The aroma and flavor of ginger adds instant zing to any dish. Ginger has been used for a long time, in the kitchen as well as in traditional medicine. The health benefits of ginger were known to many ancient cultures and formed a part of medical traditions like Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, etc.
The health benefits of ginger are varied and this spice can be consumed in many ways.
The Health Benefits Of Ginger – How Ginger Can Boost Your Health
Ginger can cure stomach ailments, prevent cancer, cure morning sickness and motion sickness. As ginger is a natural spice that has been used for a long time, it has no serious side effects, which is an added bonus. Spice up your tea with a bit of ginger or add it to sweet dishes to make the most of the health benefits of ginger.
Eight Amazing Health Benefits Of Ginger
Ginger, a part of spice cabinets in kitchens the world over, can perk up any dish. It is also consumed in the form of ginger extracts and ginger juices. Also, ginger ale and ginger beer are popular ginger-based drinks that are not just tasty, but healthy too.
The health benefits of ginger have been known for a long time, but only recent research is revealing just how powerful this spicy rhizome can be. Here are some medicinal benefits of ginger:
Protection From Some Forms Of Cancer
Ginger might be effective in preventing the development of colon cancer.
A study conducted by the University of Minnesota on mice suggests that gingerols, the active compounds that give ginger its distinct flavor, might be effective in preventing the growth of colorectal tumors.
Experiments conducted by Dr. Rebecca Liu and her team of researchers at the University of Michigan, found that gingerols killed ovarian cancer cells and could prove to be effective in treating this type of cancer too.
Reduction In Morning Sickness And Motion Sickness
Some recent studies have found that ginger could be effective in preventing the effects of motion sickness like nausea, dizziness, vomiting, etc. In fact, it has been shown to be more effective than the anti motion sickness drug, Dramamine.
A review of six double-blind studies was published in the Obstetrics and Gynecology journal in 2005. It suggests that the ability of ginger to prevent nausea has been found to be effective in treating even severe cases of morning sickness that affects pregnant women.
This property could be a great relief to women during pregnancy, as ginger would probably have far less side effects than the drugs prescribed for this condition.
Anti Inflammatory Benefits For Arthritic Patients
Ginger has many anti-inflammatory properties.
A study published in the Osteoarthritis and Cartilage journal involved a group of 29 people with severe arthritis in the knee. It was a double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled study. By the end of six months, those who were given ginger experienced much less pain and discomfort than those who were given a placebo. The swelling in their knee region of the first set of participants also came down significantly.
It is believed that the antioxidant properties of the phytochemical gingerol in ginger is responsible for this beneficial effect. Nitric oxide is responsible for creating a free radical, peroxynitrite, which causes a lot of damage to the body. A clinical study found that gingerol restricted the formation of nitric oxide.
A Boost To The Immune System
Ginger juice can cause sweating, which helps in detoxification and distributing the antibiotic peptide, Dermcidin, contained in sweat. Dermcidin works well to prevent bacterial and fungal infections as well as skin infections.
Prevention Of Heartburn And Other Stomach Problems
Ginger has been found to have good carminative and intestinal spasmolytic effects i.e. it clears intestinal gas and soothes the stomach muscles and prevents intestinal spasms.
Help For Migraine
Ginger inhibits the production of prostaglandins and stabilizes the fluctuating levels of migraine, which in turn reduces the occurrences of migraine.
Protection For Kidneys In Diabetic Patients
A clinical study on rats showed that ginger reduced the risk of kidney damage caused by diabetes. If you are a diabetic, it is a good idea to add ginger to your diet, to protect your kidneys from consequences of diabetes.
Relief From Menstrual Cramps, Cold, And The Flu
Ginger has been used in Chinese medicine to provide relief from menstrual cramps. It is also used in naturopathy to treat the common cold and the flu.
How To Buy And Store Ginger
Ginger adds flavor to foods and helps you stay healthy. So, if you decide to add it to your regular diet, you should know how to choose the best kind. This rhizome can be white, yellow, or red in color. While buying ginger, make sure it is smooth and firm, and is not affected by mold.
Buying fresh ginger is your best option, as dry ginger contains less gingerols, and might prove less effective, in adding flavor and also as a medicine. Mature ginger has a tough outer skin, while ginger that has been harvested at an early stage in its growth has a much thinner and softer skin.
Peel the skin before using ginger for cooking, or as medicine. If ginger is not easily available in your region, buy it elsewhere and store it for future use. You can store unpeeled fresh ginger in the refrigerator for around two weeks. When stored in the freezer, ginger lasts for several months.
If ginger is a rare commodity in your area, you can also buy dry ginger powder, which can be stored in airtight containers for longer periods than fresh ginger.
Reaping The Health Benefits Of Ginger
Ginger can enhance the taste of many dishes, so you need not take it in capsule form or gulp it down as a medicine.
Make ginger breads, ginger cookies, and add ginger to rice dishes or vegetable curries. Use ginger to spice up fruit juices like lemon juice or cane juice. You can also make ginger tea, and have a spicy drink in the middle of the day.
There are no limits to the ways in which this spice can be used. Just use your imagination and reap the health benefits of ginger, while also enjoying its flavor.