Ginger is present in many cuisines throughout the world due to its specific aroma and spicy bitter taste, but also for its medicinal properties. It can be added to soups, marinades, main dishes, desserts, or be used as a spice and natural preservative in food. More than 2000 years it was used as a spice and medicine until today. People now use it in many different ways just because of its powerful effects on the body. It is packed with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful positive effect on your body and brain. The unique fragrance and flavor of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol.
Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Ginger appears to be highly effective against nausea. It has a long history of use as a sea sickness remedy, and there is evidence that it may be as effective as prescription medication. Therefore, whenever you go traveling take ginger with you and put it in hot water and it will surely guarantee you a pleasant trip. It also helps treating nausea in pregnant women and it is nor risky for the health of the mother or the baby.
The health benefits of ginger are:
- Keep the normal blood circulation. Ginger contains magnesium, chromium and zinc to improve the flow of blood in the body, and is also useful for reducing the fever and excessive sweating.
- Improves absorption. Ginger improves the absorption of essential nutrients in the body by stimulating the secretion of stomach and pancreatic enzymes.
- Prevents the occurrence of colds and flu. Thousands of years in the region of Asia, ginger is used as a natural remedy for colds and flu. Its healing properties are confirmed by the Department of Medicine at the University of Maryland, which recommended drinking ginger tea to treat colds and flu in adults. The reason it is helpful for colds and flu is because it induces the process of sweating whilst sweat has natural components that fight off viruses.
- It improves digestion. For proper digestion, consume ginger. It enhances the absorption and reduces spasms in the stomach. It is characteristic that ginger reduces inflammation, with a similar effect as aspirin and ibuprofen. Additionally, another relatively common stomach pain is caused by chronic indigestion i.e. dyspepsia which occurs when emptying of the bowels is delayed. It only gets worse if the delayed emptying is repeating more often. Luckily it has been scientifically proven that ginger speeds up the emptying process and helps people with this condition. It acts as a diuretic.
- Prevents colon cancer. A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of cancer cells in the colon. It aids greatly the patients who undergo chemotherapy – it prevents vomiting and sickness after the treatment. It is also proven that gingerol (as we mentioned previously – it is active phytonutrient in ginger) kills ovarian cancer cells by inducing apoptosis which are the programmed cell death and autophagosytosis which is basically, self-digestion.
- Reduces pain and inflammation. Thanks to anti-inflammatory ingredients that it contains, ginger naturally reduces pain. It is widely used to relief muscle pain related to increased physical activity or exercise. Another benefit from ginger is with osteoporosis-related pain and stiffness in the joints. Another pain relieving feature of ginger is for menstrual discomfort and, sickness and horrible stomach aches.
- It strengthens the immune system. Ginger helps to improve immune system. Regular consumption of ginger reduces the risk of stroke, abdominal bacterial infections, and is very useful in throat irritation and coughing.