If you’re familiar with traditional medicine, than you probably know the value of ginger as a medicinal plant.
For thousands of years, all over the world, ginger has been used to help digestive health and treat pain. Moreover, modern studies continue to prove its real-life benefits and legitimize its use.
Whether it be taken dried, fresh or juiced, there’s no denying that ginger is an integral part of a healthy daily diet. If you’re not familiar with this root, here are 8 reasons to take it everyday.
1. Ginger helps Digestion
The active compounds found in ginger, gingerols and shogaol, both stimulate digestion by increasing saliva and bile production as well as promoting the activity of enzymes like trypsin and pancreatic lipase. They also increase nutrient absorption by reducing inflammation and irritation of the gastrointestinal tract (1).
Additionally, the root prevents constipation, indigestion, bloating and cramps by increasing gastric motility (emptying of the stomach). In fact, taking just 1.2 grams of ginger before a meal can reduce indigestion by up to 50% (2).
2. Ginger Fitghts Nausea
Ginger fights nausea by helping break up and expel intestinal gas, accelerating gastric emptying and stimulating antral contractions. 1 gram doses are commonly used by naval cadets to treat seasickness and by pregnant women to lessen morning sickness.
In fact, ginger was found to work better than dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) against symptoms of motion sickness. It may even work better than vitamin B6 in preventing nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy or surgery.
3. Ginger Relieves Pain
Ginger is a traditional remedy for pain caused by primary dysmenorrhea (intense menstrual cramps). The root also fights inflammation, swelling and pain in patients suffering from arthritis better than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.
In addition, ginger can fight exercise-related pain by increasing blood flow and oxygen supply to sore muscles (3). In fact, it’s a popular post-workout remedy among renown athletes because of its ability to shorten recovery time after high-intensity exercise.
4. Ginger Reduces Inflammation
Like anti-inflammatory drugs, ginger inhibits pro-inflammatory cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression to provide relief to patient suffering from inflammatory disease like arthritis. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Complementary Medicine found that ginger was just as effective as and much safer than diclofenac, a popular non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to treat osteoarthtritis (4).
Ginger may also be beneficial in managing asthma and other inflammatory conditions.
5. Ginger May Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
Ginger regulates the activity of platelets, blood cell that are meant to help blood clot and prevent uncontrolled bleeding. However, the normal response of platelets can be altered by smoking and hypertension, which can can lead to coronary heart disease (5).
The root also regulates blood pressure and blood sugar levels to optimize cardiovascular health. In fact, 12 weeks of daily ingestion of 2 grams of ginger can the lower blood pressure of hypotensive diabetics by 10% (6).
6. Ginger Lowers Cholesterol
Ginger helps improve the metabolism of fats as well as reduce blood lipid levels. A study on patients with hyperlipidemia found that taking 3g of ginger a day for 45 days significantly reduced triglyceride, cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) levels when compared to a placebo (7).
This is yet another way that ginger helps prevent heart disease.
7. Ginger Fights Cancer
6-gingerol , a compound found in ginger has gained increased interest from the scientific community as a possible anti-cancer agent. It has been shown to suppresse the proliferation and invasion of cancer cells by preventing angiogenesis in tumors.
The root also induces apoptosis of cancer cells to fight the disease outright. 2 grams a day is enough to reduce pro-inflammatory molecules involved in the development of tumors in your colon (8).
So far, ginger has shown a lot of potential in treating colorectal cancer and continues to be examined as a possible sure to lymphoma, hepatoma, breast cancer, skin cancer, liver cancer, and bladder cancer.
8. Ginger Improves Brain Function
Ginger supports cognitive function by fighting oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain. Researchers believe that it may hold the key to preventing and fighting Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases(9).
A study published in Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine found that 800mg of ginger taken daily for two months was enough to increase the power and accuracy of attention as well as the speed and quality of memory in middle-aged women (10).
How To Take Ginger
To get the most of these benefits and get you body back on track, incorporate ginger into your meals every day by using it to season meat and vegetables, flavor salad dressing or add a kick to desserts.
The easiest way to take it, though, is to make ginger tea and drink it every morning on an empty stomach. To make the tea, add 4 to 6 thin slices of raw ginger to a cup of boiling water and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes before removing the slices and serving the tea with a small spoon of honey.