Ginger, an underground stem or rhizome has been used for many centuries as food and medicine. It contains natural oils, the most active being gingerol, known for its superior anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Well known as an effective natural remedy for nausea, ginger is also a remedy for several other conditions. Here is a look at 6 ways in which ginger can help to improve health, and some simple ways in which you can incorporate ginger into your diet.
- Ginger reduces nausea and vomiting due to morning sickness, chemotherapy treatments, sea sickness and postoperative upset. Ginger’s chemicals work primarily in the stomach and intestines, as well as in the brain and nervous system creating their anti-nausea effect.
- Ginger alleviates pain and inflammation, it is proven helpful in managing osteoarthritis, headaches and menstrual cramps. Ginger also eases pain in the stomach, chest and lower back. Pain caused by muscle soreness and upper respiratory tract infections may similarly be improved with the use of ginger.
- Fresh ginger eaten just before a meal opens the appetite then activates digestive juices for the breakdown of food and release of essential nutrients. The absorption and assimilation of these nutrients is likewise improved with ginger.
- Ginger has a warming effect that stimulates microcirculation – the flow of blood in the smallest vessels of the body. This accounts for its use to clear nose and throat congestion and in the treatment of conditions such as sinusitis.
- Abdominal cramps, bloating and flatulence may all be relieved with ginger. Some antacid, laxative and anti-gas medications contain one of the chemicals found in ginger as an active ingredient.
- Ginger inhibits the growth of several types of bacteria, thus helping in the fight against infections. It has been shown effective against bacteria that cause gingivitis and periodontitis. It also inhibits the salmonella virus which causes diarrhea and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) with mild, cold-like symptoms.
Adding Ginger To Your Diet
- The flavors in ginger work well with seafood, oranges, pork and apples but you will find its unique flavor enhancing a wide selection of other dishes.
- Add fresh ginger to smoothies or juice.
- Spice up a salad or stir fry and add zesty flavor to your next fish recipe with fresh or dried ginger.
- Grate ginger to make some soothing ginger tea, or simply steep fresh ginger in boiling water.
- Add chopped crystallized ginger to a batch of muffins infusing them with its peppery flavor and hint of lemon.
Ginger has been a constant factor in both food preparation and many medicinal treatments for centuries. It can be easily included in any diet to take a full advantage of its many wonderful properties.