Benefits of ginger
Ginger is one of the superfood existing on this planet. It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain. So today we will read why ginger is a superfood and what the health benefits of ginger are.
But first, where did ginger com from?
Ginger is a native of south Asia and is still widely used in this region. It is being used in several parts of the world since long times. The long list of aromatic, culinary, and medicinal properties is the reason it is mentioned in several ancient Chinese, Indian, and Middle Eastern writings. About two thousand years ago, ginger was imported by ancient Romans from China, but was prominent only around the Mediterranean region. By the fall of the Roman Empire, ginger nearly disappeared from Europe. Marco Polo’s trip to the Far East encouraged the rise in the popularity of ginger back to Europe. Even though it was expensive in Europe after being imported from Asia, it was one of the much-coveted spices of the continent. To increase its availability, Spanish explorers introduced ginger to the West Indies, Mexico and South America, and by the 16th century, these areas started exporting the spice back to Europe. Today, India is the world’s leading producer of ginger, followed by China and Indonesia. Jamaica, Fiji and Australia constitute other commercial cultivators of ginger.
Ginger is known by various names.
Biological Name: Zingiber officinale
Ginger (English), Jengibre (Spanish), Gengibre (Portugese), Gingembre (French), Luya (Filipino), ZÃ¡zvor (Czech), Adrak (Hindi), Shēngjiāng (Chinese), Ingwer (German), Inji (Tamil), Inchi (Malayalam), Allum (Telugu), Adu (Gujarati), Ada (Bengali & Oriya), Ale (Marathi), Adrak (Punjabi & Urdu) .
Nutritional Value of Ginger (per 100 grams)
|Calories From Carbohydrates||68|
|Calories From Fats||6.3|
|Calories From Proteins||5.1|
|Total Carbohydrates||18 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g|
|Fats & Fatty Acids|
|Total Fat||750 mg|
|Saturated Fat||203 mg|
|Monounsaturated Fat||154 mg|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||154 mg|
|Omega-3 Fatty Acids||34 mg|
|Omega-6 Fatty Acids||120 mg|
|Vitamin C||5 mg|
|Vitamin E||260 mcg|
|Vitamin K||0.1 mcg|
|Vitamin B6||160 mcg|
|Pantothenic Acid||203 mcg|
Health Benefits of ginger
- Good for heart
Garlic, ginger and onions all have an anti-blood-clotting ability. Ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve various heart disease risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes.
- Good for digestion
Ginger appears to speed up emptying of the stomach, which can be beneficial for people with indigestion and related stomach discomfort. Recently, Taiwanese researchers discovered that three capsules (1.2 grams total) of ginger can actually help the stomach release its contents into the small intestines in people with dyspepsia — a condition in which 40 percent of patients suffer from abnormally delayed gastric emptying.
Ginger also reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating.
- Safe and Effective Relief of Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy
Ginger’s anti-vomiting action has been shown to be very useful in reducing the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, even the most severe form, hyperemesis gravidum, a condition which usually requires hospitalization. In a double-blind trial, ginger root brought about a significant reduction in both the severity of nausea and number of attacks of vomiting in 19 of 27 women in early pregnancy (less than 20 weeks). Unlike anti-vomiting drugs, which can cause severe birth defects, ginger is extremely safe, and only a small dose is required.
Proper food transport (and nutrient absorption) from the mouth out through your colon is the mainstay to health. If food gets stuck somewhere in between, it can ferment, rot or (even worse) cause obstruction, which is a life-threatening emergency.
Improper digestion can also cause improper assimilation of the nutrients in your food. Either way, both cause malabsorption, and your body suffers from nutrient deficiencies. This is why ginger is so important.
- Ginger May Reduce Muscle Pain and Soreness
Ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain. In one study, consuming 2 grams of ginger per day, for 11 days, significantly reduced muscle pain in people performing elbow exercises. Ginger does not have an immediate impact, but may be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain.
Working with mice without immune systems, University of Minnesota scientists discovered that three weekly feedings of -gingerol delayed the growth of colorectal cancer cells. University of Michigan researchers confirmed these results with ovarian cancer. In fact, they found that “Ginger treatment of cultured ovarian cancer cells induced profound growth inhibition in all cell lines tested.”
Gingerols are widely known to naturally improve diabetes and enhance insulin sensitivity. Building off this knowledge, a 2006 study out of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry discovered that they could also suppress sorbitol accumulation in human blood cells and sugar-fed rats. Simply put, ginger not only helps prevent and reverse diabetes itself — it protects against and improves diabetic complications like diabetic retinopathy!
- Ginger Powder May Significantly Reduce Menstrual Pain
One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain. In one study, 150 women were instructed to take 1 gram of ginger powder per day, for the first 3 days of the menstrual period. Ginger managed to reduce pain as effectively as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.
- Increase body immunity
Ginger can not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flus. A good sweat may do a lot more than simply assist detoxification. German researchers have recently found that sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may help fight off infections. Investigators have isolated the gene responsible for the compound and the protein it produces, which they have named dermicidin. Dermicidin is manufactured in the body’s sweat glands, secreted into the sweat, and transported to the skin’s surface where it provides protection against invading microorganisms, including bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus (a common cause of skin infections), and fungi, including Candida albicans.
Ginger is so concentrated with active substances, you don’t have to use very much to receive its beneficial effects. For nausea, ginger tea made by steeping one or two 1/2-inch slices (one 1/2-inch slice equals 2/3 of an ounce) of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water will likely be all you need to settle your stomach. For arthritis, some people have found relief consuming as little as a 1/4-inch slice of fresh ginger cooked in food, although in the studies noted above, patients who consumed more ginger reported quicker and better relief.
- The Anti-Inflammatory Effects Can Help With Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a common health problem. It involves degeneration of the joints in the body, leading to symptoms like joint pain and stiffness. In a controlled trial of 247 people with osteoarthritis of the knee, those who took ginger extract had less pain and required less pain medication. Another study found that a combination of ginger, mastic, cinnamon and sesame oil, can reduce pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients when applied topically.
- In Cold
Ginger is very helpful in cases of cough and itchiness of the throat by stimulating the secretion of mucus, thereby alleviating the problem.