Fall In Love With The Health Benefits Of Ginger
Ginger is more than just a tasty ingredient to spice up your favourite Indian and Asian dishes. It’s one of the many spices used to treat a wide variety of ailments and diseases ranging from the common cold to arthritis and even cancer that it earned the title “superfood.”
What is Ginger?
Perhaps one of the biggest puzzles about this humble looking root is whether it’s a herb or spice. The answer is that it’s both.
Ginger is a herbaceous plant (or herb) because the plant that sprouts out from the root doesn’t have a woody stem. At the same time, it’s a spice because it’s the root that’s used to flavour foods and treat different kinds of ailments.
Originally from Southern Asia, ginger was first introduced to the Western world during the 1st century AD during the lucrative spice trade between Europe and India. Today, it’s one of the most popular spices in the world not only for its sweet, spicy flavour but also for its many health benefits.
5 Health Benefits of Ginger
1. Relieves nausea
According to a study published in the Nutrition Journal, chewing 1.5 grams of raw ginger can help reduce the symptoms of nausea, especially among pregnant women. Alternatively, you can steep 20 grams of fresh ginger and drink this as a tea if you find it too spicy.
2. Helps alleviate digestive issues
Ginger contains phenolic compounds. These compounds can contribute in stimulating saliva and bile production and gastrointestinal irritation. Eating raw ginger or drinking ginger tea before meals can also help prevent dyspepsia – a severe case of indigestion caused by the stomach taking too long to empty itself.
3. Helps treat osteoarthritis
Ginger contains gingerol, a bioactive compound that’s responsible for giving it its distinct spicy flavour. Gingerol is rich with anti-inflammatory properties, which can significantly help people suffering from different kinds of inflammatory conditions. One of these is osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a common, but painful, type of chronic joint disease. It’s caused by the degeneration of the joints in the body. This, in turn, causes the joints to become stiff and extremely painful.
In a controlled study done on 247 people suffering from osteoarthritis, researchers found out that those patients that took regular doses of ginger extract supplements said that they didn’t feel as much pain as they did before. The researchers also reported that the swelling in the joints was significantly reduced among the patients who took the ginger extract supplements regularly.
4. Help fight infections
The anti-inflammatory properties of gingerol can also contribute to fighting off bacterial growth in your body that can cause swelling and infection. In fact, regularly taking ginger extract supplements or drinking ginger tea is found to be helpful in treating gingivitis, sore throat, and even respiratory infections.
5. Powerful pain reliever
Another health benefit of ginger is that it helps relieve muscle cramps and pain. In one study, researchers found that ginger can help ease dysmenorrhoea by as much as 83%.
These are but a few of the many health benefits of ginger. Nevertheless, these alone are clear proof that ginger is, indeed, a superfood.