s pain-relieving properties, results show it helps
with menstrual pain the most. Sipping ginger tea can also soothe nausea during that time of
the month. However, if you usually take acetaminophen or ibuprofen, it may not work as
well. Check with your doc before trying any supplement in extract or pill form, since it may
interact with other medications you’re taking.
- It’s an anti-inflammatory.
Like other produce, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains, it contains antioxidant-like
compounds called phytonutrients that may reduce cell damage. The root can also prevent
inflammation from starting by reducing cell-signaling activity. With that in mind, adding
ginger to already good-for-you, nutrient-dense meals is the key to unlocking those
- It can settle an upset stomach.
The idea that ginger can help with some light tummy trouble isn’t new. In fact, research has
linked multiple digestive benefits to it, specifically acting on parts of your GI tract
responsible for feelings of nausea, stomach upset, and vomiting. It may also help move food
from the stomach to the small intestine for digestion and absorption. However, it
cannot prevent food poisoning or counteract ingestion of a harmful substance, so contact
your physician ASAP if something requires urgent medical attention.
- It can also curb morning sickness.
And speaking of an upset stomach, pregnant women in particular should take note: Ginger
may help reduce symptoms of morning sickness! In fact, research supports the safety and
efficacy of ginger during pregnancy, with some improvement in symptoms when compared
to a placebo.
- It may help prevent heart disease.
The same anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger can also reduce the risk of chronic
disease. A 2016 review even linked regular ginger intake with lower cholesterol and blood
sugar compared to a placebo. But just like diabetes, eating it can not offset an otherwise
poor diet high in saturated fat and added sugar. You’ll still have to consume more veggies,
100% whole grains, lean proteins, fish, legumes, and beans in order to reduce your risk.
- It may lower your risk of cancer.
The cell-protecting properties of ginger can lower the long-term risk of certain cancers.
That’s because the spice and other flavorings may reduce cellular activity that causes DNA
changes, cell death, and proliferation of cancer cells. It could also help sensitize tumors to
treatments like chemo and radiation. While ginger’s not a cure-all for any chronic disease,
using it regularly with loads of other spices and plant-based foods can help benefit health
- It can help you lose weight.
Some small studies have linked ginger intake — when combined with other plant extracts —
to some benefits in weight loss. And there’s definitely some promising animal research
linking ginger to weight management. But as with anything else, ginger is no magic weight-loss pill! Other components of a healthy, balanced diet matter just as much when it comes
to losing weight and keeping it off.
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