A Closer Look at Ginger: The Superhero of Spices

Almost all of us have experienced nausea at some point or another in our lives. During these nauseous times, you’re first instinct may surely be to turn to over the counter medications. However, do you know that ginger works as a simple, effective antidote? Yes, no need to run to the nearest drugstore when feeling nauseous - all you need is the oddly shaped ginger! But that’s just one of the numerous health benefits of this wonder spice, so let’s get to know more about ginger.

 

Ginger is known as a flexible ingredient that can be consumed in tea, beer, and in other drinks or in cooking. Indian, Arabic, and Asian healers believed that ginger is not just a food, but is a medicine, too for thousands of years. And modern research supported almost all of the traditional health claims about this spice. Being in the same bo­tanical family as cardamom and turmeric, this tropical plant also improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.

 

And if you love tea or chai, and are working out regularly, drinking ginger tea may help relieve muscle soreness after exercise. According to a study published in "The Journal of Pain" in 2010, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties therefore, drinking ginger tea after tough workouts may help you cope with exercise related muscle soreness. Since ginger reduces pain and inflammation, it is also valuable in managing arthritis, headaches, and menstrual cramps. In addition, Grandma is right when she insists that you drink hot water with shredded ginger in battling colds and flu! Research shows that it inhibits rhinovirus, which can cause the common cold. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that adding 2 tbsp. of freshly shredded or chopped ginger root in hot water, drinking two to three times a day can treat cold and flu symptoms in adults. You can thank Grandma later, continue reading and your stomach will be thankful!

 

Aside from the fact that ginger improves the absorption and stimulation of essential nutrients in the body by stimulating gastric and pancreatic enzyme secretion, ginger inhibits bacteria such as Salmonella (cause of diarrhea) and protozoa, such as Trichomonas that are harmful to our body. This spice is also ideal in assisting digestion by soothing the intestines, thereby avoiding possible stomach ache. And if you’re experiencing too much gas, guess what - ginger helps reduce flatulence! Its phenolic compounds are known to help relieve gastrointestinal irritation, suppress gastric contractions and movement of food and fluids through the GI tract, and stimulates saliva and bile production. Such a “spice” gift to our digestive health!

 

Adding ginger to our diet is really beneficial. If you’re wondering how to incorporate more ginger into your diet, no need to worry. Ginger pairs well with many different types of seafood, pork, oranges, apples and melon. You can also add fresh ginger into your next smoothie or juice, and in boiling water to make your own ginger tea. And you can add dried ginger to your next stir-fry or homemade salad dressing. Such yummy ways to add this Superhero spice into your diet! So what are you waiting for? Now that you had a closer look into this wonder knobbly root, start taking ginger in whatever form appeals to you!

 

Sources:

http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/white-seeber-grogan-the-remedy-chicks/health-benefits-ginger/

http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/10-healing-benefits-of-ginger

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265990.php


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