Ginger is as close to a true super food as I have found. The list of benefits of ginger is almost as long as the different ways you can prepare and consume it.
The list of benefits from ginger are incredible, everything from reducing blood pressure to treating digestive issues. According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, ginger has been used in China for over 2,000 years to help digestion and treat diarrhea, nausea and, stomach issues. That’s not all ginger can do, though.
Benefits of Ginger:
1. Antioxidant Content
When oxidation occurs in our bodies occurs, free radicals are produced that can cause damage in healthy cells. Antioxidants prevent the formation of these free radicals, and therefore prevents the effects of free radicals that have even been linked to cancer. Ginger is one of the most powerful antioxidants found in nature.
2. Digestive Aid
Ginger helps stimulate saliva, bile and gastric juice production to aid in digestion. It is believed that phenolic compounds, primarily gingerol and shagaol, and various other volatile oils are responsible for the digestive benefits. By improving digestion, ginger will naturally reduce the potential for intestinal gas and flatulence.
3. Cancer Fighting
Ginger root was recently the subject of study presented at The American Association for Cancer research conference in Phoenix, Az. In the study, ginger actually suppressed cancer cells, suggesting that the herb was able to fuel apoptosis (the death of the cancer cells).
4. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
A recent study compared the effects of a highly concentrated ginger extract to placebo in 247 patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. The ginger reduced pain and stiffness in knee joints by 40% over the placebo. Roy Altman, MD, the leader of the study says that: “Research shows that ginger affects certain inflammatory processes at a cellular level.”
5. Natural Expectorant
Expectorants are any substances that help to loosen phlegm or mucus from the chest and lungs. Ginger can help to rid the lungs of congestion by thinning out secretions.
6. Detoxes the Body
One of the easiest ways to detox your body naturally is by taking a ginger bath. Take a teaspoon of ginger powder and add it to a hot bath, and soak in ti for 15-20 minutes, and you’ll notice that you will start sweating. That sweat is your body’s way of getting rid of toxins, and will continue for at least an hour after you’ve gotten out of the tub.
7. Relieves Muscle Pains
A study involving 74 volunteers carried out at the University of Georgia found that daily ginger supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by 25%.
8. Skin Care Benefits
Ginger’s antioxidant, gingerol, promotes smoothness and evenness in skin tone as well as fights against skin-damaging free radicals. Ginger can also be used to treat scrapes and burns because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties.
9. Fights Arthritis
A study published in Osteoarthritis Cartilage, involving 29 patients with painful arthritis in the knee (6 men and 23 women ranging in age from 42-85 years). In the double-blind study, participants switched from placebo to ginger or visa versa after 3 months. After six months, the double-blind code was broken, and those participants that were given ginger were experiencing significantly less pain on movement and handicap than those given placebo.
10. Cures Nausea (Even from Morning Sickness)
A recent study of 675 participants, published in the April 2005 issue of the journal,Obstetrics and Gynecology,showed that ginger is effective in relieving the severity of nausea and vomiting during early pregnancy. The review also confirmed the absence of significant side effects or adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes.
11. Reduces Blood Pressure
Ginger works as a natural blood thinner, which improves circulation and lowers blood pressure.
Besides just steeping fresh ginger in boiling water, you can add lemon juice and a dash of maple syrup to make a tea that you can enjoy throughout the day. All you need to do is take a heaped teaspoon of freshly grated ginger and add it to 2-3 cups of boiling water. Then strain the water, squeeze the juice from a half of a lemon, and add a teaspoon of maple syrup.
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