Ginger root seems to be one of those old world superfoods that the majority of people have seemed to forget about. It has been used in more ancient parts of the world specially regarding medicinal purposes for thousands of years, Hosting a multitude of benefits in a wide array of areas.
It also has many culinary uses, specially within Indian and Asian cuisine that cannot go unnoticed. With its very distinct taste it adds another level of flavor to most dishes that it is including in.
Not only that but the benefits of Ginger root to the human body are absolutely amazing. I will tell you if you have already incorporated ginger into your diet why you need to.
What is Ginger Root
Ginger has been known as a folk medicine throughout its existence (human knowledge of its existence). It remains one of the healthiest spices available on the planet and depending on your taste it is quite delicious as well, which is always a plus.
It is host to a plethora of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, including bio active compounds, that help power the mind as well as the body with powerful benefits that can stave off many ailments as well as increase function.
The root itself is attached to a flowering plant that originated in China but has since spread around the world. Strangely enough it is not actually the root but the rhizome of the plant, which is an underground portion of the stem or base of the flowering flora. For our purposes it will remain the “root”.
The root or rhizome is the portion that is available for purchase at almost any food store and is home to all the ginger benefits we will discuss.
Ginger How To
Ginger comes in many forms. I am a fan of the entire root, I cut off pieces as I need them fresh, repackage the root and place it in fridge or a cool dry place and then I peel the portion I plan on using and decide from there how I will incorporate it.
This may mean chop it up however, in most cases I just add it to one of my drinks in the blender, it can be grated, minced etc. It can also be bought in powder form to be used as any standard seasoning.
Ginger: How to Use it Daily
- Add it to a drink
- Add to soup
- Make it into a tea (Ginger Tea Benefits)
- Season Your Food
- Slice and Add to meal (Sushi)
- Nutritional Shot (Similar to Wheat Grass or spirulina)
- Add to a hot bath
- Take in Capsule Form (Supplement)
- Take in Powder Form (Supplement)
- Take in Liquid Form (Supplement)
There are many ways to incorporate Ginger into your diet. I listed the quickest and easiest ways that I have actually tried, most of which I still use to get my daily dose of ginger. Find what works for use and implement it as often as required.
Ginger Nutritional Value Highlights
Ginger is home to a number of nutrients, minerals, plant compounds and vitamins. Being an ancient and well-used root, its benefits have been known for years. Think about it, when you got a stomach ache when you were a kid what did your mom or dad prescribe… Ginger ale.
With this knowledge, many of its other benefits have gone greatly unnoticed and this includes its nutritional value.
Ginger contains bio-active compounds, the most important being gingerol. This compound is responsible for the wide array of medicinal benefits ginger provides, including its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.
Ginger comes in many forms, dried, powdered, fresh etc. We will be focusing on the nutritional value of fresh ginger, due to the fact that when sold in other forms it generally comes with the nutritional facts.
For daily purposes the serving size will be 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger. (Remember to peel). The nutrients it provides are as follows:
- 4.8 Calories
- .11 g Protein
- .12 g Fiber
- .1 g Sugar
- .05 g Fat
- 1.07 g Carbohydrates
It also includes many trace amounts of vitamins and minerals including but not limited too:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Although the amounts of everything seem trace or limited at best, the majority of the benefits from ginger are from its bio-active compounds. You wouldn’t go shoveling ridiculous amounts of ginger into your system for protein or calcium.
The list was just to make you aware of the other, (although small) important elements you are getting from the coveted rhizome.
Ginger Benefits Old and New
Ginger possesses many benefits that can assist with a number of ailments however, always keep in mind that it is your body and only you can understand what is taking place inside of it on a day to day.
Take caution when trying anything new and always start slow. But never fear the unknown, especially if the odds are with it improving your life.
Ginger can help Treat Nausea
Ginger has been proven in multiple studies to aid with nausea and preventing one from vomiting or relieving the vomiting if it has already started.
It seems to be most effective with nausea related to pregnancy (morning sickness). But, it seems to be widely effective in all nausea related bouts.
Ginger has been used as a sea sickness remedy for ages as well as other forms of motion sickness.
Ginger Powder can reduce Menstrual Pain
Dysmenorrhea- is characterized simply as the pain that is felt during the menstrual cycle. In a study with 150 woman it reduced pain as effectively as Ibuprofen.
One must take at least 1 gram of ginger powder daily for the first few days of the cycle for these results, however if one were to take ginger daily I believe the effect of its pain relief would be even stronger.
Ginger may protect against Alzheimer’s Disease and increase brain function
The antioxidants and bio-active compounds in ginger have been suggested in different studies to inhibit inflammatory responses as well as oxidative stress that take place in the brain.
These responses are linked to permanent damage, accelerating aging and have been shown to be key contributors to Alzheimers.
Ginger has also been shown to improve memory as well as reaction time in certain studies, showing an enchantment in brain function as well protecting the brain.
Gingerol and Infections
Gingerol, the bio-active ingredient found in ginger has been seen as highly effective against certain infections and viruses.
It helps lower the risk of ailments by inhibiting the growth of may different types of bacteria, as well as different inflammatory diseases.
Some examples are gingivitis, periodontis and many respiratory infections as well.
Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Ginger could be a very powerful anti-diabetic. In recent studies, it has been shown to lower fasting blood sugar levels up to 12% as well as improving markers for long term blood sugar levels and reducing markers for oxidized lipoproteins.
Regarding this particular benefit more research must be done for confirmation as the results come from one small study.
Ginger can help alleviate pain and soreness
Ginger has been shown on numerous occasion to help with pain relief and posses anti inflammatory properties. I actually use a ginger balm on my legs or big after an intense workout over multiple days to help quell some of the residual pain.
Ginger must be taken for a series of days for its pain relief effects to take place, as it does not possess an immediate effect.
This does not only assist with exercise induced muscle pain, but pain of all types. This includes menstrual pain as I already discussed the pain associate with certain diseases, like osteoarthritis.
Typically, anywhere inflammation can cause pain, ginger can help.
Ginger Tea Benefits
One of the easiest ways to indulge in the luster of the ginger root is through tea. This also happens to be one of the most common.
I typically enjoy any number of flavored tea bags with ginger root placed in the water along with the bag to steep. This process allows the Ginger flavor to meld with the tea flavor of my choice along with a higher dose of benefits directly from fresh ginger.
However, most people will opt for just buying ginger tea, so they can take it on the go and make it wherever. The choice is yours.
Ginger Tea is host to all the benefits listed above and when consumed regularly it can also help:
- Relieve Stress- Combo of healing properties and the aroma
- Strengthen your immunity levels
- Improve blood circulation (amino acids, vitamins and minerals within the tea)
- Reduce Inflamation
- Fight common colds and other infections (aroma and healing properties)
Ginger the Saving Grace
As I am sure you can see, ginger is worth giving a try. If you were on the fence about it prior to reading this just try it out. Slowly integrate it into your life and see what benefits arise. Who doesn’t want a more stress free life, and natural healing.
Tell me about your experiences with ginger and what forms you generally consume.
As Always, It was a Pleasure.
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