Health benefits of Ginger
A brief Introduction about Ginger
Most of us know ginger as a spice which is used in cuisine. But there are several health benefits of ginger are there when we can use it as an herbal or folk medicine.Generally ginger is originated in the lush tropical jungles in Southern Asia and some parts of Indian subcontinent. Biologically ginger produces cluster of white and pink flower buds that bloom into yellow flowers. It is a perennial reed-like plant with annual leafy stems, about a meter (3 to 4 feet) tall. Traditionally, the rhizome is gathered when the stalk withers; it is immediately scalded, or washed and scraped, to kill it and prevent sprouting. Now, due to this kind of biological formation it has some health benefits which has been discussed subsequently.
Ginger and its uses
Ginger is generally used in cuisine and it produces a hot and fragrant kitchen spice. Also it is used as pickled in vinegar and cooked as an ingredient in many dishes. Ginger is the key ingredient in thicker gravies both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes. Fresh ginger together with peeled garlic cloves is crushed or ground to form ginger garlic masala. Fresh, as well as dried, ginger is used to spice tea and coffee, especially in winter. Ginger powder is used in food preparations intended primarily for pregnant or nursing women, which is a mixture of gum resin, ghee, nuts, and sugar. Ginger is also consumed in candied and pickled form. We use ginger in tea to add flavor in it.
Nutritional profile of Ginger
Using fresh ginger is an easy way to flavor foods and drinks without adding unnecessary sodium. Since it is often consumed in such small amounts, ginger does not add significant quantities of calories, carbohydrate, protein or fiber. Ginger does contain numerous other anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds beneficial to health such as gingerols, beta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, curcumin and salicylate.
Vitamins and mineral contents of Ginger
The following elements are there in per 100g of ginger
Carbohydrate - 17.77 g
Dietary Fiber - 2 g
Protein - 1.82 g
Dietary Fiber - 2 g
Sugars - 1.7 g
Sodium - 13 mg
Vitamin B6 - 0.16 mg
Calcium - 16 mg
Iron - 0.6 mg
Vitamin C - 5 mg
Potassium - 415 mg
Magnesium - 43 mg
Phosphorus - 34 mg
Zinc - 0.34 mg
Folate - 11 mcg
Riboflavin - 0.034 mg
Niacin - 0.75 mg
Health benefits of Ginger
Besides cuisine and cooking purpose ginger has several health benefits when used it properly. As we knowconsuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions, the same goes to plant foods like Ginger which decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy and overall lower weight.
1) Digestive issues
The phenolic compounds in ginger are known to help relieve gastrointestinal irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production and suppress gastric contractions and movement of food and fluids through the GI tract which help us to digest properly.
2) Pain reduction
A study involving 74 volunteers carried out at the University of Georgia found that daily ginger supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by 25%. It reduces pain and inflammation, making it valuable in managing arthritis, headaches, and menstrual cramps. In one study, 83% of women taking ginger capsules reported improvements in pain symptoms compared to 47% of those on placebo.
3) For postoperative nausea& counter motion sickness
Taking 1 gram of dried, powdered, encapsulated ginger 30 minutes to two hours before travel can help ease travel related nausea. During cold weather, drinking ginger tea is good way to keep warm. It is diaphoretic, which means that it promotes sweating, working to warm the body from within. As such, in the wake of a cold, ginger tea is particularly useful.
4) The Anti-Inflammatory Effects
A study published in Cancer Prevention Research journal found that a ginger root supplement administered to volunteer participants reduced inflammation markers in the colon within a month. Researchers on the study explained that by decreasing inflammation, the risk of colon cancer is also likely to decrease. Ginger has also shown promise in clinical trials for treating inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.
5) Improving Brain Function
Some studies in animals suggest that the antioxidants and bioactive compounds in ginger can inhibit inflammatory responses that occur in the brain.There is also some evidence that ginger can enhance brain function directly. In a study of 60 middle-aged women, ginger extract was shown to improve reaction time and working memory. There are also numerous studies in animals showing that ginger can protect against age-related decline in brain function.
Study shows that ginger may have powerful anti-diabetic properties. In a recent 2015 study of 41 participants with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of ginger powder per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 12%. It also dramatically improved HbA1c (a marker for long-term blood sugar levels), leading to a 10% reduction over a period of 12 weeks. There was also a 28% reduction in the ApoB/ApoA-I ratio, and a 23% reduction in markers for oxidized lipoproteins. These are both major risk factors for heart disease.
7)Fight against Cancer
Recent study shows that Ginger contains a substance called 6-gingerol, which may have protective effects against cancer. Ginger extract has been studied as an alternative treatment for several forms of cancer. In a study of 30 individuals, 2 grams of ginger extract per day significantly reduced pro-inflammatory signalling molecules in the colon.There is some, although limited, evidence that ginger may be effective against pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
8) Folk medicine
One traditional medical form of ginger historically was called "Jamaica ginger"; it was classified as a stimulant and carminative and used frequently for dyspepsia, gastroparesis, slow motility symptoms, constipation or colic. It was also frequently employed to disguise the taste of medicines.
9) Fight Infections
Gingerol, the bioactive substance in fresh ginger, can help lower the risk of infections. In fact, ginger extract can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria. It is very effective against the oral bacteria linked to inflammatory diseases in the gums, such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Fresh ginger may also be effective against the RSV virus, a common cause of respiratory infections.
10) Reducing Menstrual Pain
Ginger appears to be very effective against menstrual pain when taken at the beginning of the menstrual period. In one study, 150 women were instructed to take 1 gram of ginger powder per day, for the first 3 days of the menstrual period.Ginger managed to reduce pain as effectively as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen. A 2015 systematic review found tentative evidence that ginger powder may be effective for primary dysmenorrhea.
Last but not the least : Quick notes
- Haven’t been feeling hungry? Eat a little fresh ginger just before a meal to inspire your appetite and activate your digestive juices. Eating ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body. Ginger clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the clearing your sinuses that can flare up seasonally or during colder months.
- Feeling airsick or nauseous? Ginger can help, preferably tossed in a little honey.
- Can’t stop the toot-a-thon? Gas—oops—guess what?! Ginger helps reduce flatulence!
- Tummy moaning and groaning under cramps? Munch on ginger.
- Reeling under joint pain? Ginger, with its anti-inflammatory properties—can bring relief. Float some ginger essential oil in your bath to help aching muscles and joints.
- Just had surgery? Chewing ginger post-operation can help overcome nausea.
- Stir up some ginger tea to get rid of throat and nose congestion. And when there’s a nip in the air, the warming and healing benefits of this tasty tea are even greater!
- Bedroom blues? Try adding a gingery punch to a bowl of soup. (Psst...theAyurvedic texts credit ginger with aphrodisiac properties)
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