When you first think of ginger, you probably think of those gingerbread houses during the holiday season or maybe ginger ale, the carbonated soft drink. But, ginger is a popular spice with some powerful medicinal properties. It’s become well known for its many health benefits and people around the world consume it for this reason. In this post, we explore 10 amazing health benefits of ginger.
#1 Helps Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Researchers have found that ginger can help keep blood glucose levels in check. This is very important because these levels have a direct impact on weight loss and weight gain, as well as how energetic or lethargic you feel throughout the day. If you’ve noticed that you’re feeling that mid-day crash, it’s most likely because of your blood sugar levels. Adding a little ginger to your lunch can help you stay focused and on task. Think of ginger as an all-natural alternative to those energy boosting products like 5 Hour Energy.
#2 Relieves Gas
Some people just let it rip, regardless of where they are or who’s around, but for most of us, gas can be embarrassing. There are many anti-gas products on the market, but it’s always best to try the natural route first. You can try Ginger tea. It’s easy to make and has been proven effective at relieving gas. Drink a cup of ginger tea before you go to sleep and the magic should happen overnight while you’re sleeping. It helps clear out your digestive system and neutralizes the problem from inside.
#3 Weight Loss
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Being overweight can lead to many problems, including heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer. If you’re on a mission to lose weight, adding ginger to your diet will help your weight loss efforts. Ginger is a natural ingredient that can be found in many ‘fat-burning’ supplements. It can speed up your metabolism, leading to calorie-burning. It can also help keep you feeling full, longer, reducing your overall calorie intake.
#4 Boost Nutrient Absorption
It may never have crossed your mind, but when you eat a healthy meal, your body doesn’t absorb all of the beneficial nutrients. While the range is quite broad, your body will absorb somewhere between 10 – 90 percent of the vitamins and minerals in your food. Nutrients help signal your hormones to let the body know when it’s full and keep your fat-burning system working at optimal levels. If you’re looking to improve your health in general and perhaps lose weight, you’ll want to absorb as many nutrients as possible, and ginger has been known to boost nutrient absorption!
#5 Improves Circulation
Ginger helps thin blood, improving your overall circulation. As ginger improves your blood flow, it can create a warm feeling in your body. And this is one reason why people enjoy ginger tea on those cold winter days!
#6 Pain Relief
Before you reach for a typical pain reliever like Advil or Aspirin, try ginger first! Regardless of the type of pain you’re suffering, ginger acts as a natural pain reliever. It even fights inflammation that can cause aches and pains, and works on a hormonal level. Consider starting your morning with a cup of ginger tea and see if you notice improvements throughout the day.
#7 Improves Your Breath
Maybe you have a big date coming up or maybe you don’t. Either way, ginger can help improve your breath, and having fresh breath is always a good thing. It’s best to eat ginger toward the end of your meals so it can cleanse your palate and leave your mouth feeling refreshed. You can also mix some ginger with hot water and drink it. It’s a great way to flush out your mouth and neutralize any bad taste, like the dreaded ‘coffee breath’ from drinking coffee.
#8 Boosts Immune System
If you seem to be battling with frequent colds, chances are that your immune system is weak. Your diet plays a large role in making your immune system strong or weak. Adding ginger to your diet will help in keeping your body’s defense system strong. Doctors say that ginger helps cleanse the lymphatic system, flush out toxins and kill bacteria.
#9 Clears Sinuses
Whenever possible, it’s always better to go with a natural alternative rather than over-the-counter drugs. Try ginger first. There’s an active ingredient in ginger that has proven to work wonders on the sinuses. It helps unclog your sinuses and facilitate drainage. You can brew a nice hot cup of ginger tea to reap the benefits without the use of any medications and their possible side effects.
#10 Fights Cancer
Chances are, you know someone who is battling cancer or maybe you’re fighting it yourself. Several studies have found ginger to be beneficial in fighting lung, prostate, ovarian, colon, breast, skin, and pancreatic cancers. According to researchers, ginger’s anti-cancer properties are a result of the compound 6-gingerol, which is found in large amounts in raw ginger. 6-gingerol has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activities. By simply adding ginger to your diet, you can help prevent new cancer cells from forming and destroy active ones. It’s also beneficial for people who are already on cancer treatments, since ginger has been known to prevent the toxic effects of cancer drugs.
You should have a good understanding of the many benefits that ginger offers to protect your entire body. The next time you’re at the food store, remember to pick up some ginger root and start adding it to your daily diet. Just note that while it’s rare to have an adverse reaction to ginger, herbalists suggest that you keep it under 4 grams per day. Also, be sure to look for the following when you’re picking out your pieces of ginger.
- The ginger should be firm to the touch
- The bigger the piece of ginger, the older it is and the more pungent its flavor will be
- Look out for discolorations or soft spots
Whether you want to use it in your cooked meals, drink it as a tea, or press it into fresh juice, you’ll be able to reap all the amazing health benefits of ginger.