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Ginger, a popular spice and medicinal plant, has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine to treat various health conditions. Ginger is known for its unique flavor and aroma and is used in many culinary dishes around the world. But ginger isn’t just a spice – it’s also a natural remedy with numerous health benefits. With its warm and comforting flavor, ginger is a perfect ingredient for winter meals and drinks.
Here are some of the health benefits of ginger.
Nutritional benefits of ginger
Ginger is a nutritious and healthy addition to your diet. It is low in calories and fat and is a good source of several essential nutrients. Some of the key nutrients found in ginger include:
Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals and supports a healthy immune system.
Magnesium: Helps to regulate muscle and nerve function, maintain normal heart rhythm, and support a healthy immune system.
Manganese: Helps to support healthy bone development and is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids.
Potassium: Helps to regulate fluid balance in the body and supports healthy blood pressure.
Copper: Helps to produce red blood cells and maintain healthy nerve function.
Vitamin B: Helps to support the production of neurotransmitters in the brain.
Fiber: Helps to promote healthy digestion and regular bowel movements.
Gingerol: The primary bioactive compound in ginger, has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and, anti-cancer properties.
It’s worth noting that ginger tea is a great alternative if you don’t like the taste of fresh ginger or ginger supplements.
You can enjoy ginger in many forms, such as:
- Fresh ginger
- Ginger powder
- Ginger tea
- Ginger supplements
- Ginger oil.
Consuming ginger regularly as a part of a healthy diet can still provide some benefits.
1. Boosts Immune System
Ginger has immune-boosting properties that can help protect the body against infections and diseases. It contains compounds like gingerol, shogaol, and zingerone, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight off harmful bacteria and viruses.
Here are two ways, ginger can be used as a remedy for the immune system:
Ginger tea with lemon: You can make ginger tea by steeping fresh ginger in hot water for a few minutes. Drinking ginger tea with lemon regularly can help reduce inflammation in the body and support a healthy immune system.
Ginger and honey: Mix fresh ginger juice with honey and take it daily. Ginger and honey are both known for their immune-boosting properties, and this combination can be particularly effective in preventing infections.
2. Relieves Nausea
Ginger is well known for its ability to soothe nausea and vomiting, especially for pregnant women. It is commonly used to alleviate morning sickness during pregnancy, motion sickness, and nausea caused by chemotherapy. The active compounds in ginger, gingerols, and shogaols, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help calm the stomach and reduce inflammation.
Ginger tea: 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, sliced, 1 cup of water, honey (optional)
Boil the water, add the ginger slices, and let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain the tea and add honey if desired. Drink it while it’s warm.
Ginger candy: 1/2 cup of fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped, 1 cup of sugar Boil the ginger in 1 1/2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Drain the liquid and reserve it. Mix the sugar and 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the ginger and cook for 20-30 minutes until the syrup thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool. Once cooled, cut the ginger candy into small pieces and store them in an airtight container.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Ginger has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and pain in the body. It can be beneficial for people with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. Some studies have even found that ginger is as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in reducing pain and inflammation.
To make a ginger remedy for arthritis, mix grated ginger with hot water and drink it several times a day. You can also massage ginger oil onto your joints to help relieve pain and inflammation.
Ginger turmeric tea: 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, sliced, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tbsp honey, 2 cups of water Boil the water and add the ginger slices and turmeric. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain the tea and add honey. Drink it while it’s warm.
Ginger compress: 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated, 2 cups of water, clean cloth Boil the ginger and water in a saucepan for 10 minutes. Let it cool and soak the cloth in the liquid. Apply the cloth to the affected joint and leave it for 10-15 minutes. Repeat 2-3 times a day.
4. Improves Digestion
Ginger has been used for centuries to aid digestion and improve gut health. It can help relieve constipation, indigestion, and bloating by stimulating the production of digestive juices and enzymes. Ginger can also help prevent stomach ulcers by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach.
Ginger carrot soup: 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated, 2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped, 1 onion, chopped, 4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth, 1 tbsp olive oil Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent. Add the ginger and carrots and cook for another minute. Add the broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Serve hot.
5. Aids in Weight Loss
Ginger has thermogenic properties that can help to boost metabolism and burn fat, making it a great addition to a weight loss diet.
Ginger and lemon: Drinking a mixture of ginger and lemon juice in warm water can also aid in weight loss. The combination of these two ingredients helps to detoxify your body and boost your metabolism.
Ginger and honey: Adding honey to ginger tea or ginger and lemon water can make it more palatable and also provide additional health benefits. Honey has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can aid in weight loss.
6. Alleviates Menstrual Pain
Ginger can help to alleviate menstrual cramps and other symptoms associated with menstruation. It is a marvelous remedy for menstrual pain.
Ginger honey tea: 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, sliced, 1 cup of water, 1 tbsp honey Boil the water and add the ginger slices. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain the tea and add honey. Drink it while it’s warm.
Ginger massage oil: 1/2 cup of fresh ginger root, grated, 1/2 cup of olive oil Mix the ginger and olive oil in a small saucepan and heat over low heat for 20-30 minutes.
7. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Ginger may also help lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity. In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who took 2 grams of ginger powder per day for 12 weeks experienced a significant decrease in their fasting blood sugar levels.
Ginger remedy for diabetes
- 2-3 inches of fresh ginger root
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks
- 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey (optional)
- 4 cups of water
- Wash and peel the ginger root and cut it into small pieces.
- In a saucepan, add the ginger pieces, cinnamon sticks, and water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Strain the mixture and pour it into a glass container.
- You can add honey to the mixture for taste (optional).
- Store the ginger remedy in the refrigerator and drink one cup daily.
8. Improve Brain Functions Ginger has been shown to improve cognitive function and memory. It contains compounds that can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, which can lead to improved brain health.
Best way to use ginger as a remedy for the brain is to include it in your diet. You can add fresh ginger to your meals or make ginger tea by steeping sliced or grated ginger in hot water for several minutes. You can also take ginger supplements, which are available in capsule or liquid form.
9. Relieves Headaches and Migraines
Ginger contains compounds that can help to reduce inflammation and pain. Drinking a hot cup of ginger tea is beneficial for instant relief from headaches and migraines.
Ginger peppermint tea: 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, sliced, 1 tsp dried peppermint leaves, 2 cups of water, honey (optional) Boil the water and add the ginger and peppermint leaves. Let it steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain the tea and add honey if desired. Drink it while it’s warm.
Ginger massage oil: 1/2 cup of fresh ginger root, grated, 1/2 cup of coconut oil Mix the ginger and coconut oil in a small saucepan and heat over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Once cooled, massage the oil onto the temples and forehead.
10. Improves Cardiovascular Health
The anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger can help to lower blood pressure and improve circulation, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Ginger garlic chicken stir-fry:
1-inch piece of fresh ginger root grated, 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced, 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces, 1 red bell pepper, sliced, 1 onion, sliced, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp vegetable oil Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan and add the ginger and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken and stir-fry until browned. Add the bell pepper and onion and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Mix the soy sauce and honey in a bowl and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Serve with brown rice.
Ginger beet juice: 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, sliced, 1 large beet, peeled and chopped, 1 apple, chopped, 1 carrot, chopped, 1/2 cup of water Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the juice and drink immediately.
11. Helps with Respiratory Issues
Ginger has been traditionally used to relieve respiratory problems such as coughs, colds, and asthma. It contains compounds that can help relax the muscles in the airways and reduce inflammation, making it easier to breathe.
Ginger lemon tea: 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, sliced, 1 lemon, 1 tbsp honey, 2 cups of water
Boil the water and add the ginger slices. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice into the tea and add honey. Drink it while it’s warm.
Ginger garlic soup: 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated, 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced, 1 onion, chopped, 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth, 1 tbsp olive oil Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Add the broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.
12. Improves Skin Health
Ginger has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help improve skin health. It can help reduce inflammation and redness, prevent signs of aging, and improve overall skin texture and appearance. You can apply grated ginger or ginger essential oil to the skin or use it as an ingredient in a homemade face mask.
13. Improves Eye Health
The antioxidants in ginger can help to protect the eyes from damage caused by free radicals. It reduces the risk of age related eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
14. Improves Sleep
Ginger can help to reduce inflammation and improve overall health. People who suffer from insomnia or other sleep disorders can take benefit from it and can enjoy a good night’s sleep. you can take warm ginger tea before going to bed for better sleep.
15. Protects Against Cancer
Studies have shown that ginger may have anticancer properties and can help inhibit the growth of cancer cells. It is particularly effective against ovarian, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.
16. Reduces depression
17. Reduces tiredness & fatigue
18. May help to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis
19. May help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
20. May help to lower cholesterol levels
👉It’s important to note that ginger is often used in small amounts as a spice. The ginger daily recommendation is 3 to 4 grams. Consuming more than 6 grams of ginger a day can cause gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn, reflux, and diarrhea.
Recipe of Ginger tea
Here’s a simple recipe for making ginger tea:
- 1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger
- 2 cups of water
- Honey or lemon (optional)
- Peel and grate the ginger.
- In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
- Add the grated ginger to the boiling water and reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
- Strain the tea through a fine-mesh sieve or tea strainer into a mug.
- Add honey or lemon to taste, if desired.
- Enjoy your ginger tea hot.
Note: You can adjust the amount of ginger and water to suit your taste preferences. Also, you can add other ingredients like cinnamon, turmeric, or mint to your ginger tea for added flavor and health benefits.
Incorporating ginger into your diet is easy. You can add it to your tea, smoothies, soups, and stir-fries. You can also take ginger supplements or use ginger essential oil for topical application. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking ginger supplements or using ginger for medicinal purposes, especially if you are taking medications or have a medical condition. Overall, ginger is a natural and safe way to promote health and well-being.