Ginger is not only a flavourful ingredient, but it is also a famous Ayurvedic herb used to cure a variety of common ailments. It is recognised for its magical benefits, from flavouring dishes to cleaning out toxins, which is why chefs and doctors both swear by it. Continue reading to learn all the health benefits of this fiery root.
Everything to know about ginger
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While ginger has long been touted as a cure-all in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, the ancient root’s general health benefits are extensive. Not to mention how adaptable it is—you can toss it in a smoothie, grate some over a stir fry, add it to soup, or drink ginger tea.
Ginger is a flowering plant native to Southeast Asia. It’s one of the healthiest (and most flavourful) spices on the planet, with plenty of health benefits to boot. It is a part of the Zingiberaceae family and is related to turmeric, cardamom, and galangal. The rhizome (underground stem part) is the most widely used spice. It’s also known as ginger root or simply ginger.
It can be consumed fresh, dried, powdered, or in the form of an oil or juice. It’s a popular ingredient in cooking, and is sometimes found in processed foods and cosmetics.
Health benefits of ginger
The old wives’ tale may be true: Ginger helps if you’re trying to ease a queasy stomach, especially during pregnancy. It may work by breaking up and removing accumulated gas in your intestines. It may also help with seasickness or nausea caused by chemotherapy.
Eases arthritis symptoms
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it lowers swelling. This might be especially beneficial in treating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis symptoms. You may get relief from pain and swelling by ingesting ginger or applying a ginger compress or patch to your skin.
Eases menstrual pains
If you find yourself clutching your abdomen in pain every month, ginger may be worth a try. Experts believe ginger is one of the most effective natural medicines because it helps in a variety of inflammatory processes. It inhibits the generation of chemicals that cause your uterus to contract and cause pain.
Ginger, according to experts, can help lower LDL cholesterol levels (the bad kind! ), lowering your risk of heart disease. A small research confirmed these findings, showing that control groups that consumed three grams of ginger (approximately half a teaspoon) three times a day had a significantly higher reduction in triglyceride and cholesterol than the placebo group.
If you suffer from persistent indigestion, commonly known as dyspepsia, ginger may provide some relief. Ginger before meals may encourage your system to empty faster, giving food less time to sit and cause difficulties.
May help prevent cancer
There is increasing evidence that ginger may help prevent cancer as well as act as an adjunct therapy to cancer treatment. This is due to gingerol, a compound found in fresh ginger that has anti-cancer properties.
Though numerous research support this, larger studies on ginger’s anti-cancer properties are needed.
May lower blood sugars
There is also some evidence that ginger can help diabetics control their blood sugar levels by enhancing glucose uptake in muscle cells without the need of insulin.
A small study published in an Iranian publication in 2015 looked at the effects of ginger on people with type 2 diabetes. It was discovered that taking 2g of ginger powder per day improved blood sugar indicators.
Another 2018 study discovered that ingesting ginger capsules decreased blood glucose levels in women with gestational diabetes.
Fresh ginger contains chemical compounds that help your body fight germs. They are particularly effective at inhibiting the development of bacteria such as E.coli and Shigella, and they may help keep viruses such as RSV at bay.
How to add ginger to your diet
From making ginger tea to baking spicy-sweet goodies, here’s how you can add ginger to your everyday routine.
Adding a few pieces of fresh ginger to hot water to make tea
Adding finely chopped fresh ginger or powdered ginger to curries or stir-fries
Mixing a bit of ginger into your morning smoothie
Add it to baked goods
Try a palate cleanser: Pickled ginger
Ginger can be used in a gamut of detox drinks, fruit punch and juices too
If you dislike the taste of ginger, you can purchase ginger capsules at your local pharmacy. While ginger is quite safe, it is best to consume the recommended dose of ginger per day otherwise you may feel throat burn, heartburn, or gas.
Side effects of ginger
While the flavourful ingredient is known to have plenty of health benefits and the ability to alleviate a variety of common diseases, you may be surprised to learn that ginger can also induce side effects. While the majority of the side effects are caused by an excessive intake of ginger, it also aggravates health problems in many cases.
Leads to diarrhoea
Ginger can induce diarrhoea if consumed in large quantities. Do you know why? Experts say it accelerates the transit of food and faeces through the intestines and generates unrest, which typically leads to restlessness and weakness.
Unsafe during pregnancy
Consuming ginger in excess of the recommended daily limit of 1500 mg may raise the chance of miscarriage, according to gynaecologists. To be safe, refrain from eating too much ginger during pregnancy or consume it only after consulting a doctor.
Experts suggest people taking blood pressure medications to avoid the intake ginger. A high dose of ginger is thought to worsen cardiac problems and lead to irregular pulse.
May lead to gastric stimulation when consumed on an empty stomach
Ginger is a strong ingredient that, when ingested on an empty stomach, can cause gastric stimulation, which can cause digestive distress and upset stomach.
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