Ginger has been consumed in various regions for millions of years, this spicy herb has been native to southeastern Asia. Ginger has been prized for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties. Ginger for health benefits is commercially used in various cuisines all over the world.
Ginger has been used effectively in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. Modern research has revealed that ginger possess therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, anti-inflammatory compounds and effects.
Even through dried herbs and spices like ginger powder are widely available in supermarkets, you may want to explore the local spice stores in your area. To remove the skin from fresh mature ginger, peel with a paring knife. The ginger can then be sliced, minced or julienned. The taste that ginger imparts to a dish depends upon when it is added during the cooking process. Added at the beginning, it will lend a subtler flavor while added near the end, it will deliver a more pungent taste.
How to Enjoy Ginger for Health Benefits
A Few Quick Serving Ideas
- Add to some almond milk with turmeric for some golden milk
- Turn up the heat while cooling off by making ginger lemonade. Simply combine freshly grated ginger, lemon juice, cane juice or honey and water.
- Add extra inspiration to your rice side dishes by sprinkling grated ginger, sesame seeds and nori strips on top.
- Combine ginger, soy sauce, olive oil and garlic to make a wonderful salad dressing.
- Add ginger and orange juice to puréed sweet potatoes.
- Add grated ginger to your favorite stuffing for baked apples.
- Spice up your healthy sautéed vegetables by adding freshly minced ginger.
Health Benefits of Ginger?
Ginger contains more than 400 chemical compounds, but researchers believe the gingerol compounds are the ones responsible for the root’s health benefits. They’re also responsible for its smell and flavor. Gingerol has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help the body in a variety of different ways.
1. Soothes an Upset Stomach
The chemical compounds in ginger are believed to ease stomach pain and aid digestion. Modern research has found evidence that it can helpful.
Ginger has long been proposed as a remedy to ease morning sickness during pregnancy — studies have shown it’s a safe and possibly effective way to help reduce nausea.
Eating ginger may improve indigestion symptoms by helping the stomach empty faster.
2. Reduces Inflammation
Ginger is sometimes taken as a supplement for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis(two painful conditions causing joint damage). Since ginger is an anti-inflammatory, it may also be able to ease joint pain due to inflammation from arthritis.
3. Lowers Blood Sugar
Adding ginger to your diet could help improve blood sugar levels and lower your risk of developing type-2 diabetes. In one study on people with type 2 diabetes, researchers found that those who took 1600 milligrams (mg) of ginger powder for 12 weeks had improved insulin sensitivity, lower triglycerides, and lower total cholesterol when compared with the control group.
4. Reduces Cancer Risk
The root might be a powerful weapon in the fight against cancer. Researchers have found evidence that gingerol (an active compound in ginger) has cancer-fighting abilities. Namely, it may help in the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers. Its high antioxidant content is likely responsible for fighting off cancer cell growth. In fact, the antioxidants in ginger may even help to slow the aging process.
5. Relieves Menstrual Cramps
When it comes to period pain, ginger might actually be right up there with pain medications, like Ibuprofen. Once study found that women who took 250 mg ginger capsules four times a day had the same pain relief as those who took 250 mg of mefenamic acid or 400 mg ibuprofen capsules four times per day.
6. Shortening or Preventing the Common Cold
We often think of orange juice as the go-to drink for warding off a cold, but fresh ginger juice may be a better choice. The root has a warming effect, which is believed to help with cold symptoms. Drinking ginger can keep you warm, while also helping the body sweat and get rid of infections.
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In addition to its many other benefits, gingerol might help prevent infections. One study found fresh ginger may be effective against the respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV), a common cause of cold-like symptoms and respiratory infections.
The ginger compounds gingerol and shogaol may help fight off a cold because they can lower a fever reduce pain, and suppress a cough.
All the Different Ways You Can Include Ginger in Your Diet
There are so many different ways to enjoy ginger — from sipping tea to incorporating it into your main dish. Indeed, you can use it to flavor both sweet and savory foods.
- Marinades for meat and fish
- Asian-inspired stir fry
- Homemade salad dressing
- Sweet potato and carrot dishes
- Tea – boil it in hot water alone or add lemon and a bit of sugar
- Baked desserts