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The Health Benefits of Ginger

Fresh ginger root, ginger powder and even ginger tea aren’t just tasty additions to your weekly menu, there are a huge range of health benefits that come with this fiery root too.

We’ve all heard the recommendations of having ginger root to help with nausea and vomiting, or to boost your digestion but believe me, there’s so much more to it.

But what makes ginger root so good for our body? And why should you include it in your foods and supplements regularly?

In this article, we’ll look into the health benefits of ginger, how it works and why it’s just so good for us. Plus, we provide some handy tips on how best to get boost your ginger intake.

Why is fresh ginger so good for us?

Whether its ginger tea or fresh ginger, this root has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and is loaded with antioxidants that can help reduce stress and damage to the body’s DNA. This is the key for enjoying all the health benefits of ginger, which we’ll explore further in this article.

Gingerol is the main bioactive found in ginger root which is responsible for its medicinal properties.

By reducing inflammation and levels of toxins in your body, you can enjoy a range of health benefits.

Health benefits of ginger  

Long used as a herbal/traditional medicine for a number of ailments, an increasing number of scientific studies show that the health benefits of ginger are more than an old wives’ tale.

Nausea and vomiting

This is probably the most well known health benefit of ginger.

Ginger has been shown to help with nausea, including morning sickness and chemotherapy-induced sickness.

It can also help with motion sickness and migraines, or a range of other stomach discomfort issues. Next time you’re experiencing nausea and vomiting, try a fresh ginger tea.

Better digestion

On top of that, one of the causes of indigestion is a delayed emptying of the stomach and ginger seems to speed this process up, providing a relief to symptoms of sickness and discomfort.

So, if your nan recommends a ginger tea after a big meal, it’s worth giving it a go!

May provide pain relief

Women suffering from period pains may also want to give ginger a go. Studies have shown taking ginger supplements of around 250mg a day is as affective for period pains as painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen and mefenamic acid.

This is due to the anti inflammatory effects of ginger root, so this can help to reduce the inflammation brought on by period symptoms, and therefore reduce the pain you feel too!

Helps with arthritis

Sufferers of osteoarthritis have also seen a reduction in symptoms such as joint pain with ginger supplements (1g a day). Ginger root helps to reduce the inflammation in the joints, therefore relieving the pressure and the pain the joints.

Weight loss and blood sugar levels

Consuming ginger may also help with weight loss and obesity.

One study in 2016 of 80 obese women found that supplementing 3g of ginger for 12 weeks helped reduce body mass index (BMI) and blood sugar (insulin) levels (high insulin levels are associated with obesity).

The same daily amount (2g) has also been shown to reduce HbA1c – a marker for type II diabetes, while higher levels (3g) have been shown to be beneficial in reducing high cholesterol.

Helps with muscle soreness

If you’re a fitness buff, you’ll be happy to know that one of the key health benefits of ginger, as an anti inflammatory, is that it can help with muscle soreness.

When you work out, you put your muscles through their paces and, they become damaged, inflamed and sore.

So, if you’re planning on working out regularly, add some fresh ginger or take some ginger tea, it can help to reduce inflammation, increase recovery and allow you to get back in the gym more quickly.

Lowers cholesterol

One study has shown that regularly taking ginger supplements of 5g a day for three months can actually help to reduce LDL Cholesterol (the one we don’t want at high levels!).

 

Other areas showing early promise in research include it having anti-cancer properties and helping with age-related cognitive decline.

How much ginger should we eat?

Most of the studies seem to have involved supplementing with between 1g and 3g of dried ginger – researchers have noted, however, that the taste of such high levels seems to have been a factor in some people abandoning the clinical tests.

It’s quite a strong flavour, so taking ginger supplements or powdered ginger might not be the best option if you don’t like the taste.

Instead, why not looking up meals where you can sprinkle in some fresh ginger, so you’re getting a regular healthy dose, but it’s not overwhelming.

For example, a lot of asian dishes require fresh ginger root for flavouring.

Is there such a thing as consuming too much ginger?

Not really, particularly in its natural form of ginger root. When supplementing, more than 5g a day can lead to complaints such as gas, heartburn and irritation of the mouth.

Is there anyone who should avoid having ginger?

While there are plenty of health benefits, as we’ve explored above, there are some considerations to keep in mind when supplementing with ginger, as with any supplement.

Pregnant women should speak to their doctor before supplementing, as such those with a bleeding disorder and anyone who takes regular medication – especially those on blood thinners or taking medication for high blood pressure.

If unsure, always consult a doctor, dietician or nutritionist.

Tips for incorporating more ginger in our diets

With so may health benefits of ginger to boast about, it’s a great idea to know how to add it into your diet in a way that suits you, and leads to you sticking with regular supplementation.

The best thing to do here is to find out what works best for you. Because chewing on a root might not be the best option for everyone!

Ginger Supplements

You can take ginger as a supplement, with powdered ginger in a capsule form so you can conveniently and quickly have a boost to your daily intake.

A lot of people enjoy this as it’s a much easier way to add it to your diet, without cutting up fresh ginger and adding to meals each day.

Dishes with Ginger Root

Another great way to enjoy the health benefits of ginger is to add some fresh ginger to your meals. Take a look at Asian recipes in particular, as these often provide a generous natural helping of the spice.

Ginger teas and drinks

I like adding half a teaspoon of dried ginger in a morning smoothie and I regularly have a ginger tea: Just chop a few 5p-10p sized slices of ginger root and steep it in hot water.

I find I can get 2/3 cups out of that by constantly refilling before the flavour goes. Otherwise, ginger is common ingredient in many Asian dishes.

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