Why is ginger so popular? It is a favorite among the masses not only because of its spicy flavor but also because it offers several medicinal benefits as well. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory with numerous medicinal properties, making it both delicious & healthy!
Ginger comes in many forms: fresh, dried, powdered, oil, juice, & even as a common ingredient in cooking, as well as in processed foods & cosmetics. But does ginger really provide health advantages? Let’s take a closer look at the research behind the most commonly touted benefits of ginger & find out if it’s something you should consider adding to your diet.
How Ginger Help You Stay Healthy?
According to health experts, it offers several benefits, like:
1. Relieves Morning Sickness and Nausea
Ginger’s ability to prevent & treat motion sickness & morning sickness has made it a popular natural treatment for nausea & vomiting. Ginger was found to be effective at reducing nausea & vomiting in a meta-analysis of 12 studies involving 1,278 pregnant women, with minimal risk of adverse effects. Even more convincing was a second study, this one from the University of Rochester Medical Center, which found that ginger helped chemotherapy patients with their nausea.
2. Better Digestion
Ginger can accelerate digestion & facilitate faster stomach emptying. People who suffer from gastrointestinal problems like indigestion, ulcers, constipation, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may find relief by including ginger in their daily diet. Scientific research has shown that ginger speeds up digestion by a factor of two. Ginger increases movement in the digestive tract & stimulates the production of healthy enzymes that aid in the digestion of food.
3. Reduces Menstrual Discomfort
Ginger can also be used to treat menstrual cramps. Ginger inhibits the production of chemicals that cause uterine contractions & pain. Researchers summarized the existing literature on ginger’s effects on menstrual pain & concluded that taking 750–2000 milligrams of ginger powder daily can help reduce pain during the first three to four days of menstruation.
Rheumatoid arthritis & osteoarthritis are both painful conditions that cause damage to the joints, & ginger is sometimes used as a dietary supplement for these conditions. Ginger, with its anti-inflammatory properties, helps relieve joint pain associated with arthritis. An older study in 2001 discovered that patients with knee osteoarthritis who took ginger extract had reduced pain & required fewer pain medications. However, they did experience mild stomach upset due to the increased ginger extract concentration.
Ginger is one of the oldest compounds used as an anti-inflammatory agent, & it is also beneficial for osteoarthritis. This may be because it inhibits the synthesis of prostaglandin & leukotriene.
6. Improves Blood Sugar Management
Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is crucial for managing the long-term health effects of Type 2 diabetes, & gingerol may explain ginger’s role in doing so. Ginger reduces carbohydrate-degrading enzymes, thereby promoting glucose (sugar) metabolism. Insulin is necessary to ensure that glucose circulates throughout the body & does not build up in the bloodstream. Diabetes patients frequently produce insufficient insulin. Studies have also shown that ginger promotes glucose absorption in muscles without the need for additional insulin.
7. Improves Oral Health
The gingerols in ginger are active ingredients, & they have antibacterial properties that can prevent oral bacteria from multiplying. This can help prevent periodontal disease, which is a severe infection of the gums.
8. Reduces Cancer Development
Several studies suggest that ginger’s bioactive molecules may inhibit the development of various types of cancer. However, a number of reputable studies do not back it up.
9. Facilitates Weight Loss
Ginger supplements may help individuals lose weight by increasing fat oxidation, inhibiting fat absorption in the digestive tract, & suppressing appetite. Studies suggest that ginger supplementation can significantly reduce body weight & waist-to-hip ratio in overweight & obese individuals.
10. Enhances Immunity
Gingerol has antimicrobial & antifungal properties that enhance immunity. Additionally, ginger has anti-inflammatory & antioxidant properties that can help alleviate symptoms of colds & flu, including coughs, fevers, infections, headaches, & other signs & symptoms.
Promoting the Health Benefits of Ginger
With its several health benefits, ginger adds a unique flavor to your meals. You can get help from the following tips:
- You can make ginger tea by combining a few pieces of fresh ginger with hot water.
- Add minced fresh ginger or ginger powder to curries or stir-fries.
- Include some ginger in your morning smoothie.
- Use ginger in cookies, cakes, or pastries.
Possible Risks and Adverse Effects of Ginger
Ginger is safe & unlikely to cause adverse side effects in most people when consumed in moderation, but large amounts may cause stomach pain, bad breath, heartburn, & diarrhea in some people. Ginger allergy is rare but can occur, so if you experience food allergy symptoms, discontinue use immediately & consult a physician. Ginger essential oil may also cause skin irritation in some individuals when applied topically.
Ginger contains various compounds that have therapeutic effects on the human body. According to studies, taking ginger as a supplement may help people with type 2 diabetes & arthritis, as well as those who suffer from nausea & inflammation. However, it’s best to speak with your doctor before taking a ginger supplement to make sure it’s suitable for your individual medical requirements.
1. Is fresh ginger better than dried ginger?
Fresh ginger retains all of its natural chemical compounds, including gingerol, which is diminished when the root is dried & ground into powder. Therefore, fresh ginger is more effective at fighting infections.
2. Can too much ginger be harmful to your health?
Ginger is okay to eat if you include it in a balanced diet. However, after ingesting ginger extracts or capsules containing a high concentration of ginger, some individuals may experience stomach issues such as heartburn, gas, or diarrhea.
3. Is candied ginger a healthy food?
Candied ginger contains ginger, so it retains the health benefits of the root. However, due to its high sugar content, it’s important to limit your intake to avoid weight gain.