Ginger is a spice that’s used often in Indian and Asian recipes. It has, however, also been used for centuries by many cultures for its medicinal properties. It is packed with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have benefits for your body and mind.
Here are a few reasons you should add ginger to your next shopping list.
1. Relief of nausea
Ginger offers highly effective relief from nausea, especially for pregnant women including those suffering from the most severe form of morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidum. It also helps to relieve nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and is also used to treat motion sickness (especially sea-sickness). In fact, it is a highly effective treatment for any gastro-intestinal distress. It is highly effective, safe and you only need a small amount. If you consider using it during your pregnancy, however, first consult your doctor since you should only use a small amount daily.
2. Anti-inflammatory effects
Ginger contains a very powerful anti-inflammatory bioactive compound called gingerol. Gingerol is responsible for most of ginger’s medicinal properties. In fact, it explains why so many patients with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience less pain and more mobility when they digest ginger regularly. Not only is it a great treatment for inflammation, it is also very high in antioxidants.
3. May help prevent cancer
Ginger contains a substance called 6-gingerol, which may offer anti-cancer properties. Although far more studies need to be conducted, it has been studied as an alternative treatment for several forms of cancer including colon cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Dr Rebecca Lui and her colleagues from the University of Michigan presented lab experiments at the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer. They showed that gingerol kills ovarian cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) and autophagocytosis (self-digestion).
4. Treatment for chronic indigestion
Ginger appears to offer relief to people with chronic indigestion. It speeds up the emptying of the stomach, which is believed to be helpful with indigestion and related stomach discomfort. In a study it showed that after eating soup with ginger, it took the stomach much faster to empty (instead of taking 16 minutes, it took 12 minutes).
5. Fight infections
Ginger can help fight infections because of gingerol, the active ingredient in fresh ginger. It is very effective against oral bacteria which is connected to inflammatory diseases in the gums. In fact, some studies have shown that ginger extract can suppress the growth of different types of bacteria.